Florida: the data-smart state when it comes to reporting hospital bed availability

What numbers do Americans care most about right now? I would love to know the following:

  • what percentage of people in the Boston area are already infected with coronavirus (settle the Oxford v. Imperial College debate)
  • how close to being overwhelmed are local hospitals in terms of beds and ICU beds in case someone in our family is unlucky enough to need one?

We can’t get the first number because nobody will go out and do a test for active virus in a representative subset of Boston-area residents. This wouldn’t be complete because it wouldn’t measure people who were infected and are now over COVID-19, but if the number is only 0.1% then it is time for double-secret lockdown to stop the spread!

With the second number we could decide whether to drive for an hour or two to a less-busy region before dropping a sick person off at a hospital ED. This would avoid the situation that I’ve heard about from friends who work in health care in NYC. A hospital in one neighborhood is overflowing while a hospital two miles away has empty rooms.

The Florida state government isn’t doing anything about the first number, but they’re gathering and publishing data regarding the second. See “Coronavirus: Here’s how many hospital beds are available in Florida” for a map.

How about Massachusetts? We are a “data dumb” state in which this information is perhaps not available to anyone. Doctors affiliated with individual hospitals can get stats for their own hospital and my moles inside two of the biggest Boston hospitals say that they still have rooms and ICU beds available. This is contrary to the prophecies from University of Washington, We supposedly ran out of ICU beds in the state on March 27 and ran out of hospital beds today.


4 thoughts on “Florida: the data-smart state when it comes to reporting hospital bed availability

  1. I am interested in comments to this post. I do not see any way to get notifications of comment other than to leave one myself.

    • Whoa! Those are crazy long videos. I wanted to see what he would have to say about the Navy guys who abandoned their multi-$billion aircraft carrier. He does make the same point that I did about if they were so concerned why did they want to pack into the hangar for the farewell-to-the-captain party like Spring Breakers at a wet T-shirt contest? But then he wrongly says that party will statistically cause a couple of deaths. I don’t think that is true for this age/health cohort, is it? Let’s say 3000 crew members were there. We don’t expect 2 out of 3000 healthy folks with a median age of 30(?) to die from COVID-19, do we? And he doesn’t get into what I think are the biggest questions: (1) won’t every Navy ship have to be abandoned since each one is guaranteed to have a coronavirus outbreak? (2) why do these sailors think they won’t get coronavirus within the next few weeks while on land?

  2. Is there a chance that one of the lesser effects of COVID-19 infections is to permanently damage otherwise healthy lungs, forcing those personnel to accept a medical discharge they’re no longer able to pass a physical?

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