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Hospitalizations due to pandemic continue to drop in Lee

By Staff | Aug 5, 2020

For Lee County’s primary heath care provider, COVID-19 admissions continued to drop last week.

Lee Health President and CEO Dr. Larry Antonucci on Wednesday shared encouraging news when it comes to the number of new patients the system is admitting on a daily basis. Antonucci also announced staffing for an additional 62 beds to the Lee Health system.

While local numbers continue to not increase dramatically (Lee County reported 260 new cases Thursday, the most since July 23), the state has reported new record-high death tolls in three straight daily updates. There were seven new deaths in Lee County included in Thursday’s report.

Antonucci believes the community is doing what is needed to help mitigate the spread of the virus.

“Southwest Florida has embraced wearing a mask and social distancing, and these safety measures are working,” Antonucci said. “Today (Wednesday), we have over 80 fewer COVID-19 patients in our hospitals than we did a week ago. The positivity rate on tests processed through Lee Health labs is down nearly 10 percent from a week ago. I can’t stress enough that our community’s commitment to masking, social distancing and hand washing is working, and we can’t let up.”

He said now is not the time to become complacent and relaxed with behavior in public.

“As a community, we must continue doing what we are doing,” Antonucci said. “While the current trends are positive, we have been here before. We have seen what happens if we become complacent, and it is very likely that we see another spike in COVID-19 cases if we let our guard down.”

As for the new beds, Antonucci said that, “Coupled with the declining COVID-19 cases we are currently seeing; this puts Lee Health in great position to continue to meet all of the health care needs of our community.”

‘Together, We Can’

Antonucci on Wednesday also announced of the new “Together, We Can” campaign, a joint effort between Lee Health and Lee County “to empower our community to keep up the great work.”

“The coronavirus is going to be with us for the foreseeable future, but together we can limit its spread and save lives,” Antonucci said. “We are excited to join with our colleagues at the county to continue this education campaign, which we hope will get our community back to normal as quickly as possible. As a further reminder, flu season is right around the corner. Staying vigilant on these measures will not only slow the spread of COVID, but also perhaps dampen the effects of the flu. This is particularly important as we plan for the start of the school year and the influx of seasonal residents.”