‘Our hospital right now is at capacity’ Lee Health CEO calls for more vaccinations, unity

Published: August 30, 2021 10:14 AM EDT
Updated: August 30, 2021 5:22 PM EDT

On Sunday, Lee Health admitted 92 COVID-19 positive patients to its hospitals, the most in a single day throughout the pandemic.

Lee Health CEO Larry Antonucci said, “That 92 is just chilling to me,” during a news conference Monday at Golisano Children’s Hospital.

They say 639 COVID-19 patients are isolated in their hospitals (inpatient).

On Monday morning there was a total of 639 COVID patients, 15 of which are children being treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital. 49 patients were discharged Sunday.

Lee Health has 96 COVID-19 patients on ventilators and 119 in the intensive care unit.

The current census is at 100% of staffed operational bed capacity.

Antonucci added that 909 patients have died from COVID-19 in their hospitals since the pandemic began. This number is only Lee Health patients and does not include nursing homes, for example.

Lee County’s vaccination rate, doctor Antonucci said, is 3x worse than the national average, with 96% of Lee Health’s COVID-19 ICU patients unvaccinated.

Dr. Timothy Dougherty, said, “There have been over 5 billion doses given. 39 million daily. What are you waiting for … I’ve heard people say they’re not only afraid of the short-term but also the long-term complications of the vaccine.”

“There’s so much misinformation out there on the internet. I’m asking everyone to please trust your physician.”Antonucci said. “We’ve had years of training. We’re scientists. We keep up with the journals. We know the research. We understand the vaccine. We understand how it works and we believe it’s safe and effective.

Pregnant women are of particular concern to doctors, according to Dr. Stephanie Stovall. She said their neonatal ICU unit has never been more full at Golisano Children’s Hospitals. Women with COVID-19 are more likely to deliver early and more likely to have delivery complications.

Dr. Stovall also urged all pregnant women and lactating women above the age of 12 to get vaccinated for protection against COVID-19, adding, “We beg you.”

If you are hesitant or have questions, she urges you to call your doctor to get those questions answered.

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Watch a replay of the news conference in the player below or click here.