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Hospital Staff Under "Immense Pressure" As They Battle COVID-19 Surge

Florida Safety Net Hospital Alliance CEO Justin Senior. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE / Zoom
Florida Safety Net Hospital Alliance CEO Justin Senior. Photo: Matthew Peddie, WMFE / Zoom

On Wednesday Hospitalizations for COVID-19 passed 15,000. The Florida Hospital Association says that’s nearly 150% of last year’s peak of patients hospitalized with COVID-19. 

Hotspots in Jacksonville, Central and South Florida are crowding hospitals and putting pressure on front-line medical staff. 

Justin Senior, CEO of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida joins Intersection to explain how hospitals are responding to the surge.  

“The number of patients has been climbing dramatically over the course of the last five weeks,” says Senior. 

“I think that hospitals are hopeful that this particular surge is starting to peak and hopefully can start going down in the next week or two. But again, if it does continue to go up, it is going to really stress the hospital capacity in the state.” 

Senior says the wave of new cases “puts an immense amount of pressure on staff.”

“This new variant and the contagiousness of it, I think has caught a lot of people by surprise,” adds Senior. 

“In terms of hospitalization, it has overwhelmingly affected the unvaccinated.” 

“So yeah, I think it's disappointing that this didn't work out, you know, the way that everyone was hoping that we'd reach a certain vaccination threshold, and ...COVID would sort of quietly go into the background.”