COVID-19 Safety Reminders for High-Risk IndividualsFrom the Desk of Dr. Antonucci
June 29, 2022
Lee Health is no longer posting regular updates about COVID-19 on our website or social media, but we still track the number of patients in our hospitals who have COVID-19. When we see the number of patients in our hospitals increasing and the level of risk of community transmission changing, we take the opportunity to address it by posting updates on social media and sharing the news through the local media.
Recently, we had more than 90 patients hospitalized with COVID-19, which was the highest number of patients we’ve had in-house since February. Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recorded a 23% increase in new cases during a 14-day period, which placed Lee County in the high-risk category. You may have seen Dr. Stephanie Stovall, our chief clinical officer of quality & safety and hospital-based care, on the TV news or quoted in local papers. She has been encouraging everyone in our community to be aware of the threat of transmission and to take appropriate actions to keep high-risk individuals safe.
I wanted to take this opportunity to reiterate Dr. Stovall’s advice, especially for those in our community who are immunocompromised or at high-risk for severe disease. The CDC has a list of medical conditions (like cancer, chronic kidney or liver disease, lung diseases, diabetes, heart disease and more) that put people at a higher risk for severe illness. You can find this list on the CDC’s website (www.CDC.gov) by searching for ‘COVID-19 medical conditions.’ If this is you, you should wear a well-fitting mask when indoors in public and on public transportation, regardless of your vaccination status, especially when the transmission of the virus is elevated. You can stay abreast of transmission levels in our community by visiting the CDC’s website (www.CDC.gov) and searching for ‘COVID-19 by County.’
It is also not too late to get vaccinated or update your vaccination status. It is important to note that you are considered up to date with your COVID-19 vaccines when you have received all doses in the primary series and all booster doses recommended for you depending on your age, the vaccine you first received and the time since your last dose. If you would like to make an appointment to get vaccinated, you can do so on our website, www.LeeHealth.org.
The rate of transmission and the number of hospitalized patients will continue to fluctuate, and I know there is significant COVID-19 fatigue, but we must help keep and encourage the most vulnerable among us to stay safe.