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1,800 COVID-19 vaccine doses claimed in minutes Wednesday

By CJ HADDAD - | Jan 13, 2021

Lee Health has begun immunizing health care workers and patients in its skilled nursing facilities. LEE HEALTH

The 1,800 extra doses of COVID-19 vaccine available this week to those 65-plus or frontline health-care workers were claimed via toll-free number in minutes. 

According to county officials, the state’s vendor, Tidal Basin, reportedly received roughly 35,000 calls per second once the reservation line opened at noon on Monday. Tidal Basin had about 1,000 staff answering calls. 

According to the county, some callers timed out while in the process of responding to the automated prompts minutes into the reservation window. The vendor said that as this occurred, the system was quickly closed to manage appointment capacity.

Officials said while some callers reported being immediately disconnected mid-stream while in the automated greeting system, other callers received a recording saying appointments were full.

The vendor’s Help Line is available at 888-499-0851. The Help Line is not able to schedule appointments.

By end of day Friday, FDOH and Lee County will have administered 9,000 vaccinations to frontline healthcare workers and 65-plus seniors this week alone according to officials.

FDOH-Lee is waiting for information about the next vaccine shipment, and announcements regarding the reopening of the reservation line will be forthcoming.

When vaccinations resume, the county and state will continue to use the site located east of Interstate 75 off of Daniels Parkway at the old airport terminal parking lot. Please note that on Monday, Jan.18, no vaccinations are planned as the state and county observe Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.


By the numbers

As of Wednesday afternoon, there are 1,517,472 total cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Florida, an increase of 13,990 since FDOH’s last update Tuesday.

Test results reported to the Department of Health on Tuesday, Jan. 12, resulted in a 10.17% positivity rate among 157,923 tests.

The state saw its highest daily percentage of positive patients on Dec. 29 when 22.75% percent of tests reported were positive among 62,303 tests.

Positivity rates in new cases have topped 10% for 14 consecutive days. Percent positivity rates in new cases have been over 5% since Oct. 29. 

Of those testing positive, 66,634 Florida residents have been hospitalized at some point during their illness according to the state.

The death toll increased by 174 from Tuesday’s report, bringing the total number of deaths, both resident and non-resident, to 23,759.

According to the state, hospitalizations in Lee County, and statewide in Florida, make up 4% of all positive cases. Deaths statewide and in Lee County stand at 2% of positive cases.

On Dec. 27, 974 people were given the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine throughout the state according to FDOH. The total number vaccinated as of Wednesday throughout Florida was 707,478 with 25,416 being in Lee County. According to the state, 61,151 individuals have received their first and second doses, 164 of those being in Lee County. 

In Lee County, 46,551 individuals (+447) have tested positive as of Wednesday’s update. 

Positive COVID-19 cases in the county have ranged from infants to a 103-year-old. Lee County saw its first two cases on March 7, when a man and a woman, each 77, tested positive. They had traveled to the Dominican Republic.

There have been 720 deaths in Lee County, an increase of five since Tuesday’s report.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Lee Health had 194 COVID-19 patients isolated in system inpatient hospitals, including 29 new admissions and 34 discharges since Tuesday. 

A total of 4,382 patients who had tested positive have been discharged since the beginning of the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Lee Health had a 21.9% positivity rate on COVID-19 tests processed through Lee Health Labs. This represents Lee Health results only, not Lee County as a whole. Hospital positivity rates tend to be higher as the tests are performed on patients seeking treatment for a health issue, not the general public that includes asymptomatic individuals.

Census as of Wednesday afternoon was at 96% of staffed operational bed capacity, with 13.8% of those being COVID-19 patients. Staffed operational capacity reflects the number of beds for which the hospital has adequate staffing, not the total number of beds within Lee Health hospitals. Overall bed capacity fluctuates hour to hour as the system discharges patients throughout the day who are ready to go home.

As of Wednesday, 72% of ventilators and 9% of ICU rooms are available for use across Lee Health facilities.

As of Wednesday, there were 12 COVID-19 patients on ventilators and 27 in the intensive care unit.

COVID-19 is a highly contagious viral disease. For most individuals, symptoms are mild. For a minority, the disease becomes a type of viral pneumonia with severe complications. Especially at risk are those who are older, those with underlying health conditions and the immune-compromised.

Officials strongly urge all members of the public who are at risk to remain at home so as to limit exposure. All others are urged to observe social distancing and to wear a mask for all public interactions.

For more detail on Florida resident cases, visit the live DOH Dashboard.

To find the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19, visit the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. For information and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control, visit the CDC COVID-19 website. For more information about current travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State, visit the travel advisory website.

For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-866-779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours per day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.


— Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj