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As COVID Hospitalizations Trend Down In Florida, Experts Continue To Be Cautiously Optimistic

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - It has been nearly a year since CBS4 walked down the halls of the emergency room of Mount Sinai Medical Center, and at that time, COVID cases were surging and deaths were uncontrollable.

"At the beginning of COVID, it was tough both physically and emotionally." Pulmonologist Ari Ciment has spent most of her time in the COVID unit since the very beginning of the pandemic.

Taking care of the most critically ill, while he brought comfort to those who didn't survive the virus. He has also saved numerous lives.

But on this Friday, the ER is a bit different and Dr. Ciment tells us he can't help but reminisce.

"It is cautious optimism. We are at a very good point right now and I am just hoping that it stays steady," said Pulmonary and Critical Care attendant Ari Ciment.

In the state of Florida, the number of hospitalization rates continues to trend down.

On Tuesday, according to the CDC, no new deaths were reported.

"I do not think we are out of the woods yet, we are in the eye of the storm. We are actually at 3.5% of testing. The mortality rate is dropping, inpatient COVID-19 are dropping significantly but we still need people to get vaccinated," said Ciment.

Dr. David Farcy the chairman of the hospital's ER says a gamechanger has been the monoclonal antibody infusions, especially with vaccinated people. A recent trial showed.

"They don't die. They may get sick they may get hospitalized. If they do get hospitalized than they receive the monoclonal antibody. They are out within 24- 48 hours. So it's a significant reduction in and no death for those that are vaccinated and received it."

Dr. Ciment showed me the infusion.

He had this message: people with mild symptoms and reinfections should get it right away.

"There were a lot of missed opportunities when we see someone who passes now away from covid. It is usually not only the fact that they were not vaccinated but the fact that they were not advised to get the monoclonal antibody infusion and even if you get hospitalized the likelihood of an adverse outcome becomes dramatically less."

As far as other treatments, Dr. Ciment says they continue using anti-inflammatory medications and remdesivir.

And another important thing has changed.

"In fact allowing a patient's family to come in also has helped the situation. In terms of keeping their spirits alive."

According to the CDC, 59.5% of the state's population is vaccinated and Dr. Ciment stresses people should get their boosters.

"And now with the pediatric population getting vaccinated next week, I think it will help bring this pandemic to a close."

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