Central Florida hospitals beginning to feel omicron surge

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — Central Florida’s hospitals began to feel the effects of the now record-setting COVID-19 omicron surge Wednesday, even as officials remained hopeful that high vaccination rates would keep numbers below levels seen during the delta surge.


AdventHealth reported 50 new patients across their system overnight, though doctors noted that they began with just 100, far below the 2,400 they were treated one day in September.

READ: Here’s where you can find COVID-19 testing in Central Florida

“The health care system is prepared for the increase,” a spokesman for the company noted.

Across town at Orlando Health, 209 patients were being treated, less than a third of the more than 600 that system saw at its peak.

However, signs of the surge were apparent at both sites. Supplies of monoclonal antibody therapies were limited at AdventHealth, since the two most frequently used products have been determined to be less effective against omicron. Patients painted a bleaker picture, saying they were told the system was out, and they weren’t sure when they’d get their injections.

READ: Seminole County hands out nearly 11K rapid COVID-19 test kits in about 15 minutes, officials say

At Orlando Health, a patient sent a photo to Eyewitness News showing what he said were COVID patients in makeshift spaces in a waiting room. He said hospital staff told him they were doing the best they could, but were struggling.

“We maintain a comprehensive surge plan that identifies additional resources, including beds, that would be available if needed,” a company spokeswoman wrote in response to an inquiry. “Across our healthcare system, we continuously evaluate and adjust our operations to determine the best use of our resources to accommodate the needs of our patients.”

Doctors asked that people avoid panicking, and ensure they’re vaccinated and boosted to keep themselves out of the emergency room.

READ: These symptoms are most commonly linked to the omicron variant

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