COVID-19 hospitalizations climbing but still well below summer surge

Florida is closing in on 10,000 people hospitalized with COVID-19 but still far from the peak of the delta variant surge with about 17,000.

On Monday, AdventHealth reported 910 positive patients across its hospitals, Orlando Health had 566, and Health First had 144.

"The majority of those are being treated for COVID, but there are a number who are in the hospital for another reason and happened to test positive," said Mary Mayhew, the president and CEO of the Florida Hospital Association.

Mayhew says most are there to be treated for COVID-19, but others have argued the opposite.

Sen. Marco Rubio recently tweeted that there is no "Omicron hospital ‘surge,’" saying most positive patients are there for other reasons and happened to test positive.

The Florida Hospital Association says you need to be careful counting the patients, but the data is still crucial.

"You’ve got to be careful about using the total hospitalization number as an indicator of the severity of this variant, but you can’t lose sight of the value of knowing the prevalence rate of people testing positive who are in the hospital, because of what it means for infection control practices in the hospital," Mayhew said.

Mayhew says it’s also important to factor in that many hospitals are dealing with a workforce shortage made worse with more staff calling in sick with COVID-19.

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