South Florida hospitals halt elective surgeries; state runs out of remdesivir

South Florida hospitals have canceled nonemergency surgeries to make room for COVID-19 patients, according to The Miami Herald.

More than 30 percent of Florida's COVID-19 cases have been reported in the last seven days, a surge threatening to overwhelm hospitals in multiple counties. In Miami-Dade, which has confirmed more cases than any other county in the state, Jackson Health System said it would cancel all nonemergency surgeries starting July 6. The number of COVID-19 patients across Jackson Health's hospitals in North Miami Beach, Miami and South Miami-Dade have doubled over the past two weeks.

On July 1, the state's Agency for Health Care Administration opened a 120-bed hospital in Miami-Dade County for COVID-19 patients who no longer require the level of care provided at hospitals. The hospital, formerly Miami Medical Center, will also accept nursing home residents who have recovered from COVID-19 but are still testing positive and can't yet return to long-term care facilities.

As South Florida hospitals prepare for a COVID-19 surge, Florida's health department told hospital pharmacies that the state exhausted its supply of remdesivir, an antiviral drug that has proven moderately effective at shortening recovery time. The health department suspended all orders June 30, but said deliveries to hospitals would resume July 2.

More articles on public health:
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