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COVID positive cases increasing, AdventHealth shares updates and advice

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AdventHealth Central Florida shared on Wednesday, December 29, that the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 increased Tuesday to about 240 in AdventHealth’s hospitals across seven Central Florida counties.

The health care system is prepared for the increase, which so far remains significantly lower than during the Delta surge, which peaked in August with about 1,700 hospitalized patients.

AdventHealth Centra Care’s statewide daily positivity rate reached 39% earlier this week, mirroring an increase in community transmission across the country. The previous statewide high for Centra Care was about 28% in July during the Delta surge.

Vaccines, boosters

Physicians say the community’s best defense against Omicron, which is more contagious than previous strains even among those who are vaccinated, is for those who haven’t received COVID-19 booster shots, to get them.

“Those who get boosted will have dramatic reduction in the need for hospitalization,” said Dr. Neil Finkler, chief clinical officer for AdventHealth Central Florida, during brief comments on Tuesday. “Get yourself boosted, get your loved ones boosted. It’s the No. 1 thing you can do.”

Covid testing and treatment

  • Where to go for testing:
    • The Florida Department of Health publishes a list of COVID testing sites located throughout the state.
    • Emergency departments should be reserved for medical emergencies, such as severe symptoms, difficulty breathing or worsening symptoms, including a fever, that are not responding to over-the-counter medications.
  • Who should get tested:
    • Those who have been exposed to COVID but do not have symptoms do not need to be tested.
    • Those who develop symptoms should be tested and, if positive, isolate for at least five days to protect others who could be more vulnerable to the virus.
  • Monoclonal antibody therapy treatment:
    • The Florida Department of Health publishes a list of monoclonal treatment sites throughout the state.
    • AdventHealth has a limited supply of monoclonal antibodies, and a physician referral is required.

 New Year’s Eve gatherings

Finkler recommends people keep New Year’s Eve gatherings small and preferably outside to help reduce the spread of the virus. He noted that wearing a mask, washing hands and keeping socially distant will help cut down transmission. 

 

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