JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – As COVID-19 cases in Jacksonville decline, local hospitals are showing a substantial drop in COVID-19 patients.
Wolfson Children’s Hospital is seeing a large drop in cases, but so are other hospitals.
As of Wednesday, five children were hospitalization with COVID-19 at Wolfson, and one was in the intensive care unit. They were among the 85 COVID-19 patients across all of the Baptist Health hospitals — 23 of them in ICUs — on Wednesday.
Similar drops in the number of patients are occurring at other facilities in Jacksonville such as UF Health, which had 31 COVID-19 patients and 10 in the ICU as of Wednesday. At St. Vincent’s, there were 53 patients and 22 in the ICU on Wednesday.
But while these numbers are coming down, the Duval County health department said Monday that 3,016 people had died from COVID-19 in the county since the pandemic began. Of those deaths, 250 were added to the total since the department’s last report to City Council two weeks ago. It’s worth noting we don’t know exactly when these deaths occurred because of how the reporting process works.
On Wednesday afternoon, the White House COVID-19 Response Team had a briefing and, as always, it stressed vaccinations. The team has seen an increase since some mandates have gone into effect. The team also said 4 million Americans who are eligible have received the booster shot. Many questions Wednesday centered on testing and the president’s plan to spend $1 billion for home testing kits, which would help hold down the cost at stores and also could be supplied to community groups and other organizations.
“So, overall by the end of the year, we will have a half-billion test per month, about half of which will be these popular, convenient at-home tests,” said White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients. “The bottom line: There has been and continues to be enough testing capacity in America, and we will continue to pull every lever to expand manufacturing and production of tests.”
As for COVID-19 cases nationwide, members of the team said Wednesday that they’re down about 12% from last week, and hospitalizations are down 14%.