NBA shortens quarantine time for vaccinated players who test positive for Covid-19

While demand for Covid-19 tests is up, hospitalizations in the state of Florida do not appear to be, the head of the Florida Hospital Association tells CNN. 

“Although we are experiencing significant new daily cases of Covid, our hospitalizations for Covid are still relatively low and increasing slowly,” said Mary C. Mayhew, president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association. “While hospitals are readying their surge plans, today there are many beds available to treat Covid and non-Covid patients,” she continued.

According to Mayhew, current statewide hospitalizations of 2,075 Covid-19 patients is about 12% of the 17,121 hospitalizations at the peak of the Delta variant surge on Aug. 23.

“Our biggest challenge continues to be the severity of our workforce shortages consistent with what states around the country are confronting,” Mayhew noted in her statement.

Jackson Health System, one of the largest health systems in South Florida, said in a post on Twitter on Monday, “Across the Jackson Health System hospitals, we currently have 212 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.” One day earlier, the hospital system reported 175 patients. On Christmas Day, the system reported having 153 patients Covid-19 patients. 

Demand for testing has been increasing, as the number of people waiting to be tested at one of Miami-Dade County’s busiest testing sites continues to grow. 

There was a line of cars wrapped around Tropical Park on Monday morning, with individuals reporting wait times for testing of more than two hours. 

Ron Goncalves, general manager of Nomi Health Florida, which partners with Miami-Dade County to run its testing sites, told CNN, “We’ve been north of 50,000 tests daily across the state of Florida, including limited numbers of sites and operating hours for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.”  

At the peak of the Delta wave, Goncalves said they averaged about 34,000 tests per day. 

Nomi Health Florida is now planning to open four or five more testing sites in Miami-Dade County “in the coming days” to help with testing demands, according to Goncalves. He also told CNN that the company has enough of staffing and tests, and has their labs working around the clock to cover the increase in volume, the likes of which they have not seen before.   

Miami-Dade County also plans to distribute free at-home testing kits at public libraries today, while supplies last.