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Monday, August 30, 2021

AdventHealth Ocala says average age of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is 59; more than 90% unvaccinated

AdventHealth Ocala says it continues to “see a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations,” that the average age of patients hospitalized is 59, and that 90% of cases are from unvaccinated patients. 

The information was part of a letter issued by AdventHealth Ocala Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Michael A. Torres on August 15, 2021. 

Torres says that although the hospital currently has “sufficient capacity and supplies” to care for patients, the increased patient volume has been taxing on healthcare workers. 

“The increased patient volume has been emotionally, physically and mentally taxing on our dedicated and impassioned team members,” reads the letter.

Torres says that with the reopening of schools this past week in Marion County, it is more important now that “adults and children 12 and over” get vaccinated. He says that even though children under the age of 12 cannot get the vaccine, their parents can. 

“Many children returning to school aren’t able to be vaccinated and one of the best defenses for parents to help their child in the event their child contacts the virus is to be vaccinated,” reads the letter. 

In addition to encouraging the vaccinations, the organization also is urging members of the community to consider a “monoclonal antibody treatment” if they are COVID positive and meet criteria. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, monoclonal antibodies are laboratory-made proteins that mimic the immune system’s ability to fight off harmful antigens such as viruses.

“We have completed more than 400 monoclonal antibody infusion treatments since January, and we have successfully been able to keep those patents from requiring hospitalization,” reads the letter.

Torres concludes the letter by encouraging all to get vaccinated and to continue to wear masks to “help us limit the spread of COVID-19.” 

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County provides walk-in vaccinations at its main office. For more information, visit the Florida Department of Health in Marion County COVID-19 response website.