COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to fall at Ascension, and vaccinations inch upward

Special to the Press Gazette | USA TODAY NETWORK

PENSACOLA — The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 at Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola declined again over the past week.     

There were 37 people being treated last week for complications from COVID-19 infection at Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola. The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 the week prior was 43.

COVID-19

In addition, there were two children under age 18 with COVID-19 being treated last week at Studer Family Children's Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart. 

While the steady decline in severe illness from COVID is very encouraging, the current number of patients is still higher than what it was on July 4, shortly before the surge of the Delta variant of the virus began in Northwest Florida. On July 4, the hospital had 17 patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

Of all COVID-19 patients coming to us for care, including visits to the Emergency Department, more than half are under age 50.  

More than 90 percent of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Ascension Sacred Heart are not vaccinated.

Vaccinations of people in the Pensacola area are increasing slowly, but the percentage of fully vaccinated residents is much lower than the state and national averages. In Florida, 67 percent of people 12 and older are fully vaccinated, according to the New York Times vaccine tracker. In Escambia County, the vaccination rate for persons 12 and older is 55 percent and in Santa Rosa County, it is 51 percent.

Approximately 720,000 Americans have lost their lives due to the coronavirus. Ascension Sacred Heart urges all eligible people, including pregnant women, to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their loved ones, and our community against COVID-19. The vaccines are safe and effective, and the evidence is clear that the benefits of being vaccinated far outweigh any identified risks or side effects.

The most effective ways of protecting each other are to wear masks in indoor spaces and maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently, and most importantly, get vaccinated.