PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — As the number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise around the country, newly released data by the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration shows more than half of all hospital beds in Palm Beach County are occupied.
Sixty-five percent of all ICU beds are occupied, according to the same data set.
Dr. Terry Adirim, a professor of pediatrics and senior associate dean for clinical affairs at Florida Atlantic University's Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, said she's worried about the number of available hospital beds, given the increase in COVID-19 cases.
"We're just not going to have enough ventilators or ICU beds," Dr. Adirim said in an interview with Contact 5, noting modeling shows COVID-19 cases will peak locally in three to four weeks.
"I think it's a threat we should be planning for, how we're going to allocate those beds, how we're going to resource ventilators," he said.
Palm Beach County Commissioner Gregg Weiss said he feels the county is better prepared to handle an increase in COVID-19 related hospitalizations than other parts of the country.
"If you were to say half of your ICU beds [are] available, almost half of them, that lends me to believe we've got some surge capacity available to us," Weiss said.
AHCA data shows around 1,600 total hospital beds are available countywide at the time this was written.
Weiss said the county is planning to deal with the need for more hospital resources, saying, "there's been discussions about how you might" add additional beds.
"I think everything's on the table at this point," added Weiss.
"We really don't know how big the problem is because we've had very little testing in Palm Beach County," Adirim said. "It's a big shame."