Orlando Area Now In ‘Crisis Mode’ Amid COVID-19 Delta Variant Surge, Mayor Says
additional information on multiple locations where a citizen can get vaccinated, vaccinated, and be tested. The mayor will also have information on the emergency rental assistance program and other details as well. We have a special guest with us Doctor Victor Herrera, chief medical officer of Advent Health Orlando and disease, a physician. He is here with the details on hospitalizations and other announcements. Of course,
we have Doctor Ralph from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County to discuss urgent details regarding infection rates and state vaccinations. We began with Mayor Demings Mayor Uh thank you Doctor Williamson. Thank you to all of you for being here today. Uh this is the 143rd uh press briefing that we've had regarding the novel coronavirus COVID nineteen since last year.
Today, as I began don't have a lot of good news but there's certainly some developments that's occurring that is concerning to me that uh we will uh share with you today uh the COVID-19 remains a significant threat to our community as well as every community across America. According to the Cdc, uh the Florida, Texas and Missouri account for 40% of all cases nationwide at this time for the second week in a row, Florida accounts for 20% or one in five new cases and most of all these cases are among unvaccinated people. You're going to hear that drum beat today as our physicians are going to talk to you about that over the weekend. Two people I know are passed after contracting the coronavirus. One was a
classmate of mine. The other was in Orange County employee certainly uh my condolences goes out to those families and um we continue to pray for them during this period of grieving that they will go through due to this earlier than usual news conference that we're having today. Our numbers are from Saturday. However, they are discouraging on Saturday.
960 new cases were reported in Orange County on Friday There were 1052 cases Doctor Pinot with the Department of Health will share additional information Now, these numbers are extraordinary We are seeing Nearly 1000. new cases in Orange County daily. Those are the numbers we saw at the highest peak last year. It took us approximately 1 month last year before we saw 1000 cases cumulatively here in Orange County. Now, we're seeing them So a thousand a day is extraordinary. We are now in crisis mode.
Doctor Pinot will share the latest numbers in just a few moments as well but let's be clear about this today. many of you cannot afford to get sick. We have loved ones who depend on us and the vaccines have proven to dramatically lower the risk of getting the daily disease and getting vaccinated lowers the risk of being hospitalized. we as a community need to work together. to slow the spread. I don't want any of you not any of your loved ones to contract the virus. shortly,
you will hear from Doctor Victor Herrera who is chief medical officer of Advent Health Orlando and an infectious disease physician. He's well qualified as an expert to give our community advice last week. um I had the opportunity on Thursday to have a conference call with the counties here within the region and our hospitals within the region. All of them were sounding the alarm and their accounts and our hospitals were advising that they were seeing alarming numbers of critically ill individuals entering their hospitals That was approaching capacity. So,
you're going to hear about those numbers today as of the latest COVID-19 numbers, Orange County's 14 Day rolling positivity rate remains in double digits as of Saturday, our 14 day rolling in positivity rate was 13.96 13.96%. So roughly fourteen 14% 1 month ago on June the 28th, it was four to 8%. So, more
than three times what it was. 1 month ago. Residents are still getting vaccinated. but at a
slow pace, we need to move the needle faster. 61 61.59 61.59% of Orange County residents ages twelve and above have had at least one shot of the vaccine since the start of the pandemic. They have been 100 160 160002 160222 positive cases in Orange County reported 1000. 1300. 1383 deaths. when we started. I don't know that any of us really anticipated in nearly 1400 people of our 1.4000000, people in Orange
County would die of this virus at Barnett Park, Orange County Health Services workers are experiencing a large influx of residents who want to be tested for COVID-19 This has caused the free drive thru testing site to close in the early afternoon. almost every day last week. We are exploring the feasibility of opening a second site due to the overwhelming demand as the summer travel season continues, we want to urge residents to arrive early to the testing site to ensure they can be accommodated before the site closes. Additionally,
it is important to know that the greater demand and testing may create longer wait times but I want to also point out that there are other places to get free COVID tests within our community. You can avail sales of the opportunity at Walgreens. Uh they offer free tests for individuals, 3, years of age and older CVS also offers free tests to those with and without health insurance coverage. Check with your local Walgreens or CVS to see if apartments or other requirements are necessary. The bottom line is that the Delta variant cases are on the rise and residents must do everything possible to protect them. cells and their loved
