911 calls for COVID-19 increase in Collier; younger patients being admitted into ER

Reporter: Justin Kase Writer: Jack Lowenstein
Published: Updated:
Credit: WINK News.

More people are calling 911 about experiencing coronavirus symptoms. First responders say they’ve been getting more calls over the past three to four weeks, and the age group needing the most help is dropping into kids and young adults.

An ER physician with NCH Healthcare System said the number of patients he’s seeing coming in is, at times, overwhelming. He said there is a correlation between the number of COVID-19-related 911 calls and the number of people being hospitalized with the virus.

Cases and hospitalizations are up in Collier County, and calls are heading in the wrong direction.

“Obviously, with the delta variant, it’s now coming back up through all of our countywide partners,” said Deputy Chief Sal D’Angelo of Greater Naples Fire Rescue District.

Collier County EMS said COVID-19-related calls went up over the last several weeks. D’Angelo says they’re keeping a close eye on the situation.

“We have been extra focused on making sure that if any new policies within the district need to be reimplemented from last year to now, we’re monitoring that,” D’Angelo said.

Dr. Benjamin Abo, an EMS and emergency physician at NCH, is also seeing more patients being admitted.

“It’s a combination of people that are already positive because they had some symptoms, and then, they just can’t take it anymore,” Abo explained.

Abo said he believes the current surge is already greater than the spikes he saw earlier in the pandemic.

“They either are too short of breath, they can’t keep fluids down, or they’re just so miserable from the lack of energy and the fevers,” Abo said.

Abo explained the ages of patients being admitted are getting younger.

“I’m seeing a lot of kids, young kids, 10, 11, 12 years old, as well as young adults in their upper teens, 20s and early 30s,” Abo said.

Abo warns everyone against letting their guard down.

“This still is a threat, and they should do their best to get vaccinated and wear a mask and try to distance when they can,” Abo said.

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