NW Florida COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations spike

Coronavirus


PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — New data shows COVID-19 is on the rise in Florida yet again. 

A COVID-19 report from the Florida Department of Health reports more than 70,000 new cases were reported in Florida between July 16 and July 22. 

This makes up one-fifth of the new cases reported in the U.S. 

The COVID-19 numbers in Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa Counties seem to be on the same trend. 

There were 757 new cases reported in Escambia County during the same time period, 441 cases reported in Santa Rosa County, and 461 reported in Okaloosa County, according to the Florida Department of Health. 

A Centers for Disease Control report says this means cases in Santa Rosa County more than doubled compared to the previous week, Escambia County cases nearly doubled and Okaloosa County cases increased by 64%. 

Source: CDC

More alarming, according to health officials, is the number of people now hospitalized for COVID-19. 

After weeks of reporting under 50 hospitalizations, Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson said Monday there are now 107 COVID-19 patients hospitalized in Escambia County hospitals. 

There were only 58 last Monday. 

“We have seen significant impact in cases and positivity and other things that we saw before,” Robinson said at his Monday morning press conference. “That’s why we continue to push the vaccines whenever we can.”

Robinson spoke to officials at Ascension Sacred Heart, Baptist and West Florida hospitals Monday afternoon. There’s a consensus, he said, that at least 90% of those hospitalized are not vaccinated. 

The hospitals said the increase in COVID-19 patients is concerning. 

“While we are currently able to safely provide care, this increase can directly impact the ability of all of our local health systems to provide care to other patients who do not have COVID-19, but require hospitalization for another reason,” said a spokesman for Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital. 

Robinson said it’s important residents still take COVID-19 seriously. 

“COVID is not going away,” he said. “Our whole goal is that COVID becomes the cold, rather than something like pneumonia or something that’s going to kill you.” 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been on record saying there will be no more shutdowns in Florida due to the pandemic. 

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