Fighting COVID-19 on a state level

Posted at 12:56 PM, Nov 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-18 12:56:19-05

Governor Ron Desantis decided to ease up on visitation restrictions at long term care facilities less than a month ago.

Now we're seeing more residents getting sick and winding up at Hospitals.

The good news is that Lee Health is among a group of Florida hospitals with a lot of experience in combating the virus.

The Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida comprises 14 hospital systems, including Lee Health, Tampa General, and Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

This group of critical care centers has treated an estimated 60% of all COVID-19 patients in our state.

There's also plenty of capacity in area hospitals statewide.

About 26% of ICU beds are open.

The Latest numbers from the state show more than 3200 are currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

That's a 31% increase from just two weeks ago.

The hospital alliance's CEO Justin Senior says they're closely monitoring this uptick, but that experience is on their side.

"They are seeing this up-tick, and everybody's watching with a lot of caution, and hopefully this isn't something that really starts to build," Senior says.

"I think we're in a much better position as a state now than we were in the summer and a much better position as a state back in certainly back in the spring."

He adds that there are multiple treatment weapons available to physicians that didn't have approval back in the summer.

He also says hospitals are communicating better.

Plus, there are no more PPE supply chain issues or test kit shortages.

So hospital staff coming in to help beat the virus have the protective gear they need.