Hospitalization numbers dip, ICU numbers don’t

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Across Florida and Jacksonville, hospitalization numbers are starting to dip slightly.

This development comes after weeks of spikes because of the delta variant.

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Chirag Patel, a physician at UF Health, says it’s been happening all over Jacksonville.

“Overall COVID hospitalizations have had a slight decrease in the numbers we are seeing across the city.”

Hospitalization numbers may be lower but that doesn’t mean Jacksonville’s in the clear. Timothy Groover with Baptist Medical says the patients they do have are very, very sick.

“Although the numbers of COVID positive patients presented to the hospital is lower, the patients are sicker, and they are sick or longer.”

“we are still about 50 to 75% higher with a number of COVID hospitalizations than we were during the prior surge,” Patel says.

Hundreds are still hospitalized in each hospital in the city, many in the ICU.

“Across the city, intensive care unit occupancy is nearly 100%.”

Doctors say those patients are much sicker than in previous surges.

“Those patients that are already admitted to the hospital are staying in the ICU longer. they are remaining on ventilators longer.”

In many cases those hospitalizations are deadly.

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“It’s also unfortunate that we are seeing a notable increase in the number of COVID related deaths across our system compared to the previous surge in the pandemic.”

Doctors say these increased numbers limit the number of beds for others.

“We’re still in the business of taking care of all things, not just COVID. and people are still getting sick.”

Bed capacity is not the only concern. Doctors are facing their own battles.

“it’s not just about hospital capacity, it’s the capacity of the people who are working in these buildings to take care of everybody who needs them,” Patel says.

Doctors want to remind everyone this is the time to think about everyone else, not yourself.

“This isn’t just about you. you could catch it, I feel perfectly fine and unintentionally spread it to people around you.”