COVID-19 cases up in Collier County

Reporter: Rachel Cox-Rosen
COVID-19 cases continue to drive up in Collier County as omicron reaches Southwest Florida. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Getting tested for COVID-19 is becoming a normal thing for Damian Cuadrado.

But he’s not happy about it.

“I’m just wanting it to be over already,” Cuadrado said. “I thought once I got vaccinated, that that was going to kind of be it. And I didn’t have to wear the mask anymore. And now it’s turning out to be looking like something that we might have to live with for the rest of our lives.”

The latest variant, omicron, is hitting Collier County.

“As of this week, we have a 10.4% positivity rate here in Collier County. That is a high transmission rate,” said Kristine Hollingsworth, public information officer for the Department of Health in Collier County.

It’s bringing more and more people to the Florida Department of Health of Collier County’s drive-thru testing site.

“Yesterday we saw 280 people for testing and we are continuing to see those numbers daily,” Hollingsworth said.

William and Cheryl Peoples decided to get tested because they felt tired.

“I normally don’t sleep well anyways, but I’ve been sleeping like crazy,” William Peoples said.

Over at NCH, Dr. David Lindner, medical director for COVID-19, said hospitalizations are not up.

“The emergency rooms are different,” Lindner said.

Lindner said the emergency rooms were flooded but patients are not being admitted.

“Our biggest concern is a significant level of absenteeism because of illness,” he said. “So, if as staff gets sick, the hospitals and businesses across Southwest Florida are going to be challenged to maintain their level of service.”

Lindner said he expects omicron to move quickly and that it may take two weeks to know how omicron will affect hospitalizations.

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