FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFriday, July 30, 2021 5:46 PM
COVID-19 Numbers Climb as Hospitals Work To Meet Influx of Patients
BREVARD COUNTY, FL. – The three major hospital systems in Brevard County are working in tandem to meet a significant insurgence in COVID-19 cases that have nearly doubled for the third week in a row.
As predicted by Florida Department of Health-Brevard (DOH-Brevard) epidemiologist Barry Inman, COVID cases rose sharply for the third straight week in Brevard County, jumping from 2,166 between July 16-22, to 3,516 cases between July 23-July 29. The positivity rate also increased from 20.3 percent to 23.9 percent during those same time periods. One positive note from the latest report from Florida Department of Health is that the number of people being vaccinated in Brevard County also increased from 3,470 the previous week to 6,825 people this past week.
Health First, Parrish Medical Center and Steward Medical Group have all had to implement changes in their operations to accommodate a drastic increase and demand for beds from a surging number of COVID-19 patients. Some hospitals are at or near capacity and are converting available space into COVID-19 rooms. Some have cancelled most elective surgeries or procedures to prepare for a continued influx of COVID-19 cases.
Representatives from all three hospital systems and DOH-Brevard took part this week in a video press conference to discuss their concerns of the spike in COVID-19 cases. That video conference can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zJ_LWNTghA
“We’re sort of in that disaster planning mode,” said Dr. Jeffrey Stalnaker with Health First. “Looking at some of the models, it would appear that we’re going to be in this as least well into August, so we’re putting contingencies in place to be able to manage that.”
Most of those being hospitalized (97-99 percent) with COVID-19 symptoms in Brevard County are unvaccinated, officials said.
Earlier this week, the CDC listed the state of Florida as being at “High Risk” for community transmission of COVID-19.
Brevard County needs more people to get vaccinated, Inman said. “We have just over 50 percent of our population vaccinated.”
Inman said the Delta variant of Covid is significantly more infectious than any other variant health agencies have seen in the past. When the coronavirus first began to impact Brevard County, the reproductive rate was that a person infected with Covid would infect two to three other people. The infectious rate now has moved up to five to eight people. “It’s fairly close to the reproductive ratio of the measles,” which Inman said has a reproductive rate of 10 to 18 people. “Measles is the most infectious organism we have on this planet.”
DOH-Brevard offers Moderna, Pfizer, and Janssen COVID-19 vaccinations, based on availability, at 2555 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, Viera. The Pfizer vaccine is also available, based on availability, at the DOH-Brevard clinics in Melbourne and Titusville. Pfizer is suitable for ages 12+; Moderna and Janssen are suitable for ages 18+. No appointments required. Ample supplies of vaccine also are available at area pharmacies, urgent cares centers and from your private physician. Residents who are ages 12 and older are recommended to get vaccinated.
Other Vaccine Opportunities Include:
Saturday, July 31, 2021
New Shiloh Christian Center
3900 Sarno Rd, Melbourne, FL 32934
Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021
Merritt Island Pancake House
950 N. Courtenay Pkwy Suite #18, Merritt Island, FL 32953
9AM-1PM **Free meal with purchase of a drink with every vaccine**
Wednesday, Aug. 4, 2021
8225 N. Wickham Road, Melbourne, FL 32940
9AM-1PM **Free admission with vaccine. August – Kids free with paid admission.**
Friday, August 6, 2021
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church
300 Malabar Rd, Palm Bay, FL 32907
COVID-19 tests also are available at pharmacies, urgent care centers and through your private physician. Check with your doctor or healthcare provider for more information.