BayCare reaches 'grim' milestone in COVID-19 hospitalizations; cases 10x higher since start of July

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Posted at 8:30 AM, Aug 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 08:30:58-04

TAMPA, Fla.  — BayCare Health System on Monday announced reaching a "grim" milestone with COVID-19 hospitalizations. The health system said cases are 10 times higher than they were at the beginning of July.

“This is a difficult time for our team members and those affected by COVID-19,” said Glenn Waters, chief operating officer for BayCare. “We are doing everything we can to meet the needs of our community during this crisis, that’s why we continue to make daily operational changes to shift resources where they are needed most.”

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According to a press release, there are more than 1,100 hospitalized COVID-19 patients across BayCare's 14 acute care hospitals throughout the Tampa Bay area. The release said the majority of those patients are not vaccinated.

In comparison, according to BayCare, cases peaked in July 2020 at about 700 COVID-19 patients before any vaccines were available.

"COVID-19 patients in the hospital today are mostly between the ages of 19 and 64, which is very different than previous waves that impacted more elderly individuals," the release said.

Due to the increase, BayCare is pausing all elective surgeries and procedures in its hospitals in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk and Pasco counties. The hospital system says the pause will help to reserve resources for the urgent and emergent needs of severely ill patients.

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