Hospitalizations on the rise in Orange County as coronavirus case increase

Orange County officials are keeping a close eye on hospital bed capacities.  As coronavirus numbers are skyrocketing, they say hospitalizations are increasing as well.

“For me, I wasn’t worried, but I guess I should have been,” said Chris Martin, who recently tested positive for COVID-19.

The former UCF football offensive lineman who also played in the pros says he never thought he’d get the virus.

“I thought I was invincible, and that’s the truth,” Martin told FOX 35 News.

He’s 30 years old. The median age for people with coronavirus in Orange County is 29. That’s been a good thing for hospitals since younger people typically have less severe symptoms. However, as the numbers continue to rise, hospital stays are too.

“Instead of seeing people in their 70s and 80s, they’re seeing people in the 40s and 50s, and that how the hospitalizations are getting younger,” said Dr. Raul Pino, of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.  

Pino said 168 people are currently hospitalized in the county for COVID-19 and 35 are in the ICU. He said the county still has 430 beds available.

“Although we have an increase in the number of cases that is significant, there is no way to hide that," Pino said. "It has not affected the health system in a way that it cannot perform."

Officials warn young people who are able to fight off the virus can still pass it to the more vulnerable.

“It’s not a joke,” Martin said. “I thought it was and I acted like it was and it came back and bit me in the rear end for it.”

Martin only lost his sense of smell and taste but it was a wake-up call.  

“A lot of people are like, ‘I don’t want to wear a mask, this and that.’ You need to wear a mask. It’s easily spread,” he said.