FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. – Members of a local church led a morning prayer Friday outside Baptist Medical Center in Nassau County as the hospital staff grapples with an uptick in COVID-19 cases that has left frontline workers feeling “overwhelmed.”
Journey Church organized the prayer with members holding signs to encourage the staff, and each other.
They prayed over those battling COVID-19, their families and the hospital staff.
Just last week, state coronavirus numbers showed more than 10,000 positive cases have been reported in Nassau County.
Baptist Health is at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 with 569 positive cases in its facilities as of Thursday, according to the health system’s CEO, Mike Mayo. According to Mayo, the average age of those patients is under 51 and 98% of them have not been vaccinated. He called those trends “disturbing.”
“We have seen a monumental increase over the last four to six weeks in our patient population,” Mayo said.
Since June 21, Mayo said, 119 people patients have died in Baptist’s five hospitals. One of those was a 16-year-old.
A key concern of Baptist Health, Mayo said, is having enough hospital beds to provide patient care and ensuring there are enough staff members to help. Baptist Health plans to require mandatory vaccines for employees by Nov. 15.
Journey Church said it wanted to surround those working and suffering with COVID at the Nassau hospital with prayer.
“We just wanted to come out and show our support for our frontline workers and the people that are in there fighting for their lives, and just support for the families at home that are praying, and just waiting for their family members to hopefully come home,” said Catie Harless with Journey Church.
In the church’s call for prayer over the hospital, it urged everyone to “lay aside our differences and come together to show our love and support.”
“If there has ever been a time to come together for one purpose, this is it,” the church said.