Hospitalizations are increasing as COVID-19 cases begin to surge again across Florida. Experts attribute it to the highly contagious delta mutants and a large population of unvaccinated populations.
As of Thursday, the state reported a total of 871 delta variant cases, compared to the 280 reported at this time last week.
Coronavirus-related hospitalizations have increased by 36.8% in Florida over the past seven days, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
During the same period, COVID-19 hospitalizations increased by more than 25% in 32 Florida counties, the CDC reported, with significant or high levels of COVID-19 infection in all but five Florida counties. CDC data added that it reported it was. Said.
Dr. Vincent Hsu, an epidemiologist and executive director of infection prevention at Advent Health, said the increased hospitalization for COVID-19 was the result of a highly contagious Delta variant. According to Sue, the Delta strain, which mutated from the original COVID-19 virus and is now the predominant mutant in both Florida and the country, also infects fully vaccinated people, but usually the symptoms are Not enough to be admitted to the hospital.
As of July 8, 42% of Florida’s population has not been vaccinated against the virus, according to the latest updates from the Florida Department of Health.
The same trend is occurring nationwide, with some hospitals reinstate restrictions such as wearing masks and restricting patient visitors, and in more extreme cases, elective surgery is suspended or postponed. I have.
According to Becker’s Hospital Review, 106 hospitals nationwide have postponed elective surgery due to the resurgence of COVID-19 since June 1.
So far, in Florida, only Jacksonville’s Baptist Health has asked doctors to postpone elective surgery and only require surgery that requires an overnight stay in the hospital, according to a press release.
According to the CDC, Duval County, including Jacksonville, has seen a 31.73% increase in new COVID-19 hospitalizations over the past seven days. This is equivalent to 8.33 people hospitalized with COVID-19 per 100 beds.
“We are constantly reviewing the census of COVID-19 patients and are working with surgeons to manage the number of selective surgeries that require night admission to the hospital,” said hospital spokeswoman Wesley Roberts. Mr. said. Patients can have surgery on schedule, but other patients contacted by the surgeon will be given a new surgery date. “
In addition, North Florida Regional Medical Center, Lee Health, Advent Health, Halifax Health, and Flagler Health + have not suspended elective surgery at this time.
Halifax Health spokesman John Guthrie said there were no plans to suspend elective surgery at three hospitals in Volusia County.
“The decision to do so is based on multiple coordinating factors we consulted with our medical and nursing staff,” Guthrie said. “We have volume capacity to maintain selective and urgent surgery schedules across three campuses.”
Edward Jimenez, CEO of UF Healthshans, said that if a Florida hospital begins to suspend elective surgery, it will probably be the last hospital, thanks to work with the University of Florida, specialized surgery, and a high ICU bed. Said it would be. Count over 400.
CDC data show that new COVID-19 hospitalizations have increased by 104.76% in the last 7 days in Alachua County. The data show that for every 100 beds, 4.76 people are hospitalized with COVID-19.
Starting Friday, the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville will update the visit rules. Inpatients and outpatients may have one visitor if they are not COVID-19 positive.
As of Thursday, no additional restrictions have been announced at other Florida hospitals.
Increased local cases
Advent Health Hospital in central Florida reports that it spans seven counties, has five hospitals in Volusia and Flagler, and as of Thursday, 430 people were hospitalized with COVID-19. According to hospital officials, this is an increase of more than 100 compared to the same period last week.
“The good news is that patients who are fully vaccinated in the hospital are not infected,” Sue said in a briefing on Thursday’s Advent Health morning.
Blacksheep Medical, a family medicine practice at Ormond Beach, posted on Facebook Thursday morning, Advent Health Daytona Beach is “out of bed,” and “the surge in COVID has brought more than 30 people to the ER. I was waiting in bed. ” .. “
Dr. Joe Smith, Chief Medical Officer of AdventHealth Daytona Beach, replied to the news journal by email.
“We are experiencing an increase in COVID-19 patients requiring hospitalization, but there is no interruption in care and we manage our abilities on a daily basis through Advent Health’s hospital network throughout Central Florida,” he said. .. “We continue to encourage everyone to protect themselves and their loved ones by obtaining a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine to reduce hospitalization and mortality.”
According to CDC data, COVID-19 increased new hospitalizations by approximately 163% in Volusia County, resulting in 6.2 COVID-19 patients per 100 beds. Flagler County reported a 140% increase, or 7.36 cases per 100 beds.
According to Guthrie, Halifax Health is treating 34 COVID-19 patients on Thursday, more than double the average daily 15 patients experienced by the hospital system from June 1st to this time last week. was.
“Almost all of our current patients have not chosen to be vaccinated,” Guthrie said in an email statement. “There is a clear correlation between patient admission and patients who choose to vaccinate.”
Flagler Hospital in St. Johns County was treating 23 COVID-19 patients as of Thursday, according to hospital spokeswoman Gina Mangus. According to CDC data, the county saw an increase of almost 17%, or 6.27 patients per 100 beds.
“This isn’t an unusually high number compared to the amount we’ve experienced over the past year,” Mangus said in an email statement. “So surgery and procedures continue as usual. Our team continues to focus on carefully monitoring volume and providing patients and staff with the safest possible environment.”
According to Mangus, hospital staff continue to encourage people to be vaccinated and follow the CDC guidelines.
According to Dr. Michael Keating, Chief Medical Officer of Advent Health for Children, at a hospital system morning briefing on Thursday, vaccines are the best defense against the virus and many of its variants.
“It doesn’t give you bulletproof against the COVID virus, but what it does is basically put you Kevlar so that you don’t feel the full effects of the virus,” he said.
Sue said the region and state could still reach herd immunity if enough people were vaccinated.
“With mutants, there is a risk that the vaccine is not very effective … but even Delta has been shown to still have significant protective effects,” he said. “It’s never too late.”
Liz Freeman of Naples Daily News, Daniel Ivanov of Gainesville Sun, and Beth Crabie of the Florida Times Union contributed to this report.
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