LEE COUNTY, Fla. — Lee Health says they are experiencing an increase of COVID-19 patients inside their hospitals. So what does this mean for Southwest Florida?
Dr. Stephanie Stovall, the Chief of Quality and patient safety for Lee Health and Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialist, said that on this exact date, June 20, 2022, there were 29 patients in the hospital and now there are 103 COVID patients according to Lee Health. In that number are 9 adults and 1 pediatric patient in the intensive care unit.
"The behavior of people is different than what it was previously, people are less likely to wear their masks, they're more likely to go out into social settings and environments," says Dr. Stovall.
Stovall also shared that the level of transmission in the community is higher now than what it was a few months ago, which isn't too unusual here in Southwest Florida since it's happening in multiple parts of the United States right now.
"I think that for some people it is just the common cold absolutely for some of those unvaccinated it is also just a common cold you can't really predict really who that's going to be and who it's not going to be," says Dr. Stovall.
Lee Health adds that the numbers are not as bad as they were in the past during times when even elective surgeries had to be canceled because of the number of patients rushing to the ER and filling up ICU beds.
So what can we do right now in Southwest Florida to help keep the numbers down?
"The best advice that we can give people is to protect themselves through vaccination, through hand washing, avoidance of crowds, or wearing a mask if you have to go into crowds. If anyone is having trouble breathing trouble eating and drinking feeling hungry for air can't catch your breath all of those are important things for people to seek immediate assistance or medical care," says Dr. Stovall.
For those who are feeling sick or think it's seasonal allergies, Lee Health encourages at-home tests that they say are accurate and easier to find nowadays.
If the symptoms recently started Lee Health recommends taking 2 tests 24 hours apart to ensure there is an accurate positive or negative result.