Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advisory
Cases of COVID-19 are increasing in Florida and locally. Today, there are 549 cases in Sumter County, with 162 occurring in the last week. In Lake County, there are 2,158 cases with 674 occurring in the last week. In Marion County, there are 1,156 cases with 379 occurring in the last week. As of this morning, there are 15 patients in the UF Health Villages Hospital and 36 in UF Leesburg Hospital.16 of these patients are in intensive care.
The upward trend is accelerating and the number of known cases among 15- to 35-year-olds is surpassing those of adults aged 55 and older. While younger individuals are typically more able to tolerate and survive the infection, older individuals are at higher risk for more serious outcomes related to this infection.
Communities where large populations of seniors live are advised to take proactive steps to reduce the risk of disease transmission. The Villages® is the nation’s largest 55 and older active living community.
Seniors who have serious medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease, Type II diabetes, or conditions reflective of weakened immunity are at even higher risk. These individuals can make decisions that reduce their risk of getting COVID-19. They should consider postponing participation in social events with more than 10 people, particularly those events held indoors. Everyone can help reduce the risk of community spread by their behaviors.
For mild or moderate disease, there is no current treatment that is proven to be effective; therefore, rest, fluids, quarantine and time are often the recommended treatment. For those with severe disease, in intensive care and on ventilators, there are two medications that help with symptoms and probably survival: dexamethasone and remdesivir. Convalescent plasma is also being used in hospitals and may also be beneficial. None of these are intended for prevention and should not be taken outside a hospital setting.
Everyone can help by taking the following actions:
- People, if sick, should avoid contact with others
- Social distancing of at least six feet is important
- Consistent mask wearing is advised
- Frequent handwashing, avoid shaking hands and minimize hand-to-face contact
- Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing, then wash your hands
- Avoid interactions that last 15 minutes and are within six feet of others, especially without masks
The Villages Health current actions to create a safer environment:
- Temperature checks and questionnaire for all staff, patients and guests who enter a care center
- Employees who are ill or exposed are being quarantined at home until safe for return to work
- Social distancing practiced throughout the workplace
- Required mask use for all in the care center (patients and guests are provided masks if they need them)
- Telephone triage to help assess risk, need for testing and need for aggressive care like hospital visits
- COVID-19 testing, if recommended, is performed in the parking lot to avoid potential infection of others
- Patients will be called and offered a telehealth visit to provide needed care without risk of exposure in a care center
Two Resources for Information:
The Florida Department of Health has established a call center for general questions at 866-779-6121, which is manned from 8 AM – 5 PM. Specific questions related to guidance may be directed to the Sumter County Health Department at 352-569-3102.
The Villages Health is working hard to keep you safe, while also ensuring we take care of your health care needs. As we all work together, we will continue our path to becoming America’s Healthiest Hometown®.
Jeffrey Lowenkron, MD, MPP
Chief Medical Officer
The Villages Health