Trust Index: State figures don’t show current COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida

Governor’s claims are impossible to verify

News 6 took a closer look at the claims the governor made about Florida's hospitalization and ICU numbers.

ORLANDO, Fla. – In the fight against COVID-19, there is a wealth of stats and figures that can be broken down in numerous ways.

News 6 took a closer look at Gov. Ron DeSantis’ claims during a news conference Wednesday about hospitalizations related to the virus per capita.

“States like New York and New Jersey have over 80 people per 100,000 that are currently in the hospital,” DeSantis said. “Florida is about 10.3 currently hospitalized per 100,000.”

The state’s dashboard for tracking COVID-19 does break down the number of hospitalizations, but it gives the total number of hospitalizations since the virus started -- not current hospitalizations.

Until the state provides the public daily information about how many hospital beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients, we cannot prove or disprove the governor’s claims.

The Trust Index on this issue is to be careful when digesting these stats.

Be Careful

After reviewing this topic, we've found some issues - Be Careful.

“Right now in Florida if you look per 100,000, we’ve got about 3.2 people per 100,000 that are in the ICU, New York is 25 people,” DeSantis said.

News 6 also reviewed data from the COVID-19 Tracking Project, a volunteer group that tracks coronavirus stats from state to state and created a central database.

Regarding hospital and ICU admissions, The Covid Project called the numbers “heavily caveated.”

“In short: It is impossible to assemble anything resembling the real statistics for hospitalizations, ICU admissions, or ventilator usage across the united states,” according to the project’s website.

Again, be careful with those stats.

If you have a questionable claim you would like News 6 to run through the Trust Index, use the form below:

About the Authors:

Emmy Award-winning reporter Louis Bolden joined the News 6 team in September of 2001 and hasn't gotten a moment's rest since. Louis has been a General Assignment Reporter for News 6 and Weekend Morning Anchor. He joined the Special Projects/Investigative Unit in 2014.

Emmy-nominated journalist Kristin Cason joined the News 6 team in June 2016.