September 25, 2021
The number of new Florida COVID cases is rising as Delta variant spreads

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The number of new Florida COVID cases is rising as Delta variant spreads

| 6/29/2021

The number of new Florida COVID cases is rising as Delta variant spreads

The weekly number of new cases of COVID-19 and test positivity in Florida rose in the last week as the Delta variant spreads through the state. The Florida Department of Health reported 11,873 new COVID cases for the week ending June 24, compared with 10,629 for the prior week. Test positivity rose to 3.8% from 3.3% a week earlier. Vaccinations declined dramatically over the last week: Only 281,042 doses were administered compared with 413,018 a week earlier. As of Friday, 57% of Floridians are vaccinated with at least one dose, only 1% more than last week. More from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel and WUSF.

Florida hospitals don't require, and often aren't even aware of, staff COVID-19 vaccinations

Florida's largest public and private hospitals have no immediate plans to require employees to get vaccinated for COVID-19 and, in many cases, can't or won't say how many of their front-line staffers have been inoculated against the deadly virus. The state's health center workers — many of whom are subject to flu shot requirements — commonly do not even have to disclose their vaccination status, even if they work closely with patients at high risk of complications. [Source: Fort Myers News-Press]

Statewide campaign touts benefits of physical therapy

A physical therapy association on Thursday launched a website and digital campaign to promote the benefits of physical therapy, including to help in recovery from COVID-19. The website PTforMe.org lists a wide range of conditions - from cancer to incontinence to pelvic organ prolapse to COVID-19 recovery - that can benefit from physical therapy. [Source: News Service of Florida]

DeSantis signs controversial bill to boost staffing at nursing homes

Originally intended as a tourniquet to help mitigate staffing shortages at nursing homes during the pandemic, a new law will make permanent a program that allows facilities to hire less experienced employees to supplement the work of nursing assistants, who are able to provide more complex care for seniors. “In a nursing home, you’ve got people that you’re caring for — so you have to have staff,” said Kristen Knapp, communications director at the Florida Health Care Association, which represents over 80 percent of Florida’s nursing home industry. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida health systems offering nurse sign-on bonuses

Health systems in Southwest Florida are offering nurses sign-on bonuses amounting to tens of thousands of dollars and/or relocation assistance amid efforts to address staffing needs. Naples, Fla.-based NCH Healthcare system said it is hiring nurses to fill hundreds of open positions. As of June 22, the organization had about 450 open nursing positions, including new seasonal positions. To continue to boost staffing, NCH is offering sign-on bonuses ranging from $500 to $20,000. Inpatient acute care RNs (bedside), night shift, is such a position offering $20,000. [Source: Becker's Hospital Review]

ALSO AROUND FLORIDA:

› Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital appoints first female president
Johns Hopkins Medicine has named K. Alicia Schulhof as the new president of Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. She becomes the first woman to lead the pediatric hospital. Schulhof was chosen after a national search for a new leader and her appointment was announced Thursday. She served as president of the Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis for the past year and has more than 17 years experience leading health care organizations.

› New hospice to open in Sarasota County, offer specialty programs
Families seeking hospice services in Sarasota County have a new option, with Continuum Care of Sarasota opening after receiving initial approval of its state certificate roughly two years ago. “We’re just very excited to have the opportunity to provide choice,” Continuum Care of Sarasota Executive Director Casey Cuthbert-Allman said, while noting that it received the first new hospice license for Sarasota in more than four decades.

› UF Health reaches 'major milestone' in system restoration, medical records now accessible
While the investigation continues into the "cybersecurity event" that affected UF Health Central Florida's computer servers on May 31, the organization has made progress in its system restoration efforts. UF Health officials announced that its electronic medical record system was successfully restored on Friday morning, representing a "major milestone" in the organization's journey toward regular network operations.

› As pandemic wanes, syphilis numbers on the rise in Leon County
The number of syphilis cases in Leon County is up sharply from last year. State and local health officials are looking to launch an aggressive campaign to reduce the numbers. The nearly two dozen people on Wednesday’s Syphilis Prevention Coalition Zoom call heard sobering numbers from Leon County Health Department program manager Dale Harrison. “We have 129 cases of syphilis right now compared to 86 cases last year,” Harrison says.

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