Ascension sees slight decrease in COVID cases

Special to Gannett

PANAMA CITY — Ascension Sacred Heart Bay in Panama City, Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast in Miramar Beach and Ascension Sacred Heart Gulf in Port St. Joe are beginning to see a slight decrease in hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

The number of hospitalized patients fluctuates frequently, so any individual data points are only a moment-in-time snapshot. Ascension Sacred Heart released the following statistics as of Aug. 26:

Ascension Sacred Heart Emerald Coast

● There are a total of 136 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in the three Ascension Sacred Heart hospitals in Bay, Walton and Gulf counties. The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 the week prior was 154 in the three hospitals.

● The most COVID positive patients we had admitted to our three hospitals, collectively, during the most recent surge was 154 patients on Aug. 19.

● On July 4, shortly before the COVID-19 surge began, the three hospitals had a total of six patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

● 93% of these patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

● Of all COVID-19 patients coming to Ascension for care, including visits to the Emergency Department, 54 percent are under age 50. In other words, over half of patient visits to our hospitals are under 50, when all patient settings are considered.

The health and safety of our patients and community remains our top priority.

Ascension Sacred Heart staff cannot stress enough the importance of getting vaccinated. We believe the approved COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective and the benefits of being vaccinated outweigh any identified risks or side effects.

Everyone in the community plays a critical role in keeping us safe from this virus. The most effective ways of protecting each other are to wear masks in indoor spaces and get vaccinated to protect you, your loved ones and the community.