South Florida hospitals are swelling with COVID-19 patients. Memorial Healthcare System is treating very close to the peak number of COVID patients from last summer.
672 people with COVID-19 were admitted at Memorial hospitals Thursday, just two patients shy of the 674 peak one year ago.
“We are in a tough moment in this pandemic. This Delta variant is a game-changer in how fast it spreads and how many people it affects. Cases are up seven times what they were a month ago at this time,” said Dr. Cameron Webb, who is with the White House COVID-19 Task Force.
The White House task force says Florida had more COVID-19 cases this past week than 30 states with the lowest case rates combined. The good news is, the COVID-19 vaccine is still effective against the Delta variant, and experts say getting vaccinated is the best line of defense to end the pandemic.
“For the first time since mid-June, we are averaging about 500,000 people getting newly vaccinated each and every day. In the last week, 3.3 million got their first shot,” Webb said.
An overwhelming majority of COVID-19 patients in the hospital are unvaccinated. Every patient that goes in, puts stress on the entire system and that impedes the quality of care, according to infectious disease specialist Dr. Aileen Marty.
“Because you’re utilizing so much for each patient, it’s harder to give high-quality care to any patient for any reason. So you have an indirect bad result for some patients simply because of the numbers,” said Dr. Marty.
Gov. Ron DeSantis launched a new rapid response unit Thursday to offer monoclonal antibody treatment to people sick with COVID-19. The effort is to try and help people recover from the virus so they don’t end up in the hospital.
”This is the most effective treatment that we have yet encountered for people who are actually infected with COVID-19,” DeSantis said.