ones which includes getting vaccinated and following CDC health and safety guidelines. On the screen behind me, you should see a graphic regarding. I got my shot mobile trailer and the multiple locations around Orange County that we will move the trailer this afternoon. The trailer will be
at the Dover Shores Neighborhood Center on Gaston Foster Road tomorrow morning. The mobile vaccine trailer will be at Goodwill on Orange Blossom Trail in the afternoon. Shots will be available at West Oaks Mall by the Orange County Tax Collector's Office. Lake Eola will be the location of the trail on Wednesday morning followed by the tax collectors, The Vista Office on Wooden Pine Drive on Wednesday afternoon For those of you who live in the Lee Road area, the trailer will be at the in town suites extended stay on Thursday between the hours of 1:30 PM and 5:30 PM If you know someone who is behind on rent, because of the pandemic, Orange County's emergency Rental Assistance Program may be of help to them. the program can
provide up to 12 months of past due rent and 1 month of rent up to $20000 residents can check their address and review required documents by visiting our website at OC FL.net slash rental assistance. as a reminder of the program will host an upcoming virtual application training session for a nonprofit and community agencies this Wednesday, July 28th, 2021, between the hours of two and 3:30 PM. The
training will provide a step-by-step process of how clients can submit an application. It is the county's hope that the organizations that participate in this training will act as advocates for the program educating their clients on this important payment assistance. interested organizations can visit OC FL.net slash rental assistance
to register and now, I'm going to turn it over to Doctor Herrera from Advent Health. At this time, Good morning. First of all, I want to say thank you to mayor for giving us the opportunity to be here this morning and share with all of you some of the things that we are seeing in our hospitals. My name is Victor Herrera. I'm chief medical officer of Advent Hill Orlando So, unfortunately, we have continued to see a significant increase in the number of hospitalizations across all our hospitals due to COVID-19 we are approaching an all time high in terms of our inpatient number of COVID-19 cases which is a stretch in our capacity this morning, we announced that our system in our division is moving to level red. as a reminder, our
priority is the safety of our patients. our team members, and our ability to continue to provide care for COVID, and not COVID patients In order to do that when we are in a situation like this one where our capacity is a stretch. we may have to reschedule care. that is not urgent. So, as a reminder, that is what level red means. We do a system
review of all proceeds that are scheduled for patients and if there is something that can wait, then, we make that decision in collaboration with the doctor taking care of that patient so we can increase our capacity There are some key things that I want to share with all of you that we are seeing and it's important I believe to communicate uh to all of you in our community The first one is that although we are in a very tight capacity situation, we stand ready to meet the demands of our community and all the health care needs We have the appropriate equipment space, and everything that is needed even if cases continue to go up to continue to care for COVID and not COVID-19 patients So, I think it's very important for everybody to understand that I also want to share with you that this is clearly what has been described as a pandemic of the unvaccinated over 90% of patients that are in the hospital right now with COVID-19 did not get a COVID-19 vaccine. So, clearly vaccines work if somebody gets a COVID-19 vaccine based on what we their chances of being hospitalized are very low are probably way less than 1%. The other thing that I want to share is that we have seen during these big a higher proportion of pregnant women with COVID-19 admitted to the hospital Some of them are very sick and we currently have pregnant women incubated in our Icus. This is a mind There. uh
to our community and pregnant women to consider the COVID-19 vaccine and to have that conversation with their doctors, we want to encourage pregnant women to think about vaccination. Again, we don't know yet if this is related to the Delta but clearly there is a higher number of pregnant women. Very sick with COVID-19 right now compared to before that are in the hospital get very sick and need to go to the ICU and one that I heard from a patient which is right before he was about to be incubated. Um I wish I had received the vaccine Um so with that, I'll pass it on to Doctor Pinot now. Thank you. Good morning. Good morning.
