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Man says wife being treated for pneumonia is in hospital hallway due to COVID-19 overcrowding


By Kelsi Thorud

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    CLERMONT, Florida (WESH) — “It’s a really bad situation. It shouldn’t happen,” Ralph Boyd said.

Boyd is worried about his wife, telling WESH 2 News: “She’s been in the hallway in the Emergency division since last night.”

Ralph says his wife has non-COVID-19-related pneumonia and was told by her doctors to get to a hospital.

However, when Boyd and his wife Ileen showed up at South Lake Hospital in Clermont, he says they were told there weren’t any rooms available.

“I called a nurse and they said they had like 40 patients stacked up waiting for rooms out there and it’s even worse at ORMC,” Boyd said.

He said the reason for the overcrowding was COVID-19.

COVID-19 hospitalizations have spiked in recent weeks. Boyd puts a lot of the blame on many Floridians’ decision to balk at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations.

“Why fight against masks? Why join a chorus that doubts the effectiveness of the vaccine? It’s stupid,” Boyd said.

He says both he and his wife are fully vaccinated but she remains at higher risk given her health condition. For now, she’s still being treated for her pneumonia in a hallway with no idea if or when she’ll get a real room.

“There is no other option. Every other hospital in central Florida is in the same situation,” Boyd said.

WESH 2 News reached out to Orlando Health for comment on the overcrowding in their hospitals. Hospital representatives replied with a statement, reading in part… “Like many health care systems across the country, the pandemic has placed high demand on some of our hospitals and facilities. While wait times vary greatly based on different factors… we are constantly evaluating strategies to address how we deliver the best care to our patients.”

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