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Florida Hospital Workers Under "Immense Pressure" As They Battle COVID Surge

Virus Outbreak Life at an Epicenter
Stacey Plaisance
/
AP
The rapidly escalating surge in COVID-19 infections is once again overwhelming hospitals across the U.S., driven by the highly infectious delta variant.

Justin Senior, CEO of the Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, explains how hospitals are responding in an interview with WMFE's Intersection

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 around the state are crowding hospitals and putting pressure on front-line medical staff. 

just senior ceo safety net hospitals.png
Justin Senior, CEO of Safety Net Hospital Alliance of Florida, says the wave of new cases “puts an immense amount of pressure on 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.” 

Copyright 2021 WMFE. To see more, visit WMFE.