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Florida hospital system declares code black due to surge in COVID-19 patients

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File photo: AdventHealth hospital in Altamonte Springs, Florida (Google)

The AdventHealth hospital system has put its Central Florida Division on code black due to a surge in patients who are suffering from COVID-19, officials say, adding that the number of patients has surpassed the previous peak in January.

A statement from AdventHealth said the hospital system was treating about 1,000 COVID-19 patients across its Central Florida Division, which includes Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Polk, Volusia and Flagler counties. This surpasses the peak of about 900 in January.

“AdventHealth Central Florida will move to ‘black’ status and will defer non-emergency surgeries at hospitals throughout the division,” the statement said. It added that all hospital-based outpatient procedures will also be deferred, though time-sensitive pediatric procedures can be conducted with approval of the chief medical officer.

“Cases continue to rise sharply with no sign that the surge is beginning to decelerate,” said Dr. Neil Finlder, chief clinical officer of the Central Florida Division. “This important step will help us create more resources for our clinical teams, and ensure that we can continue to care for our community.”

Florida reported 17,589 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, the biggest one-day increase since January. Nearly 9,300 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized across the state, the highest since August, and the number could soon surpass the peak of 12,282 in July 2020.

More than 96,000 new cases were reported across the United States on Thursday, the biggest one-day increase since February, according to official figures gathered by BNO News and NewsNodes. Nearly a fifth of daily cases are from Florida alone.

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