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.
Stay off my mentions with your "there is no emergency" and denial of the situation. Come to any ED in Jax right now and see for yourself. Hospital census numbers creeping up every day without stopping.
— Chad Neilsen (@MajEbola) July 28, 2021