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Doctors call on community to slow COVID spread as hospitals see increase in patients

They say they worry about the toll caring for so many COVID patients is taking on staff.

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. — As COVID patients continue to rapidly increase at our area’s hospitals, doctors at Sarasota Memorial Hospital have a plea to the community.

"We need you, hospital workers, all of us. we need you to help end this spread," Dr. Manuel Gordillo said.

Gordillo and Dr. Joseph Seaman say they’ve never seen this large of a number of COVID cases coming into the hospital, and for the first time had more than 100 patients in the hospital over the weekend. They say they now have 26 COVID-19 patients in the ICU, 14 of whom are on ventilators.

"At some point, that number cannot be sustainable," Seaman said.

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They say they’ve run out of convalescent plasma at times and they’re out of Remdesivir, an antiviral medication being used to treat COVID patients. They’re hoping to get more by the end of the month, but aren’t exactly sure when it will arrive. They say the hospital is licensed for 839 beds, so they have enough, but they’re worried about the toll this exponential growth in patients is taking other  staff.

I am concerned about the sustainability of this, we are humans, at some point we’re gonna reach some point of fatigue, I hope our society gives us some kind of relief," Gordillo said.

They say many of these patients are younger than the ones they saw before and say the majority are there because of community spread, so they’re asking people in the community to wash their hands, socially distance, and yes, wear a mask.

"The virus doesn’t change, the only thing that changes is the way people behave," Gordillo said.

SMH says they strongly urge anyone who had COVID-19 to contact the SunCoast to reach out to Blood Centers to donate plasma, if they have antibodies. They must be symptom free for more than 14 days. You can call 941-993-8119 or email covid19@suncoastblood.org for more information.

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