AdventHealth moves to ‘black’ status, rerouting some ambulances as COVID-19 hospitalizations surge

AdventHealth Central Florida is operating on “black” status amid the rising number of COVID-19 patients, officials said Thursday.

In a briefing on Friday, hospital officials explained that they are having to reroute some ambulances and move patients to facilities that have capacity.

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As of Thursday morning, AdventHealth had about 1,000 COVID-19 inpatients across the Central Florida division. This surpasses the peak of about 900 the health system saw in January, AdventHealth said.

Officials said in a briefing Friday that staff is exhausted and that the next couple days will be awful for them.

READ: Leaked CDC report: Delta variant as contagious as chickenpox

They said as of Friday, CentraCare’s COVID-19 positivity rate is 26%, and that 99% of the people dying from the virus are unvaccinated.

Under the black status, AdventHealth will defer non-emergency surgeries at hospitals throughout the division. Patients will be notified if their procedure is canceled, AdventHealth said.

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“Cases continue to rise sharply with no sign that the surge is beginning to decelerate,” said Dr. Neil Finkler, chief clinical officer of AdventHealth’s 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.”

READ: Here’s where & when face masks are required, recommended in Central Florida

“Black” status for the hospital also means:

  • All hospital-based outpatient procedures will be deferred.
  • Outpatient surgery sites will only conduct time-sensitive and urgent procedures.
  • Time-sensitive pediatric procedures can be conducted with the approval of the chief medical officer.

READ: ‘We haven’t seen the end of it’: Current COVID-19 surge likely to continue, doctors say


Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.