SMH Reports Delta Variant Surge

Todays News

Doctors at Sarasota Memorial Hospital say they have seen an exponential increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the area. That’s attributable in large part to the spread of a delta variant on the coronavirus, a mutate version that’s twice as contagious as the virus that shut down the country last year.

But the surge is especially frustrating to medical professionals because of the availability of vaccines that, while not always preventing a virus infection, dramatically reduce the chance of hospitalization.

“We know we have the tools to protect people,” said Dr. Manuel Gordillo, medical director for SMH Infection Prevention and Control. “These infections have been made largely preventable, or at least to prevent you from ending up in a hospital or dying and going to the morgue.”

In Florida, about 19.1 million people have been vaccinated, about 59% of those age 12 and older who can receive the vaccine, according to the Department of Health. Vaccines in recent weeks have declined in how many get administered each week. With just over 224,000 administered the week of July 9 compared to more than 800,000 administered in the first week of May.

Meanwhile, there were 45,603 in the state who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, with a positivity rate of 11.5% (the spread is considered out of control when it exceeds 10).

In Manatee County, there were 204,528 vaccinated individuals 57% of the eligible population, as of last Friday. By comparison, the county has seen 40,602 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. 657 of those cases were in the past week. In Sarasota County, 272,503 have had a shot, or 68% of the eligible population. The county has seen 33,365 cases total, 504 of them in the last week.

Newer cases have often been more severe. Of nearly 100 patients hospitalized at SMH over the past month, officials said only six were not fully vaccinated.

Gordillo fears those who still haven’t had a shot in their arm have no intention of ever doing so.

“Some are them are hesitant still, but some of them are vaccine hostile,” he said. “I don’t know if this is a biological this, if people are born like that, their brain functions that way to be very conspiracy-prone, or the wiring in their neurons is such a way makes them this way. But I can tell you there’s a group of people are extremely refractory to getting vaccinated, no matter what you do. I would say that’s probably about 20% of the population out there. We still have maybe 10% we can work with, and we are not giving up on them. We need to continue to work on that particular group.”

« View The Thursday Jul 22, 2021 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Read More

Manatee County Taking Steps to Lessen Red Tide Impacts

Manatee County Taking Steps to Lessen Red Tide Impacts

Jul 27, 2021

SMH Expands 3D Printing During COVID-19 Pandemic

SMH Expands 3D Printing During COVID-19 Pandemic

Jul 23, 2021

Local Surgeon At SMH Testing Motion-Preserving Alternatives to Spinal Fusion

Local Surgeon At SMH Testing Motion-Preserving Alternatives to Spinal Fusion

Jul 16, 2021

SUP Yoga SRQ Takes Vinyasa to the Water This Summer

SUP Yoga SRQ This Summer

Grace Castilow | Jul 13, 2021