As positive cases of COVID-19 continue to increase throughout Florida, the topic of available hospital bed space is back in the forefront of coronavirus discussions… some accurate, some – not so much.
The Agency for Health Care Administration(AHCA) publishes statistics that track available hospital beds in all 67 Florida counties in Florida. However, the number of available beds showing on the AHCA website is not representative of the current amount of total bed capacity at Orlando Health, according to Kena Lewis, Director of Public Affairs & Media Relations at Orlando Health.
In mid-March, as patient volumes declined and fewer beds were needed, Orlando Health began consolidating units to reduce the number of beds – including ICU beds – that were staffed and in operation.
The current operational bed count is what Orlando Health reports to AHCA and what appears on their website. However, the number currently showing is NOT Orlando Health’s total bed capacity.
Across all of Orlando Health’s operations, they have nearly 3,300 beds. Nearly 200 of those are ICU beds and they have the capacity to surge up to 500 ICU beds if the pandemic, or other sudden health care need, becomes necessary.
Orlando Health says they are carefully monitoring the increases in patient volumes, and if the need for additional beds grows, Orlando Health will re-open units and make other necessary adjustments in order to meet the needs of the community.
So, as we continue to work together to abide by CDC guidelines, like wearing face coverings, avoiding gatherings with more than 10 people, practice social distancing, and washing hands and sanitizing often, along with health care organizations like Orlando Health, we’ll get past the coronavirus pandemic… together.