Coronavirus hospitalizations are not as severe as first reported, Gov. DeSantis says

Number of patients on ventilators minimal compared to first signs of coronavirus in Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. – Gov. Ron DeSantis says though the number of reported coronavirus-related hospitalizations are on the rise, the cases aren’t as severe compared to when the virus was first detected in Florida.

“A case today is not the same as a case on March 30,” he said at Orlando Regional Medical Center Tuesday.

Florida has seen 103,000 thousand cases of coronavirus, with the state department of health reporting 3,200 new cases Tuesday and 206 new hospitalizations. Statewide, the positivity rate sits at 14.1%.

Doctors from Orlando Health accompanied the governor, saying in the last seven days they’ve seen the percent positive jump into the double-digits as well between 10% to 12% citing the rate is “very similar” to what they’re seeing in community numbers.

The governor said there’s a major difference in the new coronavirus patients, saying their much younger as the median age of those infected is 35 years old.

In Central Florida, Orange and Seminole counties are reporting the average age of people testing positive is 32 years old.

“They give it to their friend, their friend gives it to their mom and dad and grandmother we are just sort of new,” Todd Husty, Seminole County’s medical director said.

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“(This is) because a case on March 30th was almost always somebody who was symptomatic; someone who is 50 plus or 65 plus so that’s a patient where the change of clinical consequences is much higher,” the governor said.

He said with the younger cases the state is seeing, clinical consequences aren’t as bad.

“In March and April what percentage of the COVID hospitalized patients required ventilation then and what percentages are requiring it now? Our first peak let’s call it was in April,” Gov. DeSantis said. “We had about 54 patients or so - almost 50% were requiring mechanical ventilation - as of today we have 108 patients in the system, three are on ventilators - so a significant drop which is of course welcomed by all.”

Husty said they will continue to follow the new cases closely.

“Every change takes a couple of weeks to see, so can we really make a decision that what we are seeing this time around? It’s not as bad? I don’t think you can make that determination yet‚ I think it’s a little early to tell that,” Husty said.

Husty said with coronavirus cases infecting younger patients, he’s worried young adults could spread COVID-19 to older people in the high-risk category.

“One way or another this thing is not out of here yet. It is not gone and it will cause some people to get extremely sick and ill and be hospitalized,” Husty said.

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