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Lee Health taking appointments for boosters

System also resuming elective procedures that require an overnight hospital stay

By CJ HADDAD - | Sep 30, 2021

Lee Health is now booking appointments for COVID-19 booster shots.

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issuing recommendations for booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, Lee Health announced on Tuesday that eligible patients looking to receive a supplementary shot could make an appointment online. Lee Health officials said they are not accepting walk-in booster shot vaccine appointments at this time.

Officials also said there has not yet been guidance issued on a booster dose for the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Lee Health’s free vaccination clinic at Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers (13681 Doctors Way) is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Individuals looking to become vaccinated can visit www.LeeHealth.org or call 239-343-0999 to schedule an appointment. A parent or guardian must accompany a minor.

For more information on who is eligible for the booster dose please visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/booster-shot.html.

Elective surgeries return

Lee Health announced on Monday that elective surgeries requiring an overnight hospital stay have resumed. These elective surgeries have been on pause since Aug. 4 for the safety of the community and to help preserve resources as Lee Health treated hundreds of patients for COVID-19.

“While the pandemic is still threatening our community, COVID-19 hospitalizations have reached a level where we can safely restart elective procedures,” said Lee Health President and CEO Dr. Larry Antonucci in a statement. “I thank all of our patients for their understanding as their non-life-threatening surgeries were temporarily delayed. The best thing our community can do to help prevent further COVID-19 surges is to get vaccinated today.”

By the numbers

As of Thursday morning, Lee Health had 137 COVID-19 patients isolated in system inpatient hospitals, including 14 new COVID-19 admissions and 32 COVID-19 discharges on Wednesday. Of that total, six are under the age of 18 being treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Since the start of the pandemic, Lee Health has reported 1,169 patient deaths inside of their hospitals to COVID-19 related complications, including eight on Wednesday.

Census as of Thursday morning was at 85% of staffed operational bed capacity. 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 Thursday, 69% of ventilators and 17% of ICU rooms are available for use across Lee Health facilities.

As of Thursday, there were 26 COVID-19 patients on ventilators and 38 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.

With the number of COVID- 19 cases again climbing due, in part, to the latest mutation of the virus, the CDC is recommending that even vaccinated individuals “maximize protection from the Delta variant and possibly spreading it to others” by wearing a mask indoors in public in areas “of substantial or high transmission.”

The CDC also recommends masks for those at high risk of serious illness from COVID, those with compromised immune systems, those who are older, and those with underlying medical conditions.

Vaccination is highly urged.

For more details on Florida resident cases, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov.

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

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