FORT MYERS, Fla. — Today, Lee Health President & CEO Dr. Larry Antonucci shared a coronavirus update with the Southwest Florida community.
Antonucci last addresssed the pandemic about a month ago when the FDA had just approved the single dose vaccine and hoped to open access to the shots for all Americans by May.
"... in February, we had 115 COVID-19 patients in our hospitals, and as of last week, that number was down to 64. We had made it through the post-holiday surge and were hopeful that we were trending in the right direction," Antonnicci said. "However, today we are caring for 86 patients. This serves as a stark reminder that, despite the progress we are making toward defeating the coronavirus, we are still very much in the thick of the pandemic."
Antonucci also reminded everyone of the importance of wearing masks, washing your hands and keeping a distance in public spaces.
"If you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day tonight, or you’re visiting our region for Spring Break, I again ask you to please do so safely," he said.
Antonucci recognized the Lee County Department of Health for, "...establishing and running one of the most effective vaccination sites in the country."
"We would not be able to safely reach herd immunity without widespread adoption, and it is encouraging that the vast majority of our community wishes to be vaccinated. If you have any reservations about getting vaccinated, I assure you the science has proven these vaccines are safe and effective, and I encourage you to receive one as soon as you are able," Antonucci said. "I am also appreciative of the patience of our community as doses of the vaccine remain in limited supply. We are receiving weekly shipments of vaccine, and we are doing everything we can to get Southwest Florida vaccinated as quickly as possible."
LEE HEALTH COVID-19 STATS:
· 86 patients isolated in hospitals (inpatient).
· 5,377 patients discharged since the start of the pandemic.
· 19.8% positivity rate on tests processed in Lee Health Labs on 3/16.
· 8 patients on ventilators, 10 in the ICU.