Florida has been reporting a steady rise in coronavirus cases at the rate of about 10,000 per day. The surge in infections is particularly troubling in Miami-Dade County, where hospitals are filling up. Miami city officials and health providers say young people make up a significant number of these new infections.
- Sunshine State is experiencing a surge in cases, up 38%. Over 100,000 new infections have been reported in just two weeks.
CATIE BECK: Hospitals here in Florida are really at the tipping point. We are learning that most Florida hospitals are operating around 80% capacity right now.
MARTHA BAKER: I'm Martha Baker. I'm an RN, and I've been at the Jackson Health System for the last 35 years and president of our health care union, SEIU 1991, that represents the about 5,600 nurses, doctors, and health care professionals.
The latest hospitalization, with this last month, I'll say, we're seeing more 19- to 33, 34-year-olds. And we're seeing them not as acutely ill, meaning they need ICU beds. But the problem is, we had 159 max in May and April. And now we're seeing 355, and we're not stopping. Patients are waiting every day in our ER to be admitted upstairs because beds are so tight.
FRANCIS SUAREZ: When we reopened, people started socializing as if the virus didn't exist.
- My residents also kind of let their guard down.
RENATA BRESCIANI: Once the lockdown was over-- not necessarily over, but they were going through phase 1, phase 2, in Miami-- we did not feel comfortable with it whatsoever. We were not gonna go out. We were seeing people on Instagram out at restaurants, out at parties, throwing parties themselves, definitely not social distancing. And we didn't feel comfortable about it.
It turns out we were all positive. So the reason why I shared my story on my social medias and the platform that I have is because I feel a lot of people do not talk about it when they are infected, so there isn't a lot of transparency about being infected with COVID. We also need to know that everyone under 40 is not invincible, like me and my husband, who got infected. And people are not taking this seriously. They're taking it very light. So I felt with the responsibility that I have with the platform that I have is I needed to share my story.
MARTHA BAKER: Not only the patients are taking the brunt much more seriously than anyone else, but our caregivers are what I call limping. You know, we're exhausted. We've been doing this for several months now. We need a reprieve, and there's no reprieve in sight because we continue to peak. We gotta find a way to dampen this curve. And we need our elected leaders to lead and stop the activity in the community, so that in two weeks from now, we can expect to see a dampening.