Why is Collier County’s projected peak later than others?

Medical experts are saying COVID-19 cases in Collier County could peak later than the rest of Florida by as much as two weeks.

A Naples doctor said that has to do with the rate of infection spread in the county. Travel and population numbers also play a part.

So, NCH Healthcare System is preparing for the worst by getting more space and supplies ready.

“All hospitals need to plan to increase capacity by 20 percent and ICU space by 30 percent,” said Paul Hiltz, CEO and president of NCH.

But NCH is already noticing positive signs within in the hospitals.

“We remain happy to report that we have discharged more COVID patients home to recover than are currently in our facilities seeking care,” Hiltz said.

NCH has discharged 36 COVID-19 patients.

Lee Health has a high release rate as well.

“We currently have 51 COVID-19 patients isolated in our hospitals. Forty-two patients who had tested positive have been discharged,” said Dr. Larry Antonucci, CEO and president of Lee Health.

He said Tuesday that testing is getting easier for them.

“Yesterday, we began our in-house testing for COVID-19. This will ease the frustration of long waits for results, and will help give us a clearer picture of how COVID-19 is moving through our community. Test results will now be ready in hours instead of days.”

With that good news, doctors still want to remind everyone to stay home. The virus still spreads easily, and any positive progress can be undone.

Reporter:Taylor Smith
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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