Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare’s chief communications officer sounded the alarm on COVID-19 hospitalizations Sunday as the hospital reached 70 patients in its COVID unit – an increase of 11 in just two days since Friday and the highest the hospital has seen since the start of the pandemic in early 2020.
“This is the most we’ve ever had,” Stephanie Derzypolski said, adding that their previous highest number of hospitalizations was 51.
Derzypolski, a vice president at TMH, also said two of the patients are under the age of 12.
The vast majority of the patients hospitalized now, according to Derzypolski, are unvaccinated.
On Friday, TMH said 53 of 59 total patients were unvaccinated. On Sunday, Derzypolski said 65 of the 70 patients are unvaccinated.
She noted that every single one of the patients in the intensive care unit are unvaccinated.
In a Facebook post Sunday morning, Derzypolski first called attention to the rising hospitalizations.
“This is no longer people with co-morbidities in their 70s and 80s but otherwise healthy people in their 20s 30s and 40s,” Derzypolski said in a Facebook post Sunday. “These people come in begging our doctors for the vaccine but it is too late for them.”
Across town at Capital Regional Medical Center, 56 people are hospitalized – an increase of four since Friday. CRMC did not provide a breakdown of the vaccination status of its patients.
Countywide, COVID-19 hospitalizations total 126 – inching closer to the county’s peak of 135 in January, according to Tallahassee Democrat reports.
In her post, Derzypolski went on to “beg” those who have not yet been vaccinated to do so.
“When you see families who can’t go be there with their loved ones, it’s the saddest thing in the world,” Derzypolski said in an interview with the Democrat. “And we’re kind of beating our heads against the wall at this point because you can only do so much. And we’ve talked around and around about how we could perhaps let family members see their loved ones, but we cannot find a good way because it’s an unsafe environment.
“Our hearts break, but there’s nothing we can do except try to encourage people to get vaccinated,” she said.
Masks in school:
Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Nikki Fried expressed her own concerns for the growing number of COVID-19 cases Sunday in a weekend update from her office at the Capitol – calling the numbers “shocking.”
“Yesterday, the state reported 21,683 new COVID-19 cases to the CDC, Florida’s highest single-day count ever,” Fried said.” Not just the highest this month, not just the highest during the current surge, not just the highest of 2021 before vaccinations were readily accessible, it is the highest number of all daily cases in Florida since the pandemic began.”
The 2022 gubernatorial candidate said Florida’s single-day record high accounted for 21% of new cases nationwide, adding that the Sunshine State’s population accounts for just 6.5% of the United States.
“Most devastating, the state also reported 108 deaths yesterday, ” she said. “The highest COVID-related death count since last March 2020.”
Fried went on to say that across the state, hospitalizations are also rapidly on the rise with an increase of over 400 admissions Saturday for a total of 10,593 in hospitals. Fried said that is the most since August of 2020.
“This is pushing our hospital system to capacity,” she said. “Which has dangerous implications beyond COVID-19.”
Fried is providing daily weekday updates on COVID after the Florida Department of Health ceased its own daily updates in early June.
“This surge is and will impact every single one of us,” she said.
Fried added, though, that Florida’s vaccination rates are also on the rise – with a total of 334,064 doses administered last week.
“There’s hope,” Fried said at the end of her video conference. “There’s hope to get through this and get through this together.”
Fried said Floridians need to get vaccinated, wear masks and social distance.
“Please, if you have not been vaccinated, go get the shot,” she said. “It’s very easy.”
Contact Tori Lynn Schneider at [email protected] or on Twitter @photoriphy. Check out her photos on Instagram @phototori_.
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