The healthcare system operating the largest hospital in central Florida is moving to limit visitations and push back elective procedures after dealing with what appears to be its biggest Covid patient surge throughout the pandemic, driven by the rapidly spreading Delta variant that’s made Florida a national hot spot.
Neil Finkler, the chief clinical officer of central Florida’s AdventHealth, said at a briefing Thursday that there are about 720 patients hospitalized, with that number quickly approaching the January peak of around 900.
That’s a substantial increase from the 430 hospitalized one week ago, according to the Orlando Sentinel.
Florida is leading the way nationally in new Covid cases, according to the White House, which reported Thursday that the state is accounting for about one in five of all new Covid cases in the United States.
A New York Times tracker shows Florida is now averaging more than 8,000 new cases a day, which is the most since early February—a time when most Americans were not eligible for vaccinations.
94%. That’s the percentage of those hospitalized at AdventHealth who are not vaccinated for Covid-19, the Orlando Sentinel reported Wednesday.
What To Watch For
Many places across the U.S. are now issuing new Covid guidelines to combat the Delta variant’s spread, but Florida residents shouldn’t expect any new restrictions coming down from Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who’s actively working to oppose restrictions. DeSantis vowed at a news conference on Thursday that no public schools in Florida would have mask mandates this fall, while the state has also sued the CDC in an attempt to lift Covid rules on cruises.
Florida being a national Covid hot spot is nothing new for the state. It led the nation in cases during a surge last summer, before dealing with another spike during the fall and winter. But since the first surge back in the spring of 2020, DeSantis has largely moved to lift restrictions and loosen Covid guidelines in Florida. DeSantis faced widespread criticism for the moves, but Florida is actually in the bottom half of the nation—26th among states—in most Covid deaths per capita, according to the New York Times. In terms of vaccinations, the state has done far better than most of its southern counterparts, and DeSantis has said vaccines are “saving lives.” Around 56% of the state’s population has received at least one shot, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Several other states, like Missouri, are also dealing with major Covid spikes. The surge in hospitalizations there has resulted in some Kansas City-area hospitals having to turn away patients because there is not enough bed space.
AdventHealth limits visitors, enacts other restrictions amid fastest increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations of pandemic (Orlando Sentinel)
‘A tipping point’: Kansas City hospitals are turning away patients due to COVID surge (The Kansas City Star)
New Orleans The Latest City Tightening Covid Guidelines—See Full List (Forbes)
Florida Shatters National Record With Over 15,000 New Coronavirus Cases (Forbes)
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