Speed Reads

the coronavirus crisis

Dozens of Florida intensive care units are full. Texas and Arizona hospitals are quickly filling up, too.

At least 56 intensive care units in Florida hospitals have reached capacity, another 35 Florida hospital ICUs are at least 90 percent full, and 17 more hospitals have run out of regular beds, Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) said Tuesday night. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said the state is sending 100 nurses and nearly 50 more beds to Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital, though he also said in a news conference Tuesday that Florida hospitals have "abundant capacity." In Florida overall, AHCA says, 21 percent of hospital beds and 16 percent of ICU beds are open.

A nurse at West Palm Beach's Good Samaritan Medical Center told The Washington Post some nurses there are working 18-hour days due to staffing shortages and patients are being treated in curtained open areas of the hospital. "We're overfilled and understaffed," the nurse said. "It's really bad." (Hospital spokesman Ryan Lieber said no employees are being asked to work 18-hours shifts and "patients are being treated in areas of the hospital which are considered appropriate for their care, and respectful of their privacy at all times.")

The U.S. topped 3 million COVID-19 cases Tuesday and the death toll surpassed 131,000, and Florida isn't the only state to see a sharp rise in cases and hospitalizations. Arizona is rapidly approaching full ICU capacity, too, as are hospitals in Houston and San Antonio, Texas.

The University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation coronavirus model often cited by the White House raised its projected U.S. death toll Tuesday to 208,000 fatalities by November, though it said up to 45,000 of those lives could be saved if 95 percent of Americans wore a face mask in public.