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Volusia County hospitals are prepared to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, officials said, and are confident about hospital capacity in light of a recent rise in cases.

Vaccine

AdventHealth anticipates delivery of an initial supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday, officials said.

“We expect to receive an initial supply of roughly 20,000 inoculations,” a press release reads. “We will begin inoculating frontline staff Wednesday.”

In a Dec. 10 press conference, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state will receive 179,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine within a week.

The first supply will be sent to hospitals, CVS and Walgreens, and the Florida Department of Health.

179,400 — total number of doses in Florida’s first shipment
97,500 — doses will be sent to hospitals to administer vaccines to high-contact and high-exposure health care personnel
60,450 — doses of vaccine will be sent to CVS and Walgreens for use in long-term care facilities. Both companies are under contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to administer vaccines inside those facilities.
21,450 — doses to the Florida Department of Health. Strike teams from the DOH, the Florida Division of Emergency Management, and the Florida National Guard will go into long-term care facilities and administer the vaccine in areas with a high concentration of facilities.
1,125,931 — statewide total of positive cases
20,113 — deaths statewide

ICU bed capacity

AdventHealth provides the largest number of Intensive Care Unit beds in the county, with 113 adult ICU beds out of a countywide total of 197. The remainder are at Halifax Health facilities.

Eighty-eight of those AdventHealth beds are currently occupied. Overall, 154 beds out of 197 are currently in use countywide, or 78 percent, meaning that there are only 43 ICU beds currently available.

This is no cause for concern, AdventHealth spokesman Jeff Grainger said.

“82% capacity is lower than normal, even for pre-COVID times. It is not/should not be cause for alarm,” Grainger said, referring to numbers calculated on Dec. 9. “While we have seen an increase in hospitalizations in Central Florida over the last few weeks, we still have less than half the number of COVID patients compared to what we saw over the summer. Even with those high numbers over the summer, at no point did we reach capacity.”

Further, the data is merely a snapshot, and does not reflect the flexibility of the health care system, Grainger said.

“Our hospitals are designed in such a way that spaces are flexible and expandable. We have sufficient supplies of ventilators, monitors and other specialized equipment in order to quickly convert spaces in the hospital to both standard and ICU level rooms,” he said. “We did a significant amount of planning in March and April to identify areas that could be converted if needed.”

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