Florida sees sharp decline in average daily COVID hospitalizations; UF Health part of national treatment experiment

by | Aug 26, 2020

Daily hospitalizations for COVID-19 have seen a sharp decline over the past week, as daily admissions saw numbers at just over half what they were the previous week. New cases also continue to decline, and are now beginning to approach the level of the initial peak of the virus back in mid-April of this year.

Whether the trend will continue to decline with schools and college campuses across the state now reopening, but the state is well positioned to handle any surge in new cases. Right now, just 4,455 patients are hospitalized across the state with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, and that population has been steadily declining for six weeks, down from 8,200 back in late July.

Two people in the state who tested positive for COVID-19 have been enrolled in a national clinical trial at University of Florida Health, which announced Tuesday that they would receive convalescent blood plasma to determine whether it can reduce the effects of COVID-19. UF Health is one of 50 medical centers nationwide participating in the clinical trial, which is expected to enroll 600 patients.

“Enrolled patients must have a mild form of COVID-19 but be at risk of developing more severe cases because of immunity issues, their ages, lung disease or diabetes,” Lisa H. Merck, a physician who is vice chair of research in the UF College of Medicine’s Department of Emergency Medicine and site principal investigator, said in a prepared statement.

The researchers are looking to see how patients respond in the first two weeks of COVID-19 but will track them for a month. The clinical trial is considered “blind” because patients don’t know whether they have been given convalescent blood plasma or placebos.



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