ORLANDO, Fla. – AdventHealth returned to “largely normal operations” Thursday as it transitioned to “green” status due to a decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations.
The hospital system has been loosening restrictions over the last couple weeks and allowing more deferred surgical procedures. The hospital was in “black” status during the peak and postponed all non-emergency surgeries.
“After seeing our COVID inpatient volumes continue to steadily decline, we are pleased to move to green status, which allows us to resume our non-emergent services that have been on hold for several weeks,” said Dr. Neil Finkler, chief clinical officer of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division.
Officials with AdventHealth said there were 890 hospitalized COVID patients across the Central Florida division, a significant decrease from its peak of about 1,700 patients on Aug. 23.
“I think this really represents a movement in the right direction, but we are by no means out of this and the fact that we moved to green and have moved to green, nobody should think this pandemic is over yet,” Finkler said.
Finkler credits the downgrade to green status due to the hospital’s better understanding of COVID-19 almost 20 months into the pandemic. He adds the current number of coronavirus patients they’re treating is the same during the surge in January when the hospital had more restrictions in place.
“During that surge, we were in the 800s to around 900 patients. We were actually in red status and again we are right at that peak number that we were back in January and we’re in green status,” Finkler said. “That speaks to what we’ve learned with regards how to care for COVID, how to move staff, and space around to make sure we can care for our community.”
Despite the downgrade in levels at AdventHealth, doctors warned during last week’s update that we could see another surge. Dr. Sanjay Pattani, associate chief medical officer of AdventHealth Orlando and executive medical director of the healthcare system’s Mission Control, said “we should expect continuous surges.”
“We should expect surges and spikes. If you look at the trends from the past three or four surges, they usually have about a window of about four to six months,” Pattani said.
With current hospitalizations, the hospital system said in a news release that less than 10% of hospitalized patients with COVID are fully vaccinated.