JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continue to leave emergency rooms overwhelmed, a well-known Jacksonville immunologist on Monday called for Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency in Florida.
Dr. Sunil Joshi writes:
“Is it time for Governor to declare a state of emergency/public health emergency in Florida regarding COVID-19 hospitalizations with what we are seeing here? Yes. So we can get some federal help and maybe some extra staff to assist in the hospitals? Yes. This is serious folks.”
“The emergency rooms are filling up the ICU beds are filling up, and people are sick in the hospital and our staff is also getting sick,” Joshi told News4Jax.
Over the weekend, News4Jax heard from patients and medical staff of up to six hour waits in some Jacksonville-area emergency rooms.
”Staffing becomes a real issue for us,” said Chad Neilsen with UF Health Jacksonville. “We have people holding down in the emergency department because we either don’t have staffing in the beds upstairs for them or we don’t have room for them elsewhere.”
As of Monday, UF Health Jacksonville said it has 175 hospitalized with COVID-19, 50 of which were in the intensive care unit. It’s up from the 150 hospitalizations UF Health Jacksonville said it had Friday, which the hospital said was a 1,000% increase in cases since June.
Baptist Health said it’s treating 386 patients for COVID, 82 of which were in intensive care. A nurse told News4Jax that over the weekend, there were nearly three floors filled with COVID patients. The Baptist South location has added more beds.
Mayo Clinic on Monday joined major health care groups call for mandatory vaccines for staff. Its staff was given until Sept. 17 to be fully vaccinated or complete a “declination process.”
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday it’s requiring vaccinations for all the federal agency’s health care personnel.