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‘We’re very concerned about this’: COVID-19 cases surge across Florida and Big Bend

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - COVID-19 cases surge across Florida and in Tallahassee.

Tallahassee Memorial Hospital has reopened its COVID unit and is now limiting visitors to one per patient.

Health officials there say they’re seeing a new troubling trend among patient. They are seeing healthy and younger patients contract the virus.

“This is a significant crisis. We’re very concerned about this,” said Dr. Dean Watson, a physician at TMH.

Dr. Watson is not mincing words as they deal with a spike in cases and hospitalizations.

“Healthy 20 year olds to 40 year olds to 60 year olds that we’re seeing in the hospital right now. These aren’t the folks that we saw in the original surge,” said Watson.

TMH officials say as of Friday, they have 30 COVID positive hospitalizations. Dr. Watson says out of that number 29 of those patients are unvaccinated.

“If fewer people get the vaccinations the more this thing is going to mutate so our lives will not go back to normal until folks actually decide to do what’s right and get vaccinated,” he said.

“If you’re not yet vaccinated, and you’re eligible for it for the love of God get vaccinated,” said Leon County Commission chairman, Rick Minor.

Minor is encouraging everyone to take the virus seriously and your COVID shot.

“People around the world are dying because they don’t have access to the vaccine. In this country we’re blessed to have it so it’s safe, it’s effective so please get vaccinated,” said Minor.

Dr. Watson says getting vaccinated is the most helpful way to combat the spread of COVID and its delta variant.

“It is going to become so aggressive that our ability to combat this thing may require more vaccinations but right now it doesn’t. These vaccines are so good, they’re even covering up 88 to 90% of the delta variant which is what you want.”

Meanwhile Capital Regional Medical Center is also seeing an increase in COVID positive hospitalizations. As of Friday they have 28 patients hospitalized with COVID.

In a statement to WCTV, CRMC writes:

“As COVID-19 hospitalizations dramatically increase across the nation, Capital Regional Medical Center is closely monitoring the local impacts of rising cases here in Leon County and our surrounding counties. Like many hospitals, we have surge plans in place that allow for expanding our capacity to serve an increased number of patients and we continue to plan by accessing the resources, support and best practices across our HCA Healthcare family. Our hospital has the bed capacity, staffing, supplies and equipment we need at this time, and our advanced planning ensures we can continue to meet the needs of the communities we serve as the situation evolves. We continue to practice the same mitigation strategies we have used throughout the pandemic to protect those in our care, including universal masking for all in our facilities and designated care areas for COVID-positive patients. We are well-positioned to continue providing the variety of healthcare services our community needs as we have done throughout the pandemic.

We cannot stress enough the importance of becoming vaccinated. Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine has been proven to be one of the most effective tools we have to stop the spread of the virus. Many hospitals have seen a trend in an increase in hospitalizations with the majority of admitted individuals being unvaccinated. It is imperative that everyone continue to take measures to protect yourself, your family and our community, and follow guidance from public health officials to help stop this trend in its tracks.”

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