Ascension Sacred Heart and Baptist leaders talk about COVID surge

COVID-19 hospitalizations remain high in Escambia County; most are not vaccinated

PENSACOLA, Fla. (Aug. 27, 2021) — The numbers of COVID-19 patients hospitalized at Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola remains at record-high levels.

The number of hospitalized patients fluctuates frequently, so any individual data points are only a moment-in-time snapshot. But here are a few key statistics for today, Aug. 27:

There are a total of 150 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 at Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola. The number of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 one week ago was 153.

In addition, there are nine pediatric patients in the Studer Family Children’s Hospital.

Today’s number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 is much higher than the hospital’s previous peak of COVID-19 patients that occurred in January 2021.

The current number of 150 is nine times higher than what it was on July 4, shortly before the current surge of COVID began in Northwest Florida. On July 4, the hospital had 17 patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

Approximately 93 percent of the hospital’s patients hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated.

Of all COVID-19 patients coming to Ascension Sacred Heart for care, including visits to the Emergency Department, more than half are under age 50.

Overall, the infection rate in the Pensacola area is very high. COVID-19 testing conducted in Pensacola by Ascension Medical Group Sacred Heart this week found that approximately 35 percent of those tested were found to have COVID-19. That is 2.5 times higher than what Ascension Medical Group recorded on average last year.

Pediatric infections appear to be on the rise. On Thursday, Ascension Medical Group’s drive-thru testing center off Bayou Boulevard tested 505 people. Among the individuals whose tests confirmed the presence of COVID-19, 41 percent were under the age of 18.

In Escambia County, only 49 percent of individuals 18 and older have been fully vaccinated compared to the national average of 63 percent, according to the New York Times. In Santa Rosa County, only 45 percent of those 18 and older are fully vaccinated. By comparison, the number of those 65 and older who are fully vaccinated is much higher – 79 percent.

“Our healthcare workers need the community’s support to stop this surge,” said Dawn Rudolph, president of Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola. “The best tools we have available to stop COVID-19 are wearing masks in public indoor spaces, social distancing, and, most important, getting the vaccine.”

Everyone in our community plays a critical role in keeping us safe from this virus. Ascension Sacred Heart urges anyone 12 and older to get vaccinated now to protect themselves, their loved ones, and our community against COVID-19. The vaccines are safe and effective, and the evidence is clear that the benefits of being vaccinated far outweigh any identified risks or side effects.


Baptist Health Care COVID-19 Update #47 – Hospitalizations at highest since pandemic began

 Aug. 27, 2021

Baptist Health Care President and CEO Mark Faulkner said in his video released Aug. 27, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is the highest it has been since the pandemic began in March 2020. This is true at Baptist hospitals as well. The great majority of hospitalized patients, those receiving critical care, those requiring ventilators and those who have died are unvaccinated.

The video can be viewed at

Vaccinations have been shown to prevent or lessen the severity of COVID-19, including the risk of death. The Pfizer vaccine now has full FDA approval for individuals age 16 and up. The vaccine continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for children ages 12 – 15 and as a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals.

Baptist Health Care encourages everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible to protect themselves, their loved ones and their community. Visit for a nearby vaccine location.

Because masking is also an important tool in preventing the spread of COVID-19, Baptist Health Care likewise encourages everyone to wear a mask while indoors and to practice other infection prevention protocols as outlined at

In his community update, Faulkner also spoke of the unrelenting stress the pandemic has placed on health care workers. “Our team is incredible, but they are not invincible,” he said. The teams at Baptist Health Care greatly appreciate the outpouring of prayers and kind messages they have received from the public. Faulkner encourages the community to continue sending messages of support


2 thoughts on “Ascension Sacred Heart and Baptist leaders talk about COVID surge

  1. Math is exactly what the hospital administrators are afraid of, Mr. Lewis. They don’t want people to know how many from our community are dying horrible deaths from covid, and are happy to use DeSantis’s refusal to release the county death statistics as duck and cover for avoiding the subject of delta fatalities in our area.

    It goes like this: the GOP convinces its base that death total is the only covid impact that matters; DeSantis orchestrates a cover-up of that data on a County level, and that lack of transparency suits the area administrators just fine.

    This is why you get Ms. Rudolph perched in front of a courtyard fountain, impeccably coiffed and speaking in dulcet tones about just how important it is that everybody understand how dangerous covid is. I wonder how many of her nurses had time for a blow-out that day. What I don’t wonder is why those Sinclair TV cameras aren’t in the ER’s, halls, and conference rooms of those hospitals. You know. Like hospital administrators who are actually concerned about their communities understanding the grim realities allow all across the country, every day.

    Until they stop mumbling around releasing the death stats–including retroactively to the beginning of this wave–any “straight” talk from them is absurd, and nothing more than CYA. And whatever they do end up releasing, at this point I will have a very hard time believing it. Probably the only statistic we’ll have at the end of this is high-level data on excess mortality. And sometimes I wonder if even that won’t get covered up in the service of DeathSantis’s insatiable power hunger, if the republican leadership here has anything to do with it.

  2. Whenever the number of “Current COVID-19 Hospitalizations” is lower, Channel 3 newsreaders get breathless reporting it. The numbers would be more useful if they also told us how many people died. We can do the math. If the number of hospitalizations is reporters as being less and X people died, then report the number dead. We can assume that Y number of people went home. The one troubling number in today’s report is that there was no change in the number of people in Escambia County who are fully vaccinated, mindful that there really is no way to know for sure because people move in and out of the county. The number yesterday “and” today reported by Channel 3 was 40.1%. Pensacola Christian College residence halls opened today. I was in Walmart today on Creighton Road. There were a lot of people from out of state buying a lot of dorm room stuff with their kids whom I presumed by their clean cut appearance and lack of obvious tattoos might be PCC students. I was surprised that so few parents and kids were wearing masks. I’m vaccinated and even I again now wear a mask in Walmart. The PCC’s website advises, “PCC regards COVID-19 vaccination as a personal decision and does not require vaccination for campus access or services.” The PCC website does report COVID-19 cases. So many PCC students live in the dorms on campus, most of the student body, that it would be sad if there was an outbreak on campus.

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