Sarasota hospitals see influx of COVID-19 patients, including children

Doctors Hospital of Sarasota was the first in Florida to diagnose and treat a COVID-19 patient and more than a year later, the staff continues to care for patients.

"Staff are working hard," shared chief nursing officer Dr. Todd Haner. "They’re tired but they’re in there for the fight and they don’t give up."

The COVID-19 numbers have ebbed and flowed over the past 18 months.

"We are much better prepared for what we are seeing now," said Dr. Haner.

Dr. Haner says the COVID-19 numbers have increased three-fold over the past three weeks.

"We aren’t at record numbers by any means, but we have seen an increase in the time when we got down to zero patients. We are seeing more and more on a daily basis and it continues to increase," he said.

Ages now vary and Dr. Haner said one thing stands out.

"What we are seeing is a lot of people who are getting admitted have not been vaccinated," he said.

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Sarasota Memorial Hospital has 140 COVID-19 patients with 32 in the ICU. The numbers are the highest they've had since last year.

The delta variant is impacting all ages. Since July, 17 children have tested positive at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Two children under the age of 12 have been hospitalized.

"So If a child is old enough to be eligible for the vaccination, I highly recommend they get it to help mitigate the severity of disease," commented Dr. Jessie Hoang a pediatric hospitalist.

READ Chance of hospitalization, death less than 0.01% for fully vaccinated, data shows

Right now, both hospitals are witnessing firsthand that vaccines make a difference.

"It is the unvaccinated population that is being affected and age is not a discrimination at this point," said Dr. Haner. 

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