Man Says Wife is Being Treated in Hospital Hallway Due to COVID Overcrowding

A man in Florida recently said that his wife is being treated for pneumonia in the hallways of a hospital due to COVID-19 overcrowding.

While speaking with WESH 2 News in Florida, Ralph Boyd said that his wife, Ileen, recently contracted pneumonia and was told by her doctors to seek treatment at a hospital.

According to WESH 2 News, Boyd transported his wife to the South Lake Hospital in Clermont, Florida, but was notified there were no available rooms due to the surge in patients infected with the novel coronavirus.

"I called a nurse and they said they had like 40 patients stacked up waiting for rooms out there and it's even worse at ORMC [Orlando Regional Medical Center]," Boyd told WESH 2 News, adding that the nurse informed him that the overcrowding was due to COVID-19.

Boyd told WESH 2 News that both he and his wife are fully vaccinated against the novel virus, but he is unsure if the hospital will be able to accommodate his wife with an actual room.

"There is no other option. Every other hospital in central Florida is in the same situation," Boyd said, according to WESH 2 News.

Over the past several weeks, Florida has seen a surge of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

According to data from the Florida Hospital Association, as of August 20, there were at least 16,849 confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations, which is a 166 percent increase from the state's previous peak in July 2020.

Florida Hospital Association Data shows that COVID-19 patients account for 34 percent of hospitalizations in the state. The data also shows that only 14 percent of inpatient beds and 6.9 percent of intensive care unit (ICU) beds are currently available.

"Half the COVID-19 cases at a major Florida hospital system are under 40—the threat is real. Get vaccinated to protect yourself. Get vaccinated to ensure you will be there for your family," Mary C. Mayhew, President and CEO, Florida Hospital Association, said in a statement.

While speaking with WESH 2 News, Boyd pleaded with community members that are opposed to wearing masks or receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.

"Why fight against masks? Why join a chorus that doubts the effectiveness of the vaccine? It's stupid," Boyd told the local news outlet.

In a statement sent to Newsweek, a spokesperson for Orlando Health, which runs the South Lake Hospital, said, "Our goal at all Orlando Health hospitals and emergency departments is to deliver high quality care to patients as efficiently as possible. Like many healthcare systems across the country, the pandemic has placed high demand on some of our hospitals and facilities. While wait times vary greatly based on different factors including patient acuity and volume, the time of day, day of the week, and the location of the emergency department [i.e. metro area vs. rural area], we are constantly evaluating strategies to address how we deliver the best care to our patients."

The statement continued, "We want to remind our community that vaccination against COVID-19 remains the best option to fight the virus and reduce the strain on the nation's healthcare system."

COVID-19 in Florida
A Florida man recently said his wife is being treated for pneumonia in a hospital hallway due to COVID-19 overcrowding. Above, medics transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside of Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital where Coronavirus patients are treated on August 16. Chandan Khanna/Getty