Lee Health, NCH mark 2 years since pandemic began

Reporter: Emma Heaton Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Lee Health
Credit: WINK News.

Lee Health and NCH came together to reflect on the last two years of the pandemic.

With cases dropping and no known variants on the horizon, doctors and medical leaders reflected on the fight against COVID-19.

A Lee Health doctor said back then he wished he had a textbook that could guide him through a pandemic.

But instead, he had to rely on himself and staff to figure it out.

Frontline healthcare workers had no choice but to grab a pen and write the book themselves.

Dr. Shyam Kapadia, a pulmonologist and critical care specialist at Lee Health, remembers the first time a COVID-19 patient was put in his care.

“She was in her 40s. She was a mom. She was a wife. She was a daughter. She was a sister. She was a brave member of this community,” Kapadia said during a joint press conference by Lee Health and NCH.

It was a time of the unknown and Kapadia didn’t know what he could do to save her life.

COVID-19 had caught everyone off guard.

“We were constantly on the internet, collaborating with other hospital systems, bigger systems throughout the country,” Kadapia said.

Lee Health collaborated with other hospitals including NCH to the south where Chief Nursing Officer Ilia Echevarria works.

“Physicians from once competing healthcare systems working together in tandem and sharing information to support and heal communities,” Echevarria said.

Together the two systems saved lives.

“We’ve learned so much in such a short amount of time and we continue to learn more,” Echevarria said.

Lee Health also said they will also be discontinuing their daily COVID-19 updates due to the drop in cases.

Listed below is the COVID-19 update for Tuesday.

  • As of Tuesday morning, there are 30 COVID-19 patients isolated in Lee Health hospitals.
  • Of those patients, three of them are being treated at Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.
  • On Tuesday morning, hospital census was at 93% of staffed operational bed capacity.
  • On Tuesday morning, census in the intensive care unit was at 88% of staffed operational bed capacity. There were two COVID-19 patients in the ICU.
  • On Monday, Lee Health emergency departments saw 929 patients, which is above average for this time of year.
  • Lee TeleHealth is currently free and is an easy alternative to avoid longer than normal wait times at urgent care centers. To access Lee Telehealth, download the Lee Health app or visit www.LeeTelehealth.org.

Watch the press conference in the player below or by clicking the link.

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