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As COVID-19 Cases Drop, Doctors Face New Challenge – the Flu

It’s been more than two months since the Bay Area suffered one of the largest spikes of COVID-19.

In early July, Sarasota Memorial Hospital initially celebrated having an empty ICU – but that moment of joy quickly faded.

Within days, dozens of patients were admitted to hospital. Many were critically ill.

“We started having around 118 patients in mid-July,” recalled Dr. James Fiorica, Chief Medical Officer at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. “It was very concerning.” 

Now, two months since the spike, Sarasota County continues to show a fairly steady decline in new cases. 

On Thursday, the Florida Department of Health recorded 25 people testing positive for COVID-19 in the county. 

“I think everyone is just cautious, and they are happy we are going in the right direction,” Dr. Fiorica said. “We are cautious about letting down our guard.” 

Now, as we enter flu season, he warns many of the symptoms mirror COVID-19. 

The new challenge – determining between the two sicknesses quickly, and getting through the holidays with minimal exposures. 

“Let’s face it. We just had Labor Day. Who knows what we can expect ten days from now,” Fiorica wonders.  

In preparation for flu season, Fiorica suggests that everyone get a flu shot.

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