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Those hospitalized with omicron in South Florida mostly unvaccinated

The COVID-19 omicron variant is surging across the state, which reported nearly 50,000 new cases within the past 24 hours.

MIAMI – The COVID-19 omicron variant is surging across the state, which reported nearly 50,000 new cases within the past 24 hours.

Over the weekend, a total of nearly 127,000 new cases were reported, and the statewide positivity rate was 31.2 percent, the highest recorded during the pandemic.

South Florida hospitals are feeling the effects of the holidays when it comes to COVID-19.

“We really just look at it as another wave, and let’s address it head-on and try to mitigate as best as possible,” said Dr. Joshua Lenchus, Regional Chief Medical Officer for Broward Health.

Broward Health system is seeing around 250 COVID-positive patients.

“A good 75-80 percent of those are consistently unvaccinated,” Lenchus said. “We have looked at this last month of the omicron wave.”

The situation in Miami is similar.

Jackson Memorial Hospital shared their latest numbers, indicating 514 patients are COVID-positive, with 117 of them vaccinated and the majority, unvaccinated.

“Most of those patients, around 90 percent, are unvaccinated,” said Dr. David De La Zarda with Jackson Health System.

Jackson recently had to open up two additional COVID ICU wings.

At Baptist Health, they currently are treating 854 COVID-19 patients, a 380 percent increase from just two weeks ago.

According to the Florida Hospital Association, more than 9,500 patients were admitted with COVID-19 across the state Monday.

The rapid rise in cases has caused a huge demand for testing.

At-home testing kits are being handed out in both Broward and Miami-Dade.

Shortages also remain a concern in hospitals and schools.

“I think what concerns us here at Broward and around the nation is staffing,” Lenchus said.

This comes as the Biden Administration pushes forward with the vaccine or testing mandate for employees at large companies.

Justices remain skeptical with the Supreme Court seeming more open to a mandate for healthcare workers, a field already stretched thin.


About the Author:

Alex Finnie joined the Local 10 News team in May 2018. South Florida is home! She was raised in Miami and attended the Cushman School and New World School of the Arts for high school.