COVID-19 positivity rate has tripled at AdventHealth urgent care clinics, doctors say

ORLANDO, Fla. — AdventHealth doctors said the COVID-19 positivity rate has tripled at urgent care clinics over the past few weeks.

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Victor Herrera said their clinics have seen a rapid increase.

Herrera said the positivity rate has increased from 5.5% to 21% in just a few weeks.


Herrera said the increase in cases tells us two things: that we have high community transmission and that that number has predictive value on what we could see in local hospitals.

At this point, officials say omicron hasn’t affected new hospital admissions across the region.

Herrera said there are 100 people hospitalized with COVID-19 at AdventHealth Central Florida hospitals, which is down from the 1,700 which was from the height of the delta surge in August.

READ: Omicron now dominant US coronavirus strain, CDC says

The doctor also said the hospital has activated the hospital’s COVID-19 command center.

Herrera said the center will be thinking about possible scenarios over the next few weeks. They will see what they can do differently to make sure the hospitals are prepared for the possibility of a surge in hospitalizations.

According to health officials, the omicron variant has not been detected in local AdventHealth hospitals. However, it has been identified in the waste water.

See: 9 things to know about the new omicron COVID-19 variant

Herrera said studies are showing that the omicron variant spreads faster and is very infectious. He also said that data is showing that cases are mild.

Herrera then urged local residents to get their booster shots.

“It’s clear that the boosters help,” he said. “It’s clear that somebody who doesn’t have a booster, even if they had their first dose and their second dose, are at higher risk of being infected by omicron.”

READ: COVID-19 breakthrough cases on the rise in Central Florida, experts say

Herrera said the next surge could be a surge of the unvaccinated and the unboosted.

“The one thing that I want people to get out of this today and the most important message is that this is the time to get your booster if you don’t have it,” Herrera said.

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Katlyn Brieskorn, WFTV.com

Katlyn Brieskorn is a Digital Assignment Editor at WFTV. She joined Channel 9 in July 2019.