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CBS4 Exclusive: Jackson Health System CEO Carlos Migoya On Drop In COVID Patients

MIAM(CBS4Miami) —- The Chief Executive Officer of the Jackson Health System is speaking exclusively with CBS4 about a 50 percent drop in COVID patients at the 7 hospitals in the Jackson Health System.

Following the latest Omicron surge, COVID-19 patients in the Jackson Health System reached a peak of 564 patients on January 12th and that number had dropped to 265 patients as of Thursday.

Migoya told CBS4's Peter D'Oench "The dramatic drop is a really good thing. We expected a drop as we have seen in other countries. But that is good news. The number of people testing positive is going down here in South Florida and Miami-Dade."

Migoya oversees more than 13,000 employees at 7 hospitals.

"This is good news for everyone," he said. "The last thing we need is for more people to stay home 5 or 10 days."

But he also warned that people should not let their guard down because of a possible future surge and at the same time two cases of the BA 2 variant have reportedly been discovered in Miami-Dade.

"I hate to keep talking about the sky is falling in our environment but this BA 2 is the next variant and we keep looking at sequencing to see if there is any sign of that. Last week we did see one sign of that and we are keeping an eye on that. If we do get another variant in here there could be a surge. The question is how steep it will be. But at this point, we feel very good."

Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at F.I.U., saud "There are also documented cases of people who had OMICRON and now how symptoms of the BA 2 version. So people should not think that I have had OMICRON and I am done with this and that the party is over. Unfortunately not. We have seen OMICRON in other countries go up at a very sharp rate and then decrease. In South Africa, it declined at a steep rate."

Alix Zacharski, the Nurse Manager in the Medical Intensive Care unit at Jackson Memorial Hospital, said "Nurses are feeling relieved by the drop in numbers f COVID patients. But we are still worried about what is to come. They are very tired and feel exhausted and my fear is a lot of them will leave for other jobs. I am worried about the ups and downs of what is going on and how my staff will be."

Migoya said "We have been at this for 2 years since March of 2020 and this is not fun. It has been challenging and it has been costing a lot in terms of premium pay costing as much as $100 million a year but we are trying to do the best for the community and all of our employees."

EMERGENCY COMPONENT - LOCAL

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