homepage logo

Governor commends Lee Health for efforts

By Staff | May 11, 2020

On Monday afternoon, Lee Health President and CEO Dr. Larry Antonucci sat 6 feet apart from Gov. Ron DeSantis as he spoke at a press conference at Gulf Coast Medical Center in Fort Myers.

DeSantis commended the work of Antonucci and all health care workers throughout the system for their work in combating COVID-19 up to this point.

“I want to thank (Antonucci) for working so hard over the last couple of months,” DeSantis said. “We were all bracing in March and I know (Lee Health) were preparing very early and I think we’ve been very successful in how they’ve managed this here in Southwest Florida.”

Antonucci touted the importance of the resumption of elective procedures throughout the system, and relayed to the public that it is safe to receive health care in Lee County.

Lee Health is now operating at around 40 to 50 percent level, allowing them to perform 165 elective surgeries per day. Before the pandemic, they were doing over 300 per day.

“We are ready now to restore doing elective cases in a safe, judicious manner,” Antonucci said. “We want to assure the community that it is safe to come in an have these procedures, it is safe to come in to our emergency room if you’re having symptoms that require emergency care.”

– By the Numbers

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, there are 41,923 cases of the new coronavirus confirmed in Florida, an increase of 941 since FDOH’s last update Monday morning.

More than 23,900 test results were reported to the Department of Health on Monday, May 11.

The death toll increased by 44 from 11 a.m. Monday to 11 a.m. Tuesday, reported among Lee, Charlotte, Collier, Dade, Desoto, Escambia, Hillsborough, Lee, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, St. Lucie, Sumter and Volusia counties.

A total of 580,316 individuals have been tested: 537,681 have tested negative, 712 tests were inconclusive and 1,064 tests are pending results. Of those testing positive, 7,418 have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. There have been 1,779 deaths.

While Florida’s testing has increased over the past week, the percent of those testing positive for COVID-19 overall is 7 percent. On May 11, 3 percent of new cases tested positive.

In Lee County, 1,317 individuals have tested positive as of 11 a.m. Tuesday; 535 in Fort Myers, 242 in Cape Coral, 273 in Lehigh Acres, 99 in Bonita Springs, 53 in Estero, 39 in North Fort Myers, 11 in Sanibel, 11 on Fort Myers Beach, six in Alva, one on Captiva and one in Boca Grande. One case was not identified by community.

Positive COVID-19 cases in the county have ranged from infants to a 100-year-old man. Lee County saw its first two cases on March 7, when a man and a woman, each 77, tested positive. They had traveled to the Dominican Republic.

There have been 69 deaths in Lee County, all but two between the ages 61 to 96. The exceptions were a 39-year-old man who died March 25 and a 52-year-old male who died April 30.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Lee Health had 80 COVID-19 patients isolated in system hospitals, a decrease of one from their last update Monday afternoon. A total of 330 patients who had tested positive have been discharged, including 12 on Monday.

The system has submitted a total of 13,181 specimens for testing, with only two results currently pending.

Lee Health mobile collection sites on Monday collected 109 specimens and had 1,153 virtual visits between Lee TeleHealth and MyChartVideo.

Lee Health has 246 employees quarantined at home, down 10 from Monday. Twenty-nine employees currently are positive for COVID-19 after being exposed at work, down four from Monday.

Current bed capacity is at 69 percent, with 7.5 percent of those being COVID-19 patients.

As of Monday, 70 percent of ventilators are available for use across Lee Health facilities.

COVID-19 is a highly contagious viral disease. For most individuals, symptoms are mild. For a minority, the disease becomes a type of viral pneumonia with severe complications. Especially at risk are those who are older, those with underlying health conditions and the immune-compromised.

Officials strongly urges all members of the public who can, remain at home so as to limit exposure and so limit the number of cases so as to not overwhelm the health care system with at-risk and severe cases.

For more detail on Florida resident cases, visit the live DOH Dashboard.

To find the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19, visit the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. For information and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control, visit the CDC COVID-19 website. For more information about current travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State, visit the travel advisory website.

For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-866-779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours per day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov.

Where to get county test results at CenturyLink

If you were tested at CenturyLink Sports Complex for COVID-19 and it has been at least five days and you have not received a call for results you can contact Dr. Eric Pantaleon, Medical Associates Network, 954-239-8167 or 954-239-8806.

The county asks that you do not call the Genetworx Lab, which cannot give out test results.

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj