2 South Florida medical professionals give update on Florida’s battle with COVID-19

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MIAMI (WSVN) - Two South Florida medical professionals spoke about the state of Florida’s surge in coronavirus cases, the toll the virus has taken on hospitals in the area and ways to begin reducing the number of cases throughout the region.

With COVID-19 numbers continuing to soar, Dr. Nicholas Namias from Jackson Memorial Hospital fears there’s no turning back. The doctor was interviewed on CNN regarding the virus and Florida’s record-breaking positive cases.

“Whenever you have a huge number of cases, even if a tiny proportion are sick or, God forbid, go on to die, a tiny proportion of a huge number is still a big number, so it’s still too many,” Namias said. “It won’t be controlled until everyone is wearing a mask, until we see the percentage of new positive cases going down, until we see more tests and positive cases going down and less hospitalizations, so it’s absolutely not being controlled.”

Positive cases in Miami-Dade County surpassed 2,000 overnight, and Broward County saw more than 1,100 new cases on Friday. Meanwhile, Monroe County saw nearly 30 new cases of the virus.

As of Friday night, at least 20 local hospitals reported having only 15% or less of their Intensive Care Unit beds available.

“The ICU beds are filling up, and it’s requiring a lot of work and effort to move patients around to make a spot for the new patients, whether they’re COVID or not COVID,” Namias said.

Adding onto Namias’ talking points, Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University, said the infection increase has more to do with continued spreading than testing.

“The rate of positivity and the fact that we are getting more and more patients to our ERs admitted to the hospital and now into our ICUs, this is completely and totally real, and so we are facing a true increase, and it has nothing to do with more testing,” Marty said. “It has to do with an elevated reproductive number, and that’s because of people’s behavior.”

Namias said the patients most at risk for contracting the virus are young adults.

“Young people do get sick,” he said. “There have been a number of young people in this hospital and other hospitals intubated, mechanically ventilated and dying.”

Marty said if procedures are followed correctly, such as wearing masks and conducting targeted testing, the high cases of COVID-19 will begin to reduce.

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