Sarasota Memorial Hospital said on Wednesday afternoon that it has seen a concerning uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations and recorded an all-time high of COVID-positive patients on Tuesday, with 50. On Wednesday, there were 49 COVID-positive patients, the hospital said.
Hospital leadership adds that there been a noticeable increase in younger people getting the virus from community spread and subsequently being hospitalized, adding that it has "numerous contingency plans in place"—including increasing the number ICU beds—and is prepared to handle the current patient volume as well as any potential surge. The hospital has also reinstated its no-visitor policy due to the uptick in COVID patients. "The current trend is troubling," hospital president CEO David Verinder said in a video message to staff.
Additionally, the hospital has reopened all of its urgent care centers and says it is seeing an increase in patient volumes at them, as well. Almost all furloughed staff have come back to work, the hospital says, while some support staff are working from home to reduce the number of people in the hospital and to mitigate the spread of the virus.