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Lee Health facility accepting walk-ins for vaccinations

By CJ HADDAD - | May 18, 2021

This week, Lee County residents will be able to walk into Lee Health’s vaccine clinic without a vaccination appointment.

Lee Health officials on Monday announced that in an effort increase the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, Lee Health is accepting walk-in appointments at Gulf Coast Medical Center until the afternoon of Friday, May 21.

“Anyone 12 years-old and older can receive their COVID-19 vaccine at Lee Health,” officials said in a release Monday. “You do not need to be a Lee Health patient; the clinic is open to everyone in the community. A parent or authorized guardian must accompany a minor for vaccination. There is no cost for vaccination.”

Lee Health asks those who plan to arrive for a walk-in appointment this week go to the main entrance of the Gulf Coast Medical Center and check in at the front desk, brining personal identification and insurance card (if possessed).

The vaccine clinic is open Tuesday-Friday, from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. A mask is required to enter any Lee Health facility.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments can still be made online at www.leehealth.org.

New mask guidelines for those fully vaccinated

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday made updates to its guidelines and recommendations for individuals who are fully vaccinated.

The CDC stated that, “Fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules, and regulations, including local business and workplace guidance.”

The CDC defines an individual as “fully vaccinated” two weeks after their second dose in a two-dose vaccine series or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine.

Those who travel within the U.S. do not need to get tested before or after travel, or self-quarantine after travel. Those traveling outside of the U.S. will need to produce a negative test result before boarding an international flight back to the states.

The CDC said fully vaccinated individuals who have been around someone with COVID-19 do not need to self-isolate unless experiencing symptoms.

By the Numbers

As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 2,296,785 total cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Florida, an increase of 2,805 since FDOH’s last update Monday.

Test results reported to the Department of Health on Monday, May 17, resulted in a 4.56% positivity rate among 73,032 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 4.39% (4.97% average the week before).

Of those testing positive, 93,388 Florida residents have been hospitalized at some point during their illness according to the state.

The death toll increased by 97 from Monday’s report, bringing the total number of deaths, both resident and non-resident, to 36,954.

According to the state, hospitalizations in Lee County make up 3% of all positive cases. At the state level, 4% of all positive cases result in hospitalization. The percentage of deaths statewide account for 2% of all cases and, in Lee County, stand at 1% of positive cases.

The total number of persons vaccinated as of Tuesday throughout Florida was 9,671,213 with 347,919 being in Lee County. According to the state, 7,651,576 individuals have their vaccine series completed, 282,610 of those being in Lee County.

In Lee County, 72,432 individuals (+160) 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 987 deaths in Lee County, no increase since Monday’s report.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Lee Health had 84 COVID-19 patients isolated in system inpatient hospitals, including 11 new admissions and 13 discharges since Monday. Over the weekend, Lee Health saw 29 new COVID-19 admissions and 42 discharges.

On Monday, Lee Health had an 8.5% 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 6,195 COVID-19 patients have been discharged from Lee Health facilities since the beginning of the pandemic.

Census as of Tuesday afternoon was at 99% of staffed operational bed capacity, with 5.8% 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 Tuesday, 73% of ventilators and 14% of ICU rooms are available for use across Lee Health facilities.

As of Tuesday, there were 14 COVID-19 patients on ventilators and 21 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