AdventHealth Central Florida Division is transitioning back to 'green' status today, according to a press release from the health organization Wednesday, Sept. 15.
'Green' status signals a return to mostly normal operations for a majority of the facilities in the division.
During the peak of the Delta variant in Central Florida, the hospital group was operating under 'black' status, with all non-emergency surgeries postponed. On Sept. 1, the facilities transitioned from 'black' status to 'red' status, which we told you about here, allowing additional deferred surgical procedures to move forward. On Oct. 9, AdventHealth transitioned to 'yellow' status, allowing even more procedures.
“After seeing our COVID inpatient volumes continue to steadily decline, we are pleased to move to green status, which allows us to resume our non-emergent services that have been on hold for several weeks,” said Dr. Neil Finkler, chief clinical officer of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division in the release. “We thank our community and patients for their continued support and patience as we ramp up operations and procedures. We ask for our community’s continued support by continuing to mask, practice social distancing and get vaccinated. The vast majority of people hospitalized and seriously ill continue to be unvaccinated.”
AdventHealth currently has 890 inpatients across Central Florida, compared to a peak of 1,700 on Aug. 23.
Finkler and Dr. Tim Hendrix, senior medical director for Centra Care, addressed the media with the move in status as well as the latest COVID-19 trends.
Finkler said the organization has learned to flex and evolve in several ways when dealing with COVID-19.
"We have now learned a lot from COVID, but we are by no means out of this, so no one should think that this is over yet," Finkler said.
Finkler has been in the organization more than 30 years and said he has never seen more advances in medicine than he has in the last 18 months.
"Health care tends to be slow moving, and we tend to depend on data, but we are learning a little more every day," Finkler said.
Hendrix said AdventHealth still is conducting a large volume of testing at Centra Care, but the positivity rate in tests is continuing at a steady decline. He said the peak was 26% about six weeks ago and is now 12.5% positivity. Although there is an ideal percentage AdventHealth would like to achieve, he is more focused on the percentage of people vaccinated.
"We want to maximize vaccinations and encourage those who haven't been vaccinated to do so," Hendrix said.
Currently, about 69% of Florida resident are vaccinated, he said.