Future surges are anticipated without higher vaccination rate in community.
from: AdventHealth Central Florida Division Corporate Communications
The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized across AdventHealth’s Central Florida hospitals continued to decline this week to about 1,120 as the hospital transitioned to Yellow Status and began to resume more surgeries.
The COVID patient census is down from a peak of about 1,700 in August during the Delta variant surge, allowing some hospital staff who were redeployed to care for COVID patients to return to their jobs in the operating room or other areas.
“We’ve effectively dropped about 30-40%,” said Dr. Sanjay Pattani, associate chief medical officer of AdventHealth Orlando and executive medical director of the health care system’s Mission Control on today’s AdventHealth Morning Briefing. “We’re on the backend of the peak.”
Dr. Eduardo Oliveira, executive medical director of critical care services for AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, said the Delta variant brought a surge of patients who were younger and more severely ill in far higher numbers than earlier in the pandemic. Most of the patients in the Intensive Care Unit, he said, are unvaccinated.
“Vaccinated patients have less serious illness even if they are hospitalized,” Oliveira said, noting that the vaccines have also proven to be the best way to keep people out of the hospital in the first place.
He said mortality from this surge appears slightly higher, though many patients recover even after being on mechanical ventilation for weeks.
Both physicians noted that future surges are expected because new variants of the virus will continue to develop and spread through the unvaccinated population.
“We should expect surges and spikes,” Pattani said. “In response the organization is putting forth a lot of intentional strategy to address it.”