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No downtrend in hospitalizations due to COVID-19, JFK chief medical officer says

Hospital as full as any time during pandemic, according to Dr. Raymond Golish
Dr. Raymond Golish
Posted at 10:32 AM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 18:27:33-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County officials and hospital administrators continue to push for residents to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as cases increase in Florida.


Mayor Dave Kerner was joined by local leaders at the county's emergency operations center for an afternoon news conference.

The mayor said the lowest vaccination rates among county residents are located in the Glades community along with an area of central Palm Beach County from Hypoluxo to Northlake Boulevard.

Dr. Alina Alonso said the July Fourth holiday was a "super spreader" event in Palm Beach County and across the country with cases continuing to climb.

"The difference between the increases in cases after the Fourth of July last year and what we're seeing now is that the cases starting going down July 17 last year," Alonso said. "This year our cases continue to climb."

She said the daily positivity rate in the county is 16.44 percent as of Sunday.

Kerner said last week that they are monitoring hospital capacity and the growing number of COVID-19 admissions.

Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner speaks Aug. 9, 2021 on COVID-19
Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner and other local officials hold a news conference on Aug. 9, 2021, regarding a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Dr. Raymond Golish, the chief medical officer at JFK Medical Center, said his hospital is "extremely full."

"We are as full ... as we have been at any time during the COVID pandemic and getting fuller," Golish said.

He said there are no signs that there is a downtrend in hospitalizations due to the coronavirus.

Officials said Monday that the majority of COVID-19 patients in Palm Beach County hospitals have not been vaccinated.

On a high note, Kerner said 67 percent of the county's population has been vaccinated, which he said leads the state.

Cases of COVID-19 have surged in Florida this summer, prompting officials to continue to push for vaccinations and minimize the spread of the delta variant.

The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County opened an additional testing and vaccine site Friday in Palm Springs.