COVID-19 cases rise: 'We are experiencing another surge,' hospital official says

Current patients are younger, on average, than those from previous surges, AdventHealth Palm Coast Chief Operating Officer Wally De Aquino said.

Stock photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels
Stock photo by Gustavo Fring from Pexels
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COVID-19 cases are rising in Flagler County and around the state, forcing some facilities that had eased restrictions to reenact them.

"We are experiencing another surge," AdventHealth Palm Coast Chief Operating Officer Wally De Aquino said on Flagler Broadcasting's "Free For All Friday" radio program on July 16.

De Aquino said the hospital doesn't have the ability to check for COVID-19 variants to determine if its patients have the more-transmissible Delta strain. 

The average age of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is younger now than it has been in previous surges, he said: It's currently in the 40s, while the average in January had been in he 60s. 

About two months ago, De Aquino said, AdventHealth Palm Coast had started planning for a post-pandemic future. Now, he said, it's rolling back plans to allow for increased visitation. That, he said, "is not going to happen anytime soon."

Florida Department of Health Communications Manager Gretchen Smith said the that the health department had recorded 240 COVID-19 cases in Flagler County that week, up from 88 the week before.

FDOH-Flagler Medical Director Dr. Stephen Bickel said that almost 100% of the people being hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

Smith noted that people who choose not to get vaccinated increase the risk for people who can't get the vaccine for health reasons.

"Not being vaccinated is really eroding any progress we’ve made as a community to put this pandemic behind us," she said. 

Bickel said he believed the Delta variant has been getting people's attention. "We just have to keep getting the word out. This is a marathon."


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