Jacksonville-area leaders, health experts address surge in COVID cases during town hall


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hoping to extend consciousness a few spike in Northeast Florida hospitalizations as a consequence of COVID-19, Jacksonville-area leaders and infectious illness specialists got here collectively Thursday night for a city corridor to handle the latest surge in instances.

The important thing concern through the assembly was what’s often known as the delta variant — a extremely contagious pressure of the virus.

“Jacksonville, our home is on hearth,” stated Dr. Nancy Staats, an anesthesiologist. “And we’d like all people on the market to assist put it out.”

The wrath of the delta variant hits near residence for folks from all walks of life, together with Neptune Seashore Mayor Elaine Brown.

“The truth that we nearly misplaced our son final yr, and not too long ago, we’ve had COVID optimistic and really sick folks in our household,” Brown stated. “That is so contagious and I believe that’s the level that isn’t getting by way of to folks.”

Well being specialists say the delta variant is 200% extra contagious than the unique COVID-19 virus. They are saying roughly 90% of hospitalized COVID sufferers aren’t vaccinated.


“These COVID sufferers are taking over 20%, and at occasions, extra of the hospital capability,” stated Dr. Scott Silvers with Mayo Clinic. “And that’s making it onerous to render care to the entire different sufferers.”

News4Jax requested Silvers how efficient the vaccines are at defending towards the delta variant.

“Beforehand, with previous variations of the virus, these vaccines had been 95% efficient at stopping sickness. So now we’re seeing vaccine failure with this delta variant. Persons are getting sick which were vaccinated. Luckily, it’s very uncommon for somebody (who’s) vaccinated to turn into so severely sick that they require hospitalization,” Silvers stated.

Pastor John Newman hosted the occasion. He stated he’s upset to listen to about low vaccination numbers in Florida’s Black group.

Pastor Newman on COVID-19
Pastor Newman on COVID-19

“Oftentimes within the Black group, issues lag locally and oftentimes final, however on this explicit case, we have to actually get to the entrance of the road as a result of there’s so many individuals who can infect so many extra folks just because they’re not vaccinated,” Newman stated in an interview with News4Jax.


Staats stated deciding to vaccinate is a private selection and one which prioritizes private and public well being. Newman preaches following a golden rule.

“If you happen to love you, shield you. If you happen to really feel like, properly, I’m okay. I believe I’m effective, however let’s say you will have a cherished one you’re involved about, you like them, then obtain the vaccination since you love them,” Newman stated. “And any father or mother would see a automotive careening down the road and their little one in peril would instantly run out to avoid wasting that little one and threat their very own lives to do this. Effectively, that’s what we’re speaking about. Doing what is critical to avoid wasting not simply solely your life however the lifetime of these you take care of.”

There was a better demand for COVID testing amid the spike. Medical doctors say the PCR check is 90 to 95% correct. The fast check is extra within the 65% vary. They are saying you could’t depend on a damaging fast check and encourage a re-test you probably have signs.


Youngsters and the delta variant

Youngsters underneath the age of 12 nonetheless can’t get the vaccine.

Adrianna Cantville, a pediatrician who attended the city corridor, stated she’s seen an inflow of kids being handled for the virus. She stated one of the simplest ways to guard them is by sporting masks and that those that are eligible ought to get vaccinated.

Youthful, sicker, faster is the mantra many docs have relating to explaining the delta variant. Cantville stated she not too long ago handled a COVID affected person who was 3 weeks previous.

“We’re seeing extra youngsters being handled and within the hospital and long run issues,” Cantville stated. “Most necessary factor we are able to do is create a cocoon of security. Everybody of their life must be vaccinated so we are able to shield them. We nonetheless have to put on masks.”

Cantville feels with numbers on the rise that college students ought to proceed sporting masks in faculties.

RELATED: Pediatricians group recommends everyone wear masks at schools


“That is one of the simplest ways to maintain them protected, and that is what the American Academy of Pediatrics has beneficial,” Cantville stated. “Not simply the scholars, however all people within the faculty. Lecturers, the employees, whether or not the academics and employees have been vaccinated or not, that’s the advice.”

Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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