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Press Release

Rep. Castor: Florida Health Workers Overburdened While Gov. DeSantis Still Refuses to Issue Covid19 Emergency Order

On August 11, in response to reports of understaffed and at-capacity hospitals in the Tampa Bay area, Rep. Kathy Castor (FL14) urged Governor Ron DeSantis to reissue a Covid19 emergency order to allow more flexibility for a surge of nurses and medical professionals from out-of-state to treat patients as well as stabilize costs for our health facilities.

“Florida is in the midst of a Covid19 public health emergency with a record number of cases since the pandemic began. 1 in 5 Covid deaths nationwide are occurring in Florida, and our hospitals, doctors and nurses are overwhelmed. An NBC report from St. Joseph’s in Tampa underscores the grim reality at hospitals across our state – there are not enough beds or staff to care for the skyrocketing number of individuals contracting serious Covid19 cases.

“Once more, I am strongly urging Governor DeSantis to use his emergency powers to bring more medical professionals and resources to Florida as soon as possible. There is no time to waste. I have been urging the Governor to act on this for weeks, but he has refused. His failure to encourage public health protocols and vaccinations, and to use his full authority to aid hospitals and medical professionals is costing lives.

“An emergency order would allow for suspension of certain requirements on out-of-state health professionals and enable the state to better coordinate staffing needs for hospitals to combat price gouging by staffing agencies and burnout by our medical professionals. There are medical professionals ready and willing to come and serve in Florida, but arbitrary regulations hinder that possibility… this is frustrating and easily fixable. With the stroke of a pen, Governor DeSantis could alleviate some of the burden on our hospital staff and ensure Floridians are receiving the medical care they need.

“Every one of us has a part to play. I urge Governor DeSantis to answer the call of our health heroes and enact an emergency order today and join me in reminding all of our neighbors to visit to find a convenient Covid19 vaccination site. Studies show that the risk of hospitalization once vaccinated decreases exponentially – take time today to get this lifesaving vaccination.”