ORLANDO, Florida. – Officials at Central Florida’s largest hospital system said there were around 1,000 hospital patients with COVID-19 on Thursday and teams are currently working in black status.
The black status means hospital officials will postpone elective surgeries at hospitals in the Central Florida Division. Health officials said outpatient surgery sites would only perform urgent and urgent procedures.
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Urgent pediatric procedures can be performed with the approval of the Chief Medical Officer.
AdventHealth officials said this was the most COVID-19-related hospitalizations the Central Florida system has seen in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Central Florida Division consists of the following counties:
Hospital officials will share an update on Friday at 1 p.m.
“What is extraordinary is the speed at which we are currently seeing new cases and unfortunately at the moment the slope is quite steep and we have not seen the end of it, it always happens”, executive director of the infection prevention and hospital epidemiologist Dr. said Vincent Hsu.
In response to whether there are signs of decelerating the number of cases, Hsu said there are none at the moment and they continue to see a “very significant increase”. He said that among the number of hospitalized patients, around 93 to 95% are unvaccinated patients.
“We have to recognize that the Delta variant behaves in a way that… was different from the other variants and so that’s a big issue we’re going to have to deal with,” Hsu said.
In response to the outbreak, AdventHealth updated its visitor policy to allow one visitor per non-COVID patient and patients positive with the virus will only be allowed one visitor by appointment.
“We are seeing a slight increase, we are seeing people coming for more tests, we are seeing a lot more positive tests,” said Dr. Michael Cacciatore, chief medical officer at AdventHealth.
Cacciatore and Hsu both discussed the number of unvaccinated pregnant women in intensive care. Hsu reiterated the risk of contracting COVID-19 and the effects of the virus are far greater than the side effects, the “small risks” of a vaccine. Cacciatore said the risk / benefit ratio is used with respect to the vaccine in the same way it is used with any medicine on a pregnant woman.
“Almost all of the drugs we have have not been tested during pregnancy. Well, that makes sense because it’s a little ethical to test pregnant women and drugs, ”Cacciatore said. “So we always use the risk / benefit ratio with the risk of the drug and what the benefit is.”
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Hsu reiterated despite the current situation with more and more cases that “we will get better.”
“I want to be optimistic that we’re going to see a pot of gold there at the end, but for now we’ll just have to keep moving forward and keep working hard,” he said.
Doctors are encouraging people to wear masks and follow the CDC’s recently updated guidelines for wearing masks indoors, regardless of their immunization status. Cacciatore said students and teachers should also dress up for the new school year.
“Masking is a very reasonable approach to reducing transmission in our school system,” Cacciatore said.
News 6 contacted Orlando Health for their hospitalization figures and a spokesperson said Thursday the hospital system had 454 COVID-19 positive patients. Orlando Health said the increase in hospitalizations is “mainly attributed to the large number of people who have not been vaccinated.”
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