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Palm Beach County facing continuous challenges in its fight against COVID-19

'This data changes on a daily basis,' Mayor Dave Kerner says
COVID-19 coronavirus hospital nurse
Posted at 9:46 PM, Sep 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-02 23:11:52-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — There are growing concerns in the fight against COVID-19.

"This data changes on a daily basis," Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner said.

It's a challenge that Kerner faces each day. Data from more than one dozen hospitals show the ever-changing battle against COVID-19.

"It gives a very good picture of what's going on, and by very good I mean an accurate picture," he said.

Since just Wednesday, 87 new patients were admitted to hospitals because of the virus. Right now, the positivity rate is fluctuating countywide. Palm Beach County Health Director Dr. Alina Alonso said with the busy Labor Day weekend nearly here, there are added concerns as more people get together.

RELATED: Palm Beach County hospital bed shortage 'very concerning,' leaders say

"We're going to see little peaks, some little swoops down, and then come the holidays it'll go back up again. So we're in this for the long haul," she said.

Right now, the number of people needing hospital care is exceeding the number of beds in the system.

"They are putting them in places they normally would not. Surgical centers or areas, other appropriate areas that can handle the ventilators, and all the other equipment that would go along with taking care of COVID patients," County Administrator Verdenia Baker said.

Still, the goal is to get more people information and access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

For Griselea Perez, she said it took some convincing to get the vaccine. But she showed up at Clematis By Night to take advantage of their final night at the pop-up location.

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"Then I said I have to get it because it's getting worse, they're not getting better. I was scared really," she said.

Right now, there are six testing sites throughout the county, with a new location, Gaines Park, set to open Friday.

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When it comes to the testing sites, they're open seven days a week and the testing is free.