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In-patient COVID-19 case average up for Lee County

By Staff | Jun 9, 2020

Health officials on June 3 told of a “new normal” in Lee County when it comes to COVID-19 cases.

Lee Health President Dr. Larry Antonucci said the average number of positive coronavirus patients in the system’s care has continued to hold at a higher threshold than in previous weeks. While it was housing an average of roughly 80 positive cases each day, that number has grown to “100 to 110 on average,” he said.

As of June 3, Lee Health had 118 patients in its care. On June 2, it had 117. On June 1, it had 107 positive cases in its care.

“Over the last two weeks we have seen a higher number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19,” Antonucci said. “(The rise in cases) was expected as our region slowly and safely reopens. We still have a flattened curve, but we have more people under the curve than we had before.”

Keep in mind the number Lee Health reports nearly each day is its current number of positive patients in facilities at the time of the report. Patients continue to get discharged on a daily basis, and more keep coming in, keeping that average higher than in recent weeks.

While it is a growth in cases, Antonucci said he is thankful the spike has not been greater.

“We evaluate our COVID-19 situation daily, and the trends show that while we are seeing the rise in cases we expected, reopening beaches, restaurants and other businesses has not led to exponential growth of the virus, or a second wave,” he said. “While this does not guarantee what will happen in the future, these statistics show that physical distancing and masking efforts are working and keeping people safe as they leave their homes and mingle with others in the community.”

In addition, Antonucci said Lee Health has maintained its patient census between 70 percent to 80 percent capacity and “continue to have enough ventilators and intensive care beds to meet the health care needs of the community.”

“It is not yet known how long coronavirus will continue to circulate through our population, but we do know this new normal is likely to stay with us for the foreseeable future,” he said. “I am so proud of the flexibility our community has shown in adapting to this new way of living that is saving lives and maintaining the flattened curve that allows health care systems to continue to provide care for those who need it.”