Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gestures as he speaks during a news conference at Jackson Memorial Hospital, Monday, July 13, 2020, in Miami. DeSantis acknowledged Monday that the new coronavirus is spreading and urged people to take precautions such as wearing masks in public places, social distancing and avoiding crowds.

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Florida reported 156 more deaths from COVID-19 on Thursday, a new record for the state.

Overall, at least 4,677 Florida residents have died from the coronavirus, according to the state Department of Health, which also reported 13,837 new cases on Thursday.

Miami-Dade County accounts for 12% of Florida’s population but 25% of its deaths from the pandemic. ICU space is now running out.

To relieve pressure on area hospitals, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava told Business Insider that state and local officials should set up field hospitals.

“We need to get the staff from out of state, if not the National Guard,” she said. “I think we have to err on the side of caution, which means preparedness.”

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On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the situation in Florida had “stabilized,” citing a decline in the rate of positive coronavirus tests. Over the next three days the positivity rate was once more above 15% — and, by Thursday, the state had shattered another lamentable record, reporting 156 more deaths from COVID-19.

Before this week, the record was 120 deaths on July 9.

Overall, at least 4,677 Florida residents have died from the coronavirus, according to the state Department of Health, which also reported 13,837 new cases on Thursday.

The latest surge in COVID-19 has been particularly bad in Miami-Dade County, which accounts for 12% of Florida’s population but 25% of its deaths from the pandemic.

Hospitals in South Florida are now almost out of space in their intensive-care units. On Thursday, the county reported that ICU beds for COVID-19 patients were at 107% capacity.

Jackson Health System, a nonprofit hospital in Miami-Dade County, told Business Insider that the massive uptick in cases has forced it to convert more space to ICU beds — and to stop admitting non-COVID cases “if their medical needs can wait.”

“Our focus right now is on caring for COVID patients who require hospitalization and those patients with the true emergencies,” the hospital said in a July 16 statement.

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To relieve pressure on area hospitals, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava told Business Insider that state and local officials should set up field hospitals and start hosting patients at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

“We need to get the staff from out of state, if not the National Guard,” she said. “I think we have to err on the side of caution, which means preparedness.”

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

Read the original article on Business Insider



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