By John Haughey, The Center Square
There were 10,207 people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Florida Sunday, more than any time since the pandemic emerged in March 2020.
But that’s not the scariest fact associated with the coronavirus wildlife sweeping across the Sunshine State since early July.
“Over 50% of our hospitalizations are between the ages of 25 and 55,” Florida Hospital Association President Mary Mayhew said Monday. “It is a rapid increase, not only in hospitalizations but in the deterioration. Sicker, sicker individuals. This is just dramatically different from what we saw last year.”
Speaking on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe" Show, Mayhew said Florida’s hospitals, especially in Jacksonville and Orlando, are facing crisis capacities with younger COVID-19 victims.
“In Jacksonville, in one of our hospitals, their average age now is 42 years old. They have 25-year-olds who are in intensive care, on ventilators,” said Mayhew, former secretary of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2019 before leaving to head the Florida Hospital Association earlier this year.
Mayhew said Florida COVID-19 hospital admissions have been increasing the last 27 days faster than any time in 2020 with 96% of those hospitalized unvaccinated.
“This is clearly ripping through the unvaccinated,” she said, noting while Florida did a good job vaccinating seniors, it may have conveyed a message that younger people were not at risk.
“We’ve got to up voices, our messaging, and make sure we are loud and clear about how critically important it is for that age group to get vaccinated,” Mayhew said.
On Friday, Florida reported 21,683 new cases of COVID-19, the state’s highest one-day total since the start of the pandemic, according to federal health data released Saturday.
The state has become the new national epicenter for the virus, accounting for around a 20% of all new cases in the US as the delta variant of the coronavirus continues to spread.
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