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New COVID-19 cases declining across Southwest Florida

By CJ HADDAD - | Nov 2, 2021

The number of newly reported COVID-19 infections throughout Southwest Florida are dwindling, as Lee Health reported low numbers that resemble the first weeks of the pandemic.

The president and CEO of Lee Health, Dr. Larry Antonucci, released a statement Tuesday on the current state of COVID-19 in the system’s hospitals throughout the county.

“Lee Health is currently caring for 26 COVID-19 patients, which is the fewest number of COVID patients we’ve had in our hospitals since the earliest days of the pandemic,” Antonucci stated. “Unfortunately, as the number of cases has dropped, so has demand for the vaccine. We are glad to be past the Delta surge, but need to keep monitoring for other variants that may occur. In the meantime, continue to wear masks, social distance when appropriate and get vaccinated. It is our best defense against COVID -19.”

By the numbers

As of Tuesday morning, Lee Health had 26 COVID-19 patients isolated in system inpatient hospitals, including four new COVID-19 admission and three COVID-19 discharges since Monday. Lee Health also reported 48 new COVID-19 admissions and 61 COVID-19 discharges over the weekend. Of Tuesday’s total, two are under the age of 18 being treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

Since the start of the pandemic, Lee Health has reported 1,209 patient deaths inside of its hospitals to COVID-19 related complications, including one on Monday.

Census as of Tuesday morning was at 92% 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 Tuesday, 75% of ventilators and 14% of ICU rooms are available for use across Lee Health facilities.

As of Tuesday, there was one COVID-19 patient on a ventilator and five 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.

While the number of COVID- 19 cases is declining, 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 detail 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