Alachua DOH officials say COVID cases have peaked, UF Health staff say hospitalizations slowly declining

Published: Feb. 8, 2022 at 5:43 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - Experts say COVID-19 cases in Alachua County are down; However, hospitalizations at UF Health “peak” isn’t the right word for hospitalization numbers, plateau is.

During the Tuesday Alachua County Commission meeting, Alachua Department of Health officials shared COVID-19 numbers for the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 3:

  • 2,330 new cases
  • 24% positivity rate
  • 854 cases per 100,000 residents

DOH staff point to this steady decline over the last three weeks as proof that case numbers have peaked in the county, but at the county’s largest hospital, the number of people admitted due to the virus is not down as drastically.

During UF Health Shands weekly COVID-19 update press conference Chief Operating Officer Traci d’Auguste shared the most recent hospitalization numbers:

  • 146 patients hospitalized with COVID-19
  • 41 in the ICU
  • 7 children hospitalized with COVID-19
  • 2 children in the ICU

That total of 146 hospitalized is down just five people from last week’s total, d’Auguste says due to the small decline “peak” is not the accurate word to use at this time.

“I would love to say that we are at our peak or on the other side of our peak, but we are sort of just bouncing around,” said d’Auguste.

Officials from both Alachua DOH and UF Health Shands say that vaccinations are the best defense against the virus. According to DOH official’s presentation, around 70% of Alachua County residents are fully vaccinated. During the Shands press conference, d’Auguste shared that 74% of the patients hospitalized are unvaccinated. Nearly 60% of people serviced at UF Health Shands come from outside of Alachua County.

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