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Tallahassee health officials weigh in as COVID-19 numbers continue

Published: Jun. 29, 2020 at 6:00 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - This past weekend, the Sunshine State saw record-breaking numbers regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sunday, Leon County saw their largest spike with 176 coronavirus cases.

Doctors at Capitol Regional Medical Center say that the county is at its peak, but the question remains; how can we stop the spread and minimize new cases?

Vice President Chief Medical Officer at Tallahassee Memorial Hospital, Dr. Andrea Friall shares, “Well it’s not totally unexpected, we have been watching for this to happen.”

This after three days of more than 8,000 new cases in Florida. Dr. Friall states what she believes the future holds, “Tallahassee has certainly been a unique bubble, the density of our population definitely plays a role especially compared to other areas, so I do not have a great answer as to what we are going to see in the future, but I do know the things we do now make a difference for the future.”

Chief Nursing Officer, Ann Smith with Capital Regional Medical agrees, “You know it is going to be hard to say, as long as we protect our at-risk patient population, as long as we use universal masking...that gives that protection to anyone in the hospital.”

Monday, Capital Regional had five COVID-19 patients in their facility. TMH had 10, three of which were in the ICU. Both hospitals say that they are nowhere near full capacity, and they hope to keep it that way.

Smith shares, “We have actually been able to decrease the number of beds we have for dedicated to COVID-19 positive patients.”

Dr. Friall adds, “We are certainly are prepared for surges but would like to not be pushed and bent to the point of being stressed in having to create new options.”

Over at Cascades Park, those mandated to wear masks, like Tony Brown, hope that the numbers for daily new cases, lowers soon, “It will get worse before it gets any better you know, because the numbers are going up, but if people try to social distance and wear masks that’ll help a lot too.”

Karen J. Berkeley, another Tallahassee resident, states, “I’m not afraid, it’s not a matter of being afraid it’s a matter of being cognizant and knowing what’s going on and doing something about it.”

Both Smith and Friall say that washing your hands, keeping your distance and wearing your mask makes all the difference.

For Justin Cole, a Tallahassee resident, those are the safety measures he lives by, “I know we haven’t been impacted much as far as active cases and people dying but stops happening obviously we can go back to normal. That’s my hope to just want to be able to stop seeing people get sick”

Capital Regional Medical Center shares that patients looking to be admitted for their non-COVID illnesses should not feel apprehensive of coming to the hospital. They have placed extensive protocols and testing in place to better serve their staff and the public.

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