The downturn of COVID-19’s omicron wave may finally be upon us, AdventHealth Central Florida reported Jan. 25. The hospital system reported its first decrease in the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations since December 2021.
On Jan. 25, the AdventHealth Central Florida hospital system — with hospitals across the Orlando metropolitan area — reported 960 hospitalizations, down from a peak of 1,100 patients during the week of Jan. 17.
Those numbers are consistent with AdventHealth hospitals in Volusia and Flagler counties, where there were 230 people hospitalized Jan. 25, down from 245 the week before.
“We have taken the lessons learned from previous surges and applied them so that we can continue to serve all of the community’s health needs while caring for an increased number of COVID patients,” said Dr. Victor Herrera, chief medical officer of AdventHealth Orlando. “We are pleased to see the number of COVID-19 patients on the decline and we are grateful to our team members for their hard work as well as our community for their continued support.”
The decrease in hospitalizations is not quite consistent across the county, though. Hospitalizations in the Halifax Health hospital system have remained steadily in the mid-to-low 80s since last week. As of Jan. 24, the Volusia County hospital system reported 81 COVID-19 hospitalizations, 19 of whom were in intensive care and 12 of whom were on ventilators.
Of those 81, 63 percent were unvaccinated, per Halifax Health, and none were under the age of 18.
New case numbers have seen a decrease, too. The week of Jan. 14-20 was the first week Florida did not mark an increase over the previous week since November 2021. Volusia County did too, with a new case figure of 5,718, a decrease from the week before. That’s the first week to mark a decrease from the week before since the start of 2022.
While hospitalizations and new cases of the virus show signs of decline, the number of deaths has increased statewide.
During the week of Jan. 14-20, the Florida Department of Health reported 605 new COVID-19-related deaths across the state. That’s an increase over the week before when the state reported 470 new deaths. The week before that, Dec. 31, 2021, to Jan. 6, 2022, that figure was 184 new deaths.
In Volusia County, the total number of COVID-19-related deaths since the start of the pandemic was 1,674 as of Jan. 26, according to the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County. Twenty-five of those deaths have been reported since Jan. 14. The week before, Jan. 7-14, the number of deaths reported was 15.
This data is reported differently than new cases of the virus.
“Keep in mind, this data point does not necessarily reflect the number of deaths that occurred between each date,” Volusia County Health Department Assistant Director Ethan Johnson told The Beacon. “These are the number of deaths that were reported during the time frame.”
There can be a lag between when a death occurs and when it is reported to the Department of Health, Johnson said.
Need a COVID-19 test? Click HERE for the latest information on COVID-19 testing available at the Volusia County Fairgrounds near DeLand. Area pharmacies, including CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens, also continue to offer COVID-19 tests.
For more information about COVID-19 vaccinations or to find an appointment near you, visit www.vaccines.gov.