Shands Hospital at dusk.
Shands Hospital at dusk. (Mindy C. Miller/ University of Florida)

UF Health Shands Hospital Reports Highest Number Of COVID-19 Cases Since January

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On Monday, Shands Hospital announced that it had seen an uptick in COVID-19 patients within the past two weeks.

Still, the current number of patients is half that of its peak in January. Shands CEO Edward Jimenez described the current situation.

“As of 8 a.m. we have 70 patients that have COVID-19,” Jimenez said.

Some of the cases are more serious than others.

“A little over 10% of our patients are on ventilators,” Jimenez said.

He is hoping that more people get vaccinated to avoid spending time in the hospital. More older people tend to be vaccinated, so he wants to get younger people to also become vaccinated instead of wait.

“I want to say it’s like 80% of people over 65 are vaccinated, if the state numbers are correct,” Jimenez said. “Fifty-eight, I think, is the state-wide average, younger people have to have a lower average for the arithmetic to work out.”

Jimenez states that misinformation has played a role in making people wait for the vaccine, but Shands is continuing its efforts to fight it. He is hoping to change people’s minds who are as he describes, “waiting and seeing” before getting the vaccine.

“In the first wave of vaccination, we were pretty public in the community,” he said. “We held events at the stadium, we went to churches, and we went out into the community. We are just going to have to double down on that again and make people aware of the facts related to the vaccines.”

For people wanting to become vaccinated, Jimenez is urging people to visit Shands’ website to find vaccines near them.

About Michael L. Owens

Michael is a reporter for WUFT News who can be reached by calling 352-392-6397 or emailing news@wuft.org.

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