UF Health leader says virus ’emergency’ getting worse

The urgent messages continue from Jax's only safety net hospital.

The news from Jacksonville continues to be grim, with COVID-19 spreading and hospitals buckling.

Not for the first time this week, one of the highest-ranking officials at Northeast Florida’s only safety net hospital sounded the alarm.

“Stay off my mentions with your ‘there is no emergency’ and denial of the situation. Come to any (emergency department) in Jax right now and see for yourself. Hospital census numbers creeping up every day without stopping,” tweeted Chad Neilsen.

Neilsen, UF Health Jax’s director of infection prevention, has gone very public in recent days in the wake of the untimely accidental death of former CEO Dr. Leon Haley. In his last public acts, Haley warned about what the virus was doing to the hospital’s capacity to handle patient load and walked the halls vaccinating employees on his last day.

On Monday, Nielsen said the patient surge, which was at crisis levels last week, only worsened over the weekend.

“We’re up to 174 covid patients admitted this AM. ~20% increase from Friday. City says we’d help if we could but lack manpower and no public health emergency declared. So, Jax hospitals are bursting at the seams with Covid pts, short staffed and State says: you’re on your own,” Neilsen tweeted Monday.

Other hospitals are experiencing crisis level loads.

Baptist Health reported 430 COVID-19 patients in its system, with 87 in the ICU. Of the 13 at Wolfson’s Children’s Hospital, five are in the ICU. A total of 61 patients were admitted Tuesday, with four of those being children.

A lack of vaccination continues to be the driver.

“97% of our current COVID patients over age 12 were NOT vaccinated,” Baptist tweeted Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Florida Department of Health’s latest stats speak to the regional impact of the pandemic. In Baker, Clay, Duval and Nassau counties, over 1 in 4 COVID-19 tests last week were positive.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • father lowell laurence

    July 28, 2021 at 11:41 am

    playwright Dr. Larry Myers who volunteered at the Surfside Miami condo collapse site wrote “Towers Fall” responding poetically to his experiences..
    he also worked with director Ed Sparan signing up the homeless for Covid shots.
    .Myers will have readings or some sort of presentation of his new play about vaccination
    “Ambidexterity” at the Wilton Manors Epiphany

  • Johny Reb

    July 28, 2021 at 5:28 pm

    If you go in with a nose bleed, they say you have Covid. dont drink the cool aid

    • Frankie M.

      July 28, 2021 at 6:43 pm

      I recommend all the unmasked mouthbreathers visit their local ERs to perform their own personal investigation so they can uncover the troof. Hopefully it’ll be a one way trip.

      • NCB

        July 28, 2021 at 6:56 pm

        I thought th3 same. Seeing is believing

  • NCB

    July 28, 2021 at 6:55 pm

    As someone trained at Walter Reed Army Medical Center as an Allergy/ Immunology Tech, I’ve known since this started that we are in fo4 a long road. The public expects vaccines now but doesn’t seem to understand is that a Covid vaccine is likely to become an annual immunization like the flu vaccine. As concerning as economic well-being is – I felt the nation and especially Florida’s Governor has alway bBeen been a day late and a dollar short. He wanted to make sure he got Bike Week & Spring Break dollars before he acted at all. Living in rural Clay County we’ve been able to stay healthy by not running around town. It is my personal opinion that many rural areas where cases have been low are going to explode this Fall all over the country.
    I wear my mask to protect others and hopefully myself.
    For you naysayers of Covid, masks and vaccinations, I truly hope you don’t become a Covid statistic.

  • Johny Reb

    July 28, 2021 at 9:35 pm

    If you are scared and want to wear a mask, by all means, do so. But, do not force people to wear masks or take the shot. They will have to arrest me before I will take the shot

    • Frankie M.

      July 28, 2021 at 10:34 pm

      Too bad there’s no magic vaccine for stupid. Not that you would take it anyway because ya know…freedom. But by all means keep telling yourself whatever you need to tell yourself.

      • Johny Reb

        July 29, 2021 at 9:23 am

        Keep drinking that cool aid Frankie. That worked out well with the experiment on blacks at Tuskegee didn’t it??

Comments are closed.


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