Manatee hospitals have more COVID patients than pandemic peak

07/20/21—Hospitals in Manatee County are treating more patients for COVID-19 now than they were just over a year ago.

07/20/21—Hospitals in Manatee County are treating more patients for COVID-19 now than they were just over a year ago.

[email protected]

Hospitals in Manatee County are treating more patients for COVID-19 now than they were just over a year ago when they were at capacity.

Across the state and country, hospitalizations for COVID have also spiked, a surge driven by the delta variant of the coronavirus.

Confirmed hospitalizations for COVID-19 — a better indicator of the current state of the pandemic — totaled 11,863 in Florida on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Across the state, 2,406 patients are in an ICU being treated for COVID.

More than 25% of patients hospitalized in Florida on Tuesday were being treated for COVID-19, according to the agency. More than a third of all patients in an ICU are being treated for the disease.

Florida posted a record 21,683 new COVID cases in a single day this past Friday, the Florida Department of Health reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the next day. In Manatee County, 1,552 new cases were reported for the week ending last Thursday, according to the state health department’s weekly COVID-19 report.

On Monday, the county’s three general hospitals had 131 patients hospitalized for COVID-19, according to data collected by Manatee County Department of Public Safety. Among those patients, 28 patients were being treated in an ICU.

The three hospitals have not responded to requests for comment from the Bradenton Herald about the current hospital census and capacity levels.

Manatee Memorial Hospital and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center announced Monday evening, however, that they were halting visitation, including at the ER, because of the current COVID-19 surge.

“We will continue to closely monitor COVID-19 trends, and we hope to again relax this temporary restriction as soon as we can safely allow visitation,” said the statements from the Manatee Healthcare System, which runs both hospitals.

file lwr covid hospitals.JPG
Hospitals in Manatee County are treating more patients for COVID-19 now than they were just over a year ago. Bradenton Herald file photo Bradenton

As during previous COVID-19 surges when hospitalization was restricted, there are a few exceptions when patients may have a visitor:

  • Extraordinary circumstances, such as end-of-life care.
  • Labor & Delivery Unit and Mother-Baby Unit
  • Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • Patients in surgical, procedural and therapy departments

In addition to encouraging people to video-chat instead of personal visits with friends or loved ones, Manatee Memorial Hospital and Lakewood Ranch Medical Center also offer an online portal, the ePatient Note Service, where messages can be sent to patients online at: https://www.lakewoodranchmedicalcenter.com/content/epatient-notes.

covid hospitals .JPG
4/12/2018–Hospitals in Manatee County are treating more patients for COVID-19 now than they were just over a year ago. Bradenton Herald file photo

Blake Medical Center modified its visitation policy on Monday, only allowing visitors between noon and 6 p.m. and only one adult visitor per patient, a spokeswomen told the Bradenton Herald on Tuesday. A spike in patients with COVID-19 and a surge of cases in the region led to the change, according to the hospital.

“At this time, most of the increases involve unvaccinated individuals. We have sufficient ICU capacity, supplies and equipment,” said a statement released to the Herald. “We continue to require masks be worn by everyone entering our hospital. We strongly encourage anyone who is able to get vaccinated to do so.”

Related stories from Bradenton Herald

Jessica De Leon has been covering crime, courts and law enforcement for the Bradenton Herald since 2013. She has won numerous awards for her coverage including the Florida Press Club’s Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting in 2016 for her coverage into the death of 11-year-old Janiya Thomas.