They told a number of cases in our county is 160. 160800. 160839 and 158 of those are um are residents uh the total number of deaths is a 1300 1388 and the range of those deaths uh that we are reporting is 27 years old. That was the youngest person to Eighty-five. I want people to listen to that 27 The median age is fifty-nine. That's the median age is a lot lower than we had experience in the past. There were six females, seven male All of them were unvaccinated Uh as far as we can see in our records. Our condolences of
course goes to their families and friends but just to help people understand where we are today, our numbers last week are similar to the first week of January almost before we started to vaccinate And that's concerning. Um actually, we never thought that we would be at this point again. um but that was before the Delta be just to give you an idea yesterday on Sundays are funny days because the day that goes uh crazy Uh so don't read too much into this number. Uh Sunday, we're 620 cases and it's alarming that I say don't read too much into this number because Saturday nine. 900. 158 cases. on Friday was a and thirty-one cases. on Friday.
those 1000 cases, no one was vaccinated, not a single person On Saturday, it was 99% and yesterday reported cases was also over 99% of unvaccinated individuals The numbers continue to be greater uh between fifteen to 44 years old but especially the Thirty-five, the 25 to 44 years old should get vaccinated. That's why we have the highest number in our community. Our post also continue to increase and again here is a lot higher because Sunday's the number of people that tend to be tested are more likely to be seeking because they are not feeling well. All the people that are not failing, that are not feeling that ill will postpone the testing a little bit for a Monday or another day. Uh so,
the positive rate for yesterday was twenty point 20.05% on our 14 Day average is a 14.39. the day before that Saturday are positive rate was 16.4 and the
day before that are positive rate was 15.5. So it's really continue to increase and it's not showing any signs that will slow down the month of July. so far and we have a couple of days left. It's the lowest
death in the last year since last year. If things continue to be the way they are are this July 2021 will have the lowest death rate and that's a clear indication of effectiveness of the vaccine. We continue to follow several outbreaks. and
some of them are very small. are the others are a little bit larger but we are following outbreaks of 100 people Forty-six people aren't so on and it's important to know that in this environment, we are also moved to be very selective and prioritize who we track and who we do trace investigation and I in quarantine as the numbers are larger than we can handle in the 24 hour. Uh period. Uh with that, I would pass it to Mayor Demings and answer any questions that you may have. Okay, let me also acknowledge uh commissioners uh Nicole Wilson and Commissioner uh Gomez Cordero who have joined us uh as we usually do. If there are any questions in Spanish, we have the ability to do translation today. We have I
Torres who can assist with that. Uh Doctor Pino and Doctor Herrera both a fluent in Spanish Um we also have uh mister Scott Howard here from our local school district. If there are questions specific to the school district, uh we will ask him to come forward and with that, I'm going to open it up for any questions at this time. Okay. Okay. We're going to move the uh the mic to you. So, they're they're coming in your direction. Thank you. This
question is for Doctor Herrera. Can you confirm that advent health switched to red status and clarify what that means Yes. Um so yes. so this morning, we have moved to a level rat What that means is is an internal system that we use to try to postpone, reschedule, medical care that is not urgent. The goal of that is to increase capacity. so we can care for the increasing number of patients that we are seeing and yes, that is correct. We are right now Okay, hold on. Um so, I'm being
asked to to repeat that in in Spanish. advent health COVID-19. OK. arts and now they are very sick in the hospital. They are about to be incubated. They clearly
them and their families have thoughts related to maybe the right decision will have been to take the vaccine and as a health care provider is is very hard to be, you know, providing care and at the same time, sensing those feelings almost of regret that maybe they didn't make the right choice. um related to pregnant women. You know, we are uh data um uh driven so II want to make sure that we are accurate in what we report. I am. I was talking to Doctor Pino where this is something that we're seeing across or in our systems but definitely in our system, we have now a larger proportion of pregnant women with COVID all vaccinated that are hospitalized and several of them are very sick. Um so we
