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Scheduled COVID vaccines delayed due to weather

By CJ HADDAD - | Feb 16, 2021

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

County officials on Tuesday reported a delay in COVID-19 vaccines for those with appointments scheduled for Wednesday.

According to the Department of Health – Lee County, winter weather impacting the central and eastern regions of the country has caused shipping delays for the vaccines.

Officials said those with appointments to receive their first inoculation on Wednesday, Feb. 17, have now been rescheduled for Thursday, Feb. 25, in the same time slots as the original appointment.

Officials said appointments for county residents to receive their second dose of the vaccine are still on as scheduled.

Those who are unable to make their new appointment date and need to cancel should email Lee-PIO@flhealth.gov.

By the Numbers

As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 1,837,285 total cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Florida, an increase of 6,297 since FDOH’s last update Monday.

Test results reported to the Department of Health on Monday, Feb. 15, resulted in a 6.61% positivity rate among 120,992 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.

The average positivity rate in new cases over the last week is 6.5%. Percent positivity rates in new cases have been over 5% since Oct. 29.

Of those testing positive, 76,525 Florida residents have been hospitalized at some point during their illness according to the state.

The death toll increased by 225 from Monday’s report, bringing the total number of deaths, both resident and non-resident, to 29,659.

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 of persons vaccinated as of Tuesday throughout Florida was 2,387,350 with 95,644 being in Lee County. According to the state, 1,103,298 individuals have their vaccine series completed, 35,735 of those being in Lee County.

In Lee County, 55,830 individuals (+178) have tested positive as of Tuesday’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 861 deaths in Lee County, an increase of six since Monday’s report.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Lee Health had 92 COVID-19 patients isolated in system inpatient hospitals, including 12 new admissions and 13 discharges since Monday. Over the weekend, Lee Health saw 30 new COVID-19 admissions and 32 discharges.

On Monday, Lee Health had a 16.4% 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.

A total of 5,061 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from Lee Health facilities since the beginning of the pandemic.

Census as of Tuesday afternoon was at 90% of staffed operational bed capacity, with 7% 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 Tuesday, 74% of ventilators and 37% of ICU rooms are available for use across Lee Health facilities.

As of Tuesday, there were 11 COVID-19 patients on ventilators and 15 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