‘You are not well’: Broward tries to curb COVID spike

Broward County hospitals are seeing a surge of COVID-19 patients, a problem that Mayor Steve Geller and medical experts say is preventable if residents just get vaccinated.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Carlos Nicholson says it was early July when he started feeling pretty sick, and when he picked his wife up from the airport, she knew something was wrong.

“She looked at me and said, ‘You are not well,’ and she took me straight to the emergency room,” he said.

Nicholson was admitted at Broward Health North, diagnosed with COVIDd-19 and pneumonia. He started receiving oxygen, Remdesivir, and antibiotics immediately.

He improved over the next few days, but his doctors say he was still struggling.

“He had [a] hard time talking and breathing for at least two days, and he got to improve but he still went home on oxygen,” Dr. Amal Hanna said.

Nicholson is one of the many unvaccinated Broward residents to be admitted to hospitals after catching COVID-19.

In fact, right now, of the 387 COVID patients in the Memorial Healthcare System, 98% were unvaccinated. Of the 185 COVID patients in the Broward Health system, about 93% of them are unvaccinated.

“The numbers and the trend are terrifying,” Broward County Mayor Steve Geller said. “It’s preventable. Just get the damn shot!”

Geller says hospitalization rates have tripled in Broward, and that the number of cases are doubling about every nine days.

In response, the county is re-upping its COVID-19 testing capabilities in the following ways:

  • Boulevard Heights walk-up site is increasing capacity from 800 to 1,200 tests per day
  • Mills Pond drive-thru site is increasing testing tents from four to eight, doubling capacity
  • New Pembroke Road walk-up site
  • New Atlantic Blvd near 95 walk-up site
  • Researching two more drive-thru sites

For information on where COVID-19 vaccines are available in South Florida, click here.

About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.