have concerns and we were discussing whether this may be related to the Delta. We don't know that yet. but we feel really of lives to share this with the community because again, for those pregnant women that are trying to make that decision, this information may make the difference and I will encourage them to have this conversation with their doctors. You know, typically, we try to limit you all to just one question but I know because of, you know, what we're sharing with you today, you may have more than one question and we want to provide you the opportunity. So, I believe I
had uh uh an additional question Doctor Pinot. So, Doctor Pino, if if you'll come forward, So, you're saying for our positivity rate of 20% right now, right? Yes, we have 40% vaccinated. If this is a pandemic among the unvaccinated, would you say the odds are you got a 5050 shot that you're going to get? COVID, or like one and two. Oh, if you're vaccinated, the chances are higher. Um as the
virus become more prevalent in the community, the chances will continue to increase. Uh there is a corporation with the amount of virus in the community and the infectious rate of the Delta period and the number of people that are getting at this goes, you know, exponentially and it seems seems like she's going into that trajectory. Um those chances will increase. Now,
people have to understand. We are not not even at the of that trajectory yet because we haven't seen the hospitalization numbers. although it has been increased and significant increases, it will increase more in 2 weeks. Uh the numbers that we are seeing today, you will see the hospitals of those numbers in 2 weeks. So, that's an an
indication that that trajectory will continue because hospitalization will start to decreasing two or 3 weeks after cases decrease and we are not there yet. So, we should expect that a number of infections are going to increase. The positive rate will continue to increase Hospitalization will continue to increase and younger people are getting affected and infected by this and suffering the consequences we are today announced a 27 year old who died from COVID-19. Of course, it could be that the person who have preexisting conditions and many other factors but it's critically important that these younger of the get vaccinated. We still have time to curve this Doctor Pino.
Um I would like you to ask you a question in Spanish. Um The question in Spanish was uh what is the county doing to prevent what's happening and what can be done with the people who have not been vaccinated? Santino vivenc ia de estas personas porque es real que esta infección pasa, es real, que vas a estar en el hospital, es real, que muchas personas más van a morir, si nosotros no incrementamos nuestras vacunas. Y me preocupa mucho las personas latinas y la gente de color que vivimos en Homes, donde tenemos varias generaciones en una misma casa, y los niños cuando vayan a la escuela trayendo la infección a la casa. Dis continue to increase the government at all levels may not have many, any other choice than to place those restrictions and that's why we don't want to Cvs, Walgreens. Publix.
Walmart. Laguna, Esa, a SuperMarkets, All The Publics, Event Walmart, Soul The Back Saint Eas in Art Munit, Justec Dance, Antaker, Anthony Clowers, Clease, George Place, The Time, Tou Gexinetit, Antigua de Family Baxing. days of isolation and quarantine in the near future. So, I don't know. Todavía. Por eso nos estamos moviendo a Rojo él para la razón de rojo es para crear esa capacidad. Nosotros
como sistema de salud en este momento seguimos listos para proveer todas las necesidades de la comunidad Y y por eso es que nos estamos moviendo a rojo. ICU Capacity, Adso y We are moving to red. The the idea behind red is to create the red level is to create that extra capacity so we can continue to care for the patients that need our services. So, right now, even though that we are at Advent Health stands ready to continue to meet the demands of the community both for COVID-19 and not COVID-19 patients and Red is going to help us do that. I had a question for Dr. Pino. Tell us what you can
about the recent uh death of the 27 year old um was at in the last week or so and then can you um tell us you know, just tell the the latest uh death numbers you mentioned them earlier but so I don't have much information yet. Um it's early in the morning so uh the day that just came in and but we could explore what type of information we can give normally when it's one single case we're going to we try not to give too much information as the person could be identified and it's very painful for the families but I will search for that information. thirteen. last week. We continue to explore the potential for the efficacy and the legality of instituting any type of mask mandates. In order for to do that, there's a high bar that we have mentioned to you on a number of occasions.
