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Calling 911 in Parts of Florida May or May Not Help You

According to a Facebook post from the local fire department, the public is being asked to limit calls for an ambulance for cuts, earaches and other minor maladies because area hospitals are so jammed with people sick with the coronavirus.

An ambulance on a street with a blurred background to show that it is driving fast.
(TNS) - If you are having a serious medical problem in Seminole County , think twice about dialing 911. The warning from officials stems from a spike in COVID cases.

According to a Facebook post from the local fire department, the public is being asked to limit calls for an ambulance for cuts, earaches and other minor maladies because area hospitals are so jammed with people sick with the coronavirus.

From July 2020 to July 2021 , call volume increased 12 percent, 1,000 plus additional calls, WESH reports.

“What’s happening now is that because the hospitals are inundated, our units taking patients in are having to wait an excess of 45 minutes, an hour, two hours,” said Seminole County Fire Chief Otto Drozd , according to Fox 35 Orlando. The normal wait time is roughly 20 minutes.

According to Seminole County Emergency Management , there have been 309 hospitalizations in the county in August, jumping from 86 the previous month.

So for such conditions as “mild COVID-19 symptoms,” “abrasions with bleeding stopped,” or an injury with “no deformities or loss of feeling or circulation,” go to your doctor or nearby urgent care, the agency says in the post.

You can still go ahead and call 911 for other situations such as “severe” COVID symptoms such as difficulty breathing, break-ins, fires, choking, or “when life or property is endangered.”

Also inundated with COVID cases, Florida’s Brevard and Lake counties also raised the alarm about contacting emergency services as well.

©2021 Miami Herald. Visit miamiherald.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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