TAMPA BAY, Fla — Local doctors said younger people are being admitted to the hospital for COVID-19.
Dr. Hal Escowitz, Chief Quality Officer and Chief Medical Informatics Officer with Lakeland Regional Health, said the hospital is seeing an increase in COVID-19 patients.
Hospital officials said 86 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19. Three people in the intensive care unit are under the age of 40.
"Now with most likely a combination of the Delta variant maybe some congregation during the 4th of July holiday we’re starting to see increases again," said Dr. Hal Escowitz.
Dr. Escowitz said every patient in ICU is not vaccinated.
"Certainly, the patients in the hospital, 99% of them are unvaccinated patients and most of them are of a younger age demographic. We're seeing a lot of people in their 30-60s, not the elderly patients we were seeing earlier in previous surges," he said.
AdventHealth also reports an increase in COVID hospitalizations as the Delta variant spreads.
“The good news is that we are not seeing infection in patients who are fully vaccinated in the hospital,” said Dr. Vincent Hsu, an epidemiologist and executive director of infection prevention at AdventHealth.
Dr. Hsu said the Delta strain, which mutated from the original COVID-19 virus and is now the dominant variant, is also infecting fully vaccinated people, though they are not typically sick enough to be admitted to the hospital.
Officials with Tampa General Hospital said the majority of people hospitalized are also not vaccinated. People may use the hospital's website to track COVID-19 admissions and see available hospital beds.
"I think one of the misunderstandings about COVID-19 is that if you're young and healthy there won't be any bad impacts of getting the virus," said Dr. Peggy Duggan, Chief Medical Officer at Tampa General Hospital.
For more information visit: https://www.tgh.org/covid.