VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – Hospital systems in Volusia County say they are now hitting records for the entire coronavirus pandemic. As of Wednesday, the positivity rate in the county was 16.6%.
Halifax Health said COVID-19 hospitalizations have more than doubled in the past week and doctors are anticipating the numbers to stay high through early August.
“We’re not getting a lot of answers of, ‘Oh I just traveled across the country.’ It’s a lot of gatherings here, so summer vacations, socializing, July Fourth, a combination of all of these things,” said Margaret Crossman, the chief medical officer for Halifax Health.
She said the highly contagious delta variant could also be behind the spike.
Crossman said the hospital broke its previous record of 52 patients from Jan. 18 this past Monday with 57 patients.
She said they are not concerned right now about running out of room. As far as personal protective equipment, she said at Halifax they are stocked up on supplies, but she said staffing is still a challenge.
“My biggest concern is that we will see more preventable cases, including severe disease and death,” she said.
As of Wednesday, Halifax said it had 72 hospitalized COVID-19 patients with 23 in critical care and 11 on ventilators. Of those 72, eight were fully vaccinated and one of those was on a ventilator.
AdventHealth leaders reported they had seen over a 60% increase in hospitalizations in the past five days in its hospitals across Central Florida.
Both health care systems emphasized that 90% to 95% of the patients are unvaccinated.
“Right now, the younger age groups are the age groups we really want to focus on,” said Ethan Johnson with the Volusia County Health Department.
Johnson said right now, 53% of all residents are vaccinated. He said the department is asking local businesses to help get more on board.
“We’re continuing to work with private businesses, churches, municipalities, community-based organizations to provide COVID vaccines where people are,” he said.