TAMPA — The state of Florida surpassed 19,000 COVID-19 deaths this past weekend, and experts say they’re concerned as hospitalizations climb.
According to local doctors, the death rate will continue to grow because typically you see an increase in fatalities when there’s a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
Last week, the state added at least 1,231 hospitalizations.
“The hospitals are becoming truly overwhelmed and that means not just people with COVID-19 are dying,” said Dr. Gabe Kelen, Director of Emergency Medicine at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
Doctors tell us, during the first wave, people had to put off healthcare needs, and it’s happening again.
“People die because they didn’t or were reluctant to go to the hospital or because they didn’t get that cancer surgery, they didn’t get their heart surgery, whatever type of procedure they might have needed they didn’t get because we just needed the space for acutely ill COVID-19 patients. So this affects everybody,” said Kelen.
Local hospitalization numbers show a steady increase.
Doctors say the length of time COVID-19 patients stay at the hospital can be pretty long so even on days there’s not a huge increase in new COVID-19 admissions, many hospitals are still likely overwhelmed with existing patients.