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Unvaccinated Patients Push Mid-Florida AdventHealth Hospitals To 'Red' Level

Photo: Ashton Mullins
Photo: Ashton Mullins

This status is for the Central Florida Division: Polk, Orange, Osceola, Lake, Seminole, Volusia and Flagler counties. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings says the region is in a crisis mode.

AdventHealth Central Florida hospitals were moved "red" status on Monday, filled with unvaccinated COVID-19 patients, Medical Director Dr. Victor Herrera said.
This highest level of caution means that elective outpatient surgeries may be deferred. The Central Florida Division covers Polk, Orange, Osceola, Lake, Seminole, Volusia and Flagler counties.

There are some 862 COVID-19 patients at AdventHealth Central Florida hospitals, near the peak of 900 patients in January.

Herrera said the Intensive Care Unit is full with mostly with patients who have not been vaccinated for the coronavirus.

“A common theme that we hear from patients that are in the hospital, get very sick and need to go to the ICU, and one that I had heard from a patient which is right before he was about to be intubated, ‘I wish I had received the vaccine,’ ” Herrera said.A disturbing trend is the number of pregnant patients intubated in ICU beds, he said.

“This is a reminder to our community and pregnant women to consider the COVID-19 vaccine and to have that conversation with their doctors," he said. "We don’t know yet if this is related to the delta variant, but clearly there is a higher number of pregnant women very sick with COVID-19 right now compared to before.”

Herrera said it is safe for mother and infant to receive any of the three COVID vaccines.

This 'red' status means medical leadership must give pre-approval for any non-time-sensitive procedures. Outpatient surgery sites can continue as scheduled. Pediatric surgeries can continue without limitation.

Orange County is averaging about 1,000 new coronavirus cases a day according to the latest update from county officials Monday. The county reported 1,052 new cases Friday and 960 new cases Saturday.

Mayor Jerry Demings says the county is officially in crisis mode and recommends residents get vaccinated and wear masks.

“These numbers are extraordinary," Demings said. "We are seeing nearly 1,000 new cases in Orange County daily. Those are the numbers we saw at the highest peak last year. It took us approximately one month last year before we saw 1,000 cases cumulatively here within Orange County. Now we’re seeing them daily.”

Demings said he is consulting the county’s legal team to determine what actions could be taken to curb the spread.

“This next 24 to 48 hours or so are going to be critical to any decisions that I would make in that regard,” Demings said.

Copyright 2021 WMFE. To see more, visit WMFE.

Danielle Prieur
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