Lee Health CEO worries about community fatigue due to COVID-19, spike in cases

Coronavirus is putting more people in the hospital. That’s the message from Lee Health’s president and CEO, Dr. Larry Antonucci, Wednesday. He’s watching the hospital’s capacity and the community closely.

We spoke to Dr. Antonucci directly about what he wants to see the community doing, as Southwest Florida continues to slowly reopen.

Antonucci says there’s a couple things that are going to be a part of the new normal.

“Wearing masks and keeping a safe distance from others must become a normal part of how we live our lives for the foreseeable future,” Antonucci told WINK News during a phone interview.

These are steps Lisa Miller says she’s been doing for the past three months.

“If I come out in public, then, we have the masks on,” said Miller in Gateway.

But, after more than 100 days of coronavirus in the community, Antonucci fears people are now experiencing “coronavirus fatigue.”

Lee Health says, right now, there are 32 more COVID-19 patients in its hospitals than three weeks ago.

Thomas Ryan says it feels like it’s been more than 100 years. He keeps a mask handy just in case.

“I ordered three of them, and they finally came in months later,” said Ryan in Lehigh Acres. “By the time they came in, I said what do I need this for? I’m still alive.”

Antonucci says it’s to protect yourselves and others for the next 100 days and beyond. Antonucci says they’re available beds and ventilators are in good shape.

“There’s no reason for me to not attempt to protect other people,” Miller said.

Reporter:Taylor Petras
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know.