Florida reported over 21,000 new cases of coronavirus on Monday

Florida reported another 21,669 new COVID-19 infections and seven deaths on Monday, according to data posted Tuesday by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since the start of the pandemic in early 2020, Florida has had 2,955,098 COVID-19 infections and 41,130 deaths. The state has seen a major spike in cases and hospitalizations during the past month because of the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus.

Patients with COVID-19 now account for 30 percent of inpatient hospitalizations, according to data posted on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services website. Florida hospitals had 16,832 patients with COVID-19 on Tuesday. No other state had as high of a percentage of hospital beds occupied by patients with COVID 19.

Forty-four Florida hospitals reported facing critical staffing shortages Tuesday, while 45 said they anticipate facing critical staffing shortages in the coming week. Hospitals are being slammed with admissions of mostly unvaccinated patients.

Gov. Ron DeSantis has recently touted the use of monoclonal antibody treatment as a way to help prevent people recently diagnosed with COVID-19 from being hospitalized. The treatment gives a temporary but immediate boost to the immune system, helping it fight off infection. The state has opened monoclonal-antibody treatment centers in Jacksonville, Orlando and Merritt Island, but it’s not clear how many patients have sought the treatment.

The city of Jacksonville deferred questions about the number of treated people to the state Division of Emergency Management, which is heading up the Jacksonville site. The Division of Emergency Management did not respond to a question from The News Service of Florida about the number of treatments administered. As of Tuesday, 10,986,913 people were fully vaccinated in Florida. The state has over a seven-day moving average administered 40,754 first- and second-dose vaccinations.

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