Red Status: AdventHealth sees decline in hospitalized patients, but still at higher level than earlier surges

Red Status: AdventHealth sees decline in hospitalized patients, but still at higher level than earlier surges


This week, facilities in AdventHealth’s Central Florida division transitioned to “Red Status,” which will allow for additional deferred surgical procedures to move forward

From AdventHealth

The number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized across AdventHealth’s Central Florida hospitals declined this week to about 1,330, a level that allowed the health care system to move from Black Status to Red Status this week, but one that continues to remain higher than earlier surges.

“We are optimistic in that we feel that number is going to continue to go down, but it’s important to understand our hospitals and ICUs continue to be at very tight capacity,” said Dr. Victor Herrera, chief medical officer at AdventHealth Orlando on today’s AdventHealth Morning Briefing. “It’s going to be some time before we really feel that relief.”

After about four weeks in Black Status, which meant deferring non-urgent surgeries and procedures, AdventHealth moved to Red Status to accommodate more surgeries that could become more urgent as time goes on.

Herrera said the system is still a ways from returning to normal operations, but positive signs such as a significant decrease in the COVID positivity rate at Centra Care, AdventHealth’s urgent care clinics, are steps in the right direction.

Capacity in the ICUs remains a challenge, he said, with the number of patients requiring that level of care not declining at the same rate as overall COVID patients.

During this surge, he said, patients are requiring longer ICU stays and AdventHealth Orlando has expanded its capacity by creating ICU beds in other parts of the hospital.

He noted that more than 11,000 COVID patients have recovered and been discharged from AdventHealth’s Central Florida hospitals this year.

“It’s really an incredible number,” Herrera, an infectious disease specialist, said. “I know that we have saved many lives and our therapies, our treatments have proven to be very effective.”

He said a huge difference remains between vaccinated and unvaccinated patients with most critically ill patients continuing to be unvaccinated.

“During my career, I have never seen a vaccine that is more effective than the COVID-19 vaccine,” he said.

From Black to Red Status

On Wednesday, facilities in AdventHealth’s Central Florida division transitioned to “Red Status,” which will allow for additional deferred surgical procedures to move forward. While AdventHealth is still treating a significant number of COVID-19 patients, admissions continue to slow, leading to an improved outlook. The Central Florida division includes Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Polk, Volusia, and Flagler counties.

Under Red Status:

  • New surgical procedures are reduced to maximize efficiency
  • Only outpatient procedures with same-day discharges scheduled
  • Non-time-sensitive elective surgeries are deferred
  • Non-time-sensitive or non-emergent procedures must be approved by the campus chief medical officer
  • Outpatient surgery sites and pediatric surgeries continue as normal

“We are thankful that we continue to see a downward trend of COVID patients in our hospitals and that will allow us to provide care to those who have had to delay certain procedures,” said Dr. Neil Finkler, the chief clinical officer of AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division. “Our teams are still working very hard and we’re not out the woods, but we want to do everything we can to improve the quality of life for those who have been patiently waiting.”

Patients impacted by the status changed will be contacted by their physician’s office to schedule their procedure.

AdventHealth will continue to monitor hospital census and make adjustments as necessary to continue to care for everyone in the community.

Q & A with AdventHealth

Q: Is hospital capacity at risk?

A: While we are experiencing a downward trend, hospital capacity continues to be at extremely high levels. Our hospitals are designed in such a way that spaces are flexible and expandable. AdventHealth has an extensive health care system in place in Central Florida so we can locate patients to the facility that best matches the level of care they need.

Q: Do you have enough supplies and ventilators?

A: We have sufficient supplies of ventilators, monitors, and other specialized equipment, including oxygen and personal protective equipment.

Q: What percentage of COVID inpatients are vaccinated?

A: Less than 10% of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 across AdventHealth Central Florida’s system are fully vaccinated.

Q: Is AdventHealth administering COVID vaccines?

A: AdventHealth continues to offer COVID vaccines for the public at six Centra Care locations. AdventHealth also is offering COVID vaccines to inpatients at its hospitals throughout the Central Florida Division.

  1. Where should I go if I think I have COVID?

A: Rapid COVID testing is offered at all Centra Care locations. Only go to the emergency room if you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as difficulty breathing.



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