Lee Health urges continued virus vigilance | News, Sports, Jobs
While the availability of COVID-19 vaccines is in sight for anyone who wishes to receive it, residents must remain vigilant when it comes to spreading the virus to protect the most vulnerable populations.
In a media call last week, Lee Health President and CEO Dr. Larry Antonucci noted the slight increase in cases and asked the Southwest Floridians to be patient.
In February, Lee Health had 115 COVID-19 patients under his care, and at one point last week that number had dropped to 64. On March 18, the number of patients in her care was 88.
“This is a strong reminder that despite the progress we are making in fighting the coronavirus, we are still in the middle of the pandemic.” Said Antonucci. “As our numbers increase, it is important to keep wearing your mask, washing your hands, and exercising physical distance when you leave the house. If you are celebrating St. Patrick’s Day or visiting our region for the spring break, I ask you again to do so safely. “
Antonucci commended the Lee County Department of Health and local retailers such as Publix, CVS, and Walgreens for making their sites available for vaccine delivery. He is also encouraged by the number of Lee County residents who want to be vaccinated.
“Our community is understandably concerned and I am glad that the demand for the vaccine is overwhelming. Without widespread adoption, we could not safely achieve herd immunity, and it is encouraging that the vast majority of our community are desiring to be vaccinated. “ he said. “If you have any concerns about getting vaccinated, I assure you that science has shown that these vaccines are safe and effective, and I encourage you to get a vaccine as soon as you are able. With this in mind, I am also grateful for the patience of our community, as the doses of the vaccine are only available in limited quantities. We get vaccine shipments weekly and are doing everything we can to get Southwest Florida vaccinated as quickly as possible. “
Antonucci said he had one “Renewed Hope” that the federal government will have enough vaccines available for the entire United States by May.
“There are currently three FDA approved vaccines for emergency use. Hopefully anyone who wants a vaccine can get one by the summer, but for today we must continue to follow Florida state guidelines and ensure that the most vulnerable citizens are vaccinated with our currently limited supply. “ he said.
“The sooner we get widespread vaccination, the sooner we can achieve herd immunity, which will allow us to return to a more traditional way of life. In the meantime, please remain vigilant and continue to follow CDC best practices. “