August 12, 2022
COVID wave may be peaking in Florida as cases start to level off, but deaths spike

Florida Trend Health Care

COVID wave may be peaking in Florida as cases start to level off, but deaths spike

| 6/28/2022

COVID wave may be peaking in Florida as cases start to level off, but deaths spike

The latest COVID-19 wave in Florida may be cresting, hospital reports indicate, while the weekly statewide death toll spiked by more than 1,000 residents for the first time in more than three months. The number of COVID-positive patients statewide grew by 129 this week, the smallest seven-day increase since April 26, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department reported Friday. [Source: Gainesville Sun]

Publix won’t give COVID vaccine to children under 5

Since COVID-19 vaccines first became available, Publix has played a major role in tackling the public health emergency in Florida by offering vaccines to adults and, later, children as young as 5. But the Lakeland grocery company says it will not offer the vaccine approved for children ages 4 and under “at this time.” Spokesperson Hannah Herring said last week that Publix will not release a statement explaining its decision. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Florida sees one of worst outbreaks in history of meningococcal disease

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating what it calls one of the worst outbreaks of meningococcal disease among gay and bisexual men in U-S history, and urging vaccinations after at least seven people have died in Florida so far this year. Meningococcal disease is caused by bacteria that is spread by sharing saliva, or being in prolonged close contact with someone who is coughing. Symptoms may include headache, fever, vomiting and stiff neck. [Source: WUSF]

Florida Planned Parenthood braces for surge in out-of-state patients following Roe v. Wade ruling

Abortion providers in Florida that have seen an influx of out-of-state patients for months are bracing for even more, mostly from Georgia but also from neighboring Southern states. “Planned Parenthood centers are busy already. We’ll be even busier, from neighboring states,” said Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. “We’ve seen hundreds in the past year from many states, most of them from Georgia. We expect to see more.” [Source: Florida Phoenix]

Gov. DeSantis vetoes hospital district conversion bill

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday vetoed a bill that would have set up a process for independent hospital districts to convert into private nonprofit entities. Fort Myers-based Lee Memorial Health Systems was the driving force behind SB 1260, which was sponsored by Sarasota Republican Sen. Joe Gruters. DeSantis noted in a veto letter to Secretary of State Cord Byrd that he has supported changes to hospital districts that were passed in local bills. [Source: Florida Politics]


› CDC boosts monkeypox testing with 142 cases confirmed in US, 16 in Florida
The Biden administration has started shipping testing kits for monkeypox to commercial laboratories in a bid to speed diagnostic tests for suspected infections for the virus that has already infected at least 142 people in the U.S. The Florida Department of Health reports that 16 cases have been confrmed in the state as of Wednesday, including 11 in Broward County, two in Orange, and one each in Collier, Miami-Dade and Seminole.

› AHCA proposes rule denying Medicaid coverage for gender-affirming care
The Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration has proposed a rule that would prohibit Medicaid from covering transgender care. The proposed Medicaid rule finds gender-affirming care is “medically unnecessary.” If the rule is approved, Medicaid would not pay for gender-affirming treatments in Florida. That includes puberty blockers, hormones and sex-assignment surgeries for both youth and adults.

› DeSantis signs a bill to boost efforts by providers to diagnose Alzheimer's
Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a bill aimed at boosting efforts by doctors and other health care providers to detect Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia in patients. The law directs the Florida Department of Health, through existing programs, to educate health care providers about issues such as the importance of early detection of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

› Collaboration among Tampa Bay’s biggest health care providers is essential medicine, says HCA’s Ravi Chari
Ravi Chari is a clinician at heart. But he found the business side of health care later in his career, driven by a search for answers to barriers to quality care. With 14 years of service at HCA Healthcare, he’s been in Tampa Bay for about five years. Chari spent most of his career in Nashville, Tennessee, where, before HCA, he spent 17 years at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine.

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