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Local News

Mayor Offers Good News In COVID-19 Battle

Pensacola City Hall
City of Pensacola
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City of Pensacola

Hospitalization numbers from Pensacola's three major hospitals are down.

There’s some good news in the local battle against the pandemic, according to Pensacola Mayor Grover Robinson.

“The big news today is sort of where we’re going with COVID-19 numbers; we have seen a fairly significant drop,” said the mayor during Monday’s weekly news conference at City Hall. “Positivity has dropped [but] it hasn’t dropped that much; it’s still at 17.3. We need that to get down, but it is compared to 20.3.”

Robinson says the hospitals told him last week that the actual testing numbers are almost cut in half – in effect, killing two birds with one stone.

“Not only are you having your positivity shrink, but you’re having just the number of people who show up for tests go down,” he said. “Hospitalizations were at 224 on Friday; Saturday at 200, 194 on Sunday, and 181 [Monday]. And we’re continuing to see it drop.”

COVID-19 patients at the area’s three major hospitals — Baptist, West Florida and Ascension Sacred Heart — spiked at an all-time record in August at more than 300. As hospitalizations drop, the mayor adds that this is not the time to let down your guard.

“West Florida and Baptist are around that 50 mark, and Sacred’s now come down to under 100,” Robinson said. “So I think this is really beginning to show some of the efforts that we’ve made, on what we’re working and hopefully we’re getting through [the] Delta [variant]. This is where you’ve got to stay on top of things like vaccines, boosters, to help where we go in the future.”

And in some areas, the future is now towards a return to normal activities.

“This weekend we began having our first football games; we began opening up our community centers. We’re now up to 75%,” said the mayor. “We’re now taking new events and scheduling new things. As we see the numbers coming down, we’re trying to allow people to be back up and do things, and plan for the future.”

The pandemic has produced a roller-coaster of sorts regarding numbers in total COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. Mayor Grover Robinson says the key is working within, and through, that ebb and flow.

“Getting under 200 [hospitalizations] makes me feel a lot better; even when we went under 300 I didn’t feel tremendously great,” he said. “But now which we’re getting under 200 feeling better. And I think the best news is the way it’s dropping, seeing 50 drop down over the weekend, if it can get down to 100 by this time next week I think we’ll be in a much better situation.”

Meanwhile, Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11. The firm’s plan now is to seek authorization for this age group soon in the U.S., Britain and Europe. This after Pfizer studied a lower dose of its two-dose vaccine in more than 2,200 kindergartners and elementary school-aged kids.