Central Florida hospitals pushed to the brink as COVID-19 cases continue to surge

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida health officials are worried as records continue to be set in the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported nearly 24,000 new cases in Florida on Friday.

Also, nearly 14,00 people are currently hospitalized for COVID-19 across the state.

READ: Florida reports record COVID-19 cases, virus hospitalizations on Saturday

Channel 9 spoke with an area doctor who is seeing the spike in hospitalizations firsthand.

Dr. Aftab Khan, an internal medicine specialist said of those nearly 14,000 patients, 43% are in the ICU as of Sunday night and many of them are in Central Florida.

WATCH: 38% of eligible Florida kids have received at least one COVID-19 vaccine shot, data shows

Khan said the hospital group he is part of has seen more than 1,000 COVID-19 patients over the past few days.

And he said the majority of these patients are not vaccinated.

The concern is if this continues, hospital staff must figure out where to put other patients, including people who have heart attacks, have strokes or get into car accidents.

WATCH: 3 Central Florida first responders died from COVID-19 complications this week

Health officials from around the state are advising COVID-19 vaccines are the best protection to prevent hospitalizations from COVID-19.

Data shows some Central Florida counties are making progress when it comes to increasing their vaccination rates, but others are lagging behind.

See more in the video above.

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