The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Baptist Health are soaring -- their patient count doubling in just one week.
On August 3, the hospital reported 736 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19. Last week, the hospital recorded 493 patients.
“If we compare that to 2 weeks ago, it’s probably 100% more,” said Dr. Zulma M. Berrios, Chief Medical Officer at Baptist Health.
If you compare these numbers to last year, in the early months of the pandemic, the hospital reported peak of 831 patients in mid-July 2020.
“It’s preventable. Getting the infection is preventable by the vaccination and the mitigation strategies that we know of,” said Dr. Berrios.
Doctors know the Delta variant is spreading rapidly and hospitals need the space to treat patients for non-COVID issues.
“With the Delta variant, one person can transmit it to five, where the variant we had in the past, one person probably passed it to two or three,” said Dr. Berrios.
Penny Ceaser is a hospital unit clerk at Westside Regional Medical Center.
“Our ICU is full, we opened another floor that houses at least 36 patients,” said Ceaser.
Ceaser said they’ve opened an overflow unit for COVID patients and they’re seeing an influx of younger patients who are infected, many not vaccinated.
Ceaser said out of 120 patients who were admitted last week, only just a handful were vaccinated.