Hospitalizations in Escambia County from COVID-19 are trending downward, but officials are urging the public to continue practicing social distancing, washing their hands and wearing masks.
Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson highlighted the downward trend during his weekly press conference Monday.
The number of patients admitted to Escambia County hospitals for COVID-19 was at 171 as of Monday, down from a peak of 246 on July 20 when hospitals began implementing surge plans to deal with the high numbers of patients.
“We are trending downward, but we’re not out of this yet,” Robinson said. “But the good news is we’re trending downward, so everybody just continue to do what you’re doing. We are making a difference.”
Monday’s numbers: Escambia and Santa Rosa counties report 66 more COVID-19 cases Monday, no new deaths
The three area hospitals, Ascension Sacred Heart, Baptist and West Florida hospitals, have been reporting their daily number of COVID-19 patients to the city and Escambia County since June 18, when the number of COVID-19 patients was at 17.
The number of cases increased dramatically through the month of July, reaching a peak of 246. The daily count of COVID-19 patients remained above 200 for 21 straight days.
The numbers started to come down over the last week. After a spike to 207 on Aug. 11, the numbers have fallen to 171.
Escambia County hospitals had 30% of their total beds available as of Monday, nearly double the amount of beds available during the peak of July, according to data from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.
Kelsi Gulig, a spokeswoman for Ascension Sacred Heart, said the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has fallen by 30% at the hospital since its peak July 20.
Dr. Paul Glisson, vice president and chief medical officer at Baptist Hospital, also said the numbers there were trending down, but noted the hospitals are still under strain.
All of Baptist Hospital’s adult intensive care unit beds were occupied as of Monday, according to AHCA data. Countywide, there were 16 adult ICU beds available.
“While the current numbers are trending down, there remains a high utilization of intensive care beds and COVID-19 continues to place a strain on health care in our area,” Glisson said. “Our community must continue to wear masks, diligently wash our hands, avoid crowds and maintain social distancing. Those preventive measures will be even more important as we enter flu season in the coming weeks.”
Jim Little can be reached at [email protected] and 850-208-9827.