ICU availability dropping in Northeast Florida counties

Some medical facilities are preparing to stretch their ICU resources to the limit

As COVID-19 cases surge, many area hospitals’ intensive care units are full or near full.

One of them is Baptist Medical Center Nassau, which had no available ICU space as of Monday evening, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration. By Tuesday afternoon, one ICU bed had become available there, but across Northeast Florida, ICU availability was low.

Percentages as of 4:17 p.m. Tuesday:

CountyAvailable adult ICU %
Duval County18%
St. Johns County36%
Clay County8%
Nassau County13%
Putnam County0%

The coronavirus pandemic has put a strain on area hospitals and health care staff since the disease surged in the United States. Now, with cases soaring, some medical facilities are preparing to stretch their ICU resources to the limit.

“So, right now, we’ve broken our high number of COVID hospitalized patients in one day,” said Chad Neilsen, UF Health Jacksonville director of accreditation and infection prevention. “We’ve soared past that number, the city of Jacksonville right now has matched their peak for COVID hospitalizations that we saw back in July.”

Neilsen said UF Health Jacksonville is preparing for an even bigger peak in cases than what has been seen in the last 12 months.

“Turning on the lights in units, making sure that we have that surge capability if and when that time comes,” Neilsen said. “We have to assume it will just based on what the numbers and the data looks like. And so when it does occur, we’ll be ready.”

About the Author: