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Broward hospital CEOs voice concerns, give update during meeting with county commissioners



Hospital CEOs in Broward County have voiced their concerns and gave an update on their hospitals’ situation during a meeting with county commissioners.

The hospital executives spoke during a COVID-19 workshop on Thursday.

“We’re not seeing a decrease yet in our facilities,” Aurelio Fernandez, the CEO of Memorial Healthcare System, said. “We cannot handle much more, and we still got in our projections two more weeks of this.”

The Florida Department of Health reported on Thursday an additional 10,249 new confirmed cases of the virus. As many as 2,723 cases are in Miami-Dade County, 1,263 are in Broward County and 20 are in Monroe County.

Over 600 COVID-19 patients have been hospitalized with the virus in the Memorial Healthcare System. That number is most certainly inflated due to the close proximity of Miami-Dade County.

“We have 59% of all of our patients in that hospital coming from Miami-Dade County,” Fernandez said.

The numbers, however, are much better at Broward Health. CEO Gino Santorio credits the improvements to health guidelines.

“We are seeing a decline,” Santorio said. “We were at the peak of this second surge, about 285 COVID admissions. We’re down to about 240 right now, and I think that the social distancing, masking and additional enforcement and enhancement of those enforcement measures, particularly by Broward County, has played a significant role in the success.”

Several new drive-thru testing sites are expected to open on Friday throughout Broward County, including one at Dillard High School in Fort Lauderdale.

Meanwhile, South Floridians continue to get tested for the virus across the region.

“I started having the symptoms like coughing,” Florence Adejobi said. “I lost my taste, so that’s why I knew something was wrong.”

“It’s a nightmare,” Leonard St. Jean said. “I wish more people would take it more seriously.”

Individuals who don’t adhere to the county’s guidelines could be fined, and businesses could be shut down.

“We are citing people,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said. “We are dealing with shutting down businesses, and we will keep that tone. This is a public safety issue.”

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