JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – For the past month-and-a-half, hospitals in Jacksonville have been taking in fewer COVID-19 patients, but health officials tell News4Jax that those being hospitalized are sicker and staying longer.
As the Labor Day weekend approaches, Dr. Chirag Patel, of UF Health Jacksonville, offers a warning that there could be more problems in the weeks ahead.
“We are faced with holiday weekend travel and gatherings coming up,” Patel said. “It has health care providers across the country in a heightened state of vigilance.”
With the number of COVID cases in adults leveling-off, UF Health and other hospitals are still filling up.
“Hospital COVID cases continue a slowdown, but non-COVID hospitalizations are up and our hospital occupancy (UF Health) has increased as the weeks progress. We are almost at 100% occupancy again,” Patel said.
The main concern is with intensive care units across the city because they have remained consistently full during the most recent surge and people are staying longer than in the past.
“Full recovery is not happening as often as we have seen previously. Delta makes you sicker and your symptoms tend to last longer,” Patel said.
As far as COVID deaths reported in local hospitals, spokespersons aren’t saying how many people are dying as of recent. News4Jax learned about cases involving the seven deaths of children at Wolfson Children’s Hospital when that information was revealed during a town hall meeting.
News4Jax will continue to request the information from Jacksonville-area hospitals.