COVID-19 hospitalizations surge continues at Ascension Sacred Heart
153 patients in hospital Aug. 23 with COVID-19 at Ascension (Pensacola), up from 146 the previous week, and 17 on July 4.
PENSACOLA — The numbers of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola remains at record-high levels.
The number of hospitalized patients fluctuates frequently, so any individual data points are only a moment-in-time snapshot. But here are a few key statistics for Aug. 23.
There are a total of 153 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Ascension Sacred Heart in Pensacola. The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 one week ago was 146.
Today’s number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is much higher than the hospital's previous peak of COVID-19 patients that occurred in January 2021.
The current number of 153 is nine times higher than what it was on July 4, shortly before the current surge of COVID began in Northwest Florida. On July 4, the hospital had 17 patients hospitalized with COVID-19.
Approximately 93 percent of the hospital's patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.
"Safe and timely access to essential care is vitally important, and the safety of our patients and staff remains our top priority," said Ascension Sacred Heart President Dawn Rudolph. "Our staff is stretched in dealing with the ongoing influx of patients with COVID-19, but our teams are making heroic efforts.
"We are performing surgeries and procedures our patients need urgently or in an emergency," she added. "At the same time, we are utilizing all of our staffing resources and allocating personnel in the most appropriate and effective manner to ensure care for every patient.”
Due to a lower rate of vaccination among younger people, the hospital is treating more patients who are under 50 compared to the prior surges of July 2020 and January 2021.
In Escambia County, only 49 percent of individuals 18 and older have been fully vaccinated compared to the national average of 63 percent, according to the New York Times. In Santa Rosa County, only 45 percent of those 18 and older are fully vaccinated. By comparison, the number of those 65 and older who are fully vaccinated is much higher – 79 percent.
On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration gave full approval to the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, making it the first COVID-19 vaccine to go from emergency use authorization (EUA) to full FDA approval.
"This is an important milestone," Rudolph said. "While all of the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S. have long been considered safe and highly effective, now that the FDA has granted full FDA approval to the Pfizer vaccine, we are hopeful that many more people in our communities will step up to be vaccinated.
"Our healthcare workers need the community's support to stop this surge," she added. "The best tools we have available to stop COVID-19 are wearing masks in public indoor spaces and, most important, getting the vaccine."
Everyone in the community plays a critical role in keeping us safe from this virus.
Ascension Sacred Heart urges anyone 12 and older to get vaccinated now to protect themselves, their loved ones, and our community against COVID-19.
For more about Ascension, visit www.ascension.org.