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Ormond Beach Observer Monday, Jul. 26, 2021 2 months ago

AdventHealth's COVID-19 hospitalizations near pandemic peak; nearly all are unvaccinated

The hospital system will defer overnight elective surgeries, require masks, limit visitors.
by: Guest Writer

from: AdventHealth Corporate Communications

AdventHealth's COVID-19 hospitalizations are nearing the peak of the pandemic, and new restrictions are being placed on surgeries.

New elective surgeries that require inpatient stays will be deferred, and each campus’ chief medical officer will review all cases that require a stay in the Intensive Care Unit. Surgeries that are already scheduled, pediatric surgeries and procedures at outpatient surgery centers will not be affected.

AdventHealth has 862 COVID-19 inpatients across the Central Florida Division, near the peak of about 900 the health system saw in January.

“Our numbers continue to rise,” said Dr. Neil Finkler, chief clinical officer for AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division. “The rate of the increase is somewhat concerning. We are now seeing about the fastest rate of increase that we have seen throughout the course of the pandemic.”

Finkler said the cases are being driven largely by the highly contagious Delta variant, which has highlighted the importance of the vaccine in the fight against the pandemic. While vaccinated people can contract the virus, the vaccine prevents them from becoming very sick. About 95% of COVID patients who are hospitalized are unvaccinated. 

AdventHealth will also return to a more limited visitor policy. Non-COVID patients will be allowed two visitors on campus at a time. COVID-positive patients are limited to one visit with one visitor per day. Pediatric COVID-positive patients will be allowed two adult caregivers to visit at a time.

In addition, all team members and visitors will be required to wear masks at the hospital, even in non-clinical areas.

“Our biggest problem with this virus is asymptomatic spread,” said Dr. Tim Hendrix, senior medical director for AdventHealth’s Centra Care. “It’s safest for everybody to wear masks at this time. We know they are highly effective.”

The rate of positive COVID tests at Centra Care has increased dramatically in recent weeks, often an indicator of future hospitalizations.

“The reality is we are seeing a lot of sick people and it came on us fairly quickly,” Hendrix said.

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