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Tampa General Hospital Doctor Says COVID-19 Hospitalizations Are Very High

TAMPA, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - One local doctor says hospitalizations from COVID-19 are still high, but they are leveling off.

Associate Medical Director for the Emergency Department at Tampa General Hospital and Associate Professor at USF Health, Dr. Jason Wilson, says "Somewhere around late august, we saw some leveling out of the number of people we are admitting per day. It doesn't mean we are in a great place, it just means at least the growth of the number of people wasn't going up as much."

Dr. Wilson says right now almost 100 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 at Tampa General.

"Ten admissions per day, and kind of hanging more in that high single digit range of admissions each day with COVID-19…a place maybe we can withstand a little bit better," said Dr. Wilson.

He says it's a gimpse of hope.

"That gives you some guarded optimism I would say, that maybe for now we are moving into a different phase of this pandemic," said Dr. Wilson.

He says although not as many people are coming into the hospital with COVID-19 compared to a month ago, hospitalizations are still very high.

"If you look at it a year ago, that would have been seen as a very high number, to the perspective, as you look at those graphs, there's a mountain here and you see a little hill here, we thought that hill was the mountain, and you climb over that mountain and there's Mount Everest," said Dr. Wilson.

Dr. Wilson says Tampa General Hospital is still having to use other areas of the building for COVID-19 treatment, and if people don't take steps to protect themselves, that won't change.

"We are going to keep on having the same conversation every couple of months until we get our vaccination numbers very, very high," said Wilson.

As we get closer to the holidays, Dr. Wilson says right now it's hard to predict how the pandemic will look, but it's better to be cautious and follow CDC guidelines for now.

"Be really flexible which is really frustrating when you're trying to schedule time off work or how do I plan for a family event if that's two months away now," said Dr. Wilson.

Doctors say if you've had COVID-19, you should get the vaccine anyway. It'll help protect you from the virus even more.

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