Broward County hospitals face COVID-19 surge, and almost all patients have not been vaccinated

Hospitals, medical professionals are all tackling COVID-19 one day at a time.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Health officials, once again, are making room in Broward County for more patients as COVID-19 takes over local hospitals. This time, however, the surge is different.

Dr. Joshua Lenchus with Broward Health says it’s unreal — almost all 300 patients hospitalized across the system have not been vaccinated.

“It’s a little disheartening,” says Lenchus. “Because now we have a vaccine that’s out there that can prevent 97 percent of the COVID-positive people from coming to the hospital.”

The main hospital auditorium has now been converted to an overflow unit just to make room for everyone else. Doctors like Lenchus can barely comprehend why so many refuse to get vaccinated.

“At this point‚ there’s still the people who are anti-vaccine,” says Lenchus. “There’s frankly nothing we can do about those people. No science is going to convince them. There are some people that aren’t getting the vaccine because they’re waiting for more data... I don’t know what more data you’re waiting for. 4.5 billion people in the world have already bee vaccinated.”

17-year-old David Espino was hospitalized at Broward Health for 10 days with COVID-19.

Now, his mom regrets not getting him the vaccine sooner.

According to health officials, more young people, especially children, have been impacted this time around.

Simultaneously, COVID-19 testing has skyrocketed in recent days.

Broward County has opened six parks just to deal with the demand in testing. Now, some people have even waiting in line for four hours just to make sure they’re OK.

Furthermore, hospitals in Broward are also stocking up on monocolonal antibodies hoping the treatment will free up space in hospitals.

However, these antibodies are only given to people who already have COVID-19 in the early stages who do not require hospitalization.

Lenchus says the agent is meant to jumpstart your body to build the antibodies you need to fight this virus.

About the Author:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.