uh that will necessitate uh the availability of data from the hospitals and our the Florida Department of Health You've heard them share with you some of their senses within the hospital system and some of the data Um I will not say absolutely. We will not do a mandate at this point. Um as we get additional information as the mayor of Orange County as the person that is responsible for our emergency response, I'm going to do everything that I possibly can do to keep our residents safe. and so that has
to be on through. deliberate thought and we're going to continue to do that in this process. So, I was hopeful that we will significantly increase the rate of vaccination within our community and ultimately, we would see the numbers declined but obviously in a public health crisis, if these numbers continue to go up, we continue to adversely impact the critical care units within our hospital. We would have to do something and so this next uh Twenty-four to 48 hours or so, we are going to be critical uh to the decisions that I would make in that regard Steve Hudak from the Orlando Sentinel, Doctor Herrera. Um I
think there's if there's any pregnant woman listening in, let me ask you this. What kind of um risk do they take and what kind of risk do they take for the baby if they get vaccinated? I don't really know any of that. I think that's uh that's a very important question and that's why I said at the beginning that at the end of the day, this is at risk versus benefit analysis. and each person is different. That's why we encourage them to have that discussion with our doctors. I have to tell you and
there was a recent study published just a few days ago that all the data in terms of vaccines safety in pregnancy so far is favorable. So, we have What a decision. Discuss it with your doctor but we encourage all of them to think about it and have that conversation.
y más estamos viendo que la balanza se va hacia que hay mucho menos riesgo con la vacuna que con covid de Squashing West Track C descansen recommended that in places where people are indoors and they cannot socially distance that they uh wear facial coverings uh outdoors of different story but certainly if you're in a crowded spaces, even outdoors where you can't socially distance, uh you know, our experts are saying that you should consider wearing a facial covering even in those circumstances because you really cannot discern Uh been vaccinated and has not been vaccinated. So, Doctor Pino said that uh the number of people who died during the month of July was one of the lowest numbers but uh Doctor Pino, if we continue to see the current trajectory that we're on, What's your uh prediction? the month of August. Um I think that probably the month of August will be the first month that we see an increase in the last year I think it's okay.
So, I asked that question. because individuals are going to have to make some decisions Businesses are going to have to make some decisions about what they value Do they value the lives of their employees and their guests? or do they value profits more Uh so they're going to have to make some decisions there about where is that and our job is to provide them with uh credible information by which to make those decisions and so we're going to continue to do that at these press events as well as through the other uh social media information and other media information that we will provide to everyone within our community. What we are experiencing here is not unique to uh Orange County, Orlando, the state of Florida. It's happening all over the country. However, because of the high volume of people who are traveling in to our community. uh I think it does create some complications for us. Um so,
our encouragement is to we know that the vaccine works. You've heard these physicians, these experts tell you that the vaccine works and you're better off with it than without it. They have told you that wearing a facial coverings uh is something that works and they have told you that social distancing inappropriate spaces works as well. They are the experts and uh unfortunately, there's a lot of misinformation that gets battered around our community and across the nation and for whatever reasons uh individuals have been hesitant to get vaccinated Again, I say all of those Uh you really don't want to find yourself in an uncomfortable place where you have to be hospitalized or you are the causes of another person having to be hospitalized or you are the causes of a loved one. uh dying because you could have gotten uh protected and you didn't So, that's where we all have this this responsibility. Okay.
How do you see this equation? You know, there's you know, the the state uh methods of responding to this has not been what uh I thought that it should be especially here in recent times We have to be proactive. in responding, we have to be visionaries uh to be a a visionaries. Someone who anticipates the need for something before it's needed and they take action in a timely manner. It appears that our state is not taking action in a timely manner and that's sad for all of us. So, now is the time that we should see some adjustments being made because the virus is quickly spreading. So, we you you can't do the same things that we've been doing and expect different results is that the definition of insanity? Uh so we have do something different at this point. So, thank you all. Uh
the next uh press conference is going to be this Thursday. Uh Doctor Williamson, what time are we doing on Thursday? 11 o'clock. Uh 11 AM 11 AM. However, we will continue to keep you informed. should other um decisions be made. Thank you for joining us.