Mayor Curry, Hospital Administrators Provide COVID-19 Update

Clinical Expertise

Jul 21, 2021

Today, Mayor Curry, along with the local healthcare leaders, hosted a virtual news conference to address the recent increase in COVID-19 cases and the local vaccination rate.

Joining Mayor Curry on the virtual briefing were:

  • Dr. Leon Haley Jr., CEO – UF Health Jacksonville
  • Dr. Kent Thielen, CEO – Mayo Clinic in Florida
  • Michael Mayo, President & CEO – Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville
  • Tom VanOsdol, President & CEO, Ascension Florida
  • Doug Baer, President & CEO – Brooks Rehabilitation
  • Capt. David Barrows, Executive Officer – Naval Hospital Jacksonville
  • Dr. Sunil Joshi, President – Duval County Medical Society
  • Steven Woodard, Director – Emergency Preparedness Division

Mayor Curry stated, “Last week, as I have throughout the pandemic, I met with leaders from our local hospitals to discuss the recent increase in COVID-19 cases we’ve experienced in our area. Many of those leaders are here today, and I am grateful for their advice and guidance throughout these long months for our city, state, and nation.”

He continued by saying, “In those meetings, they reaffirmed what I have been saying for weeks: That the data shows that nearly all patients suffering severe symptoms from this virus in our hospitals right now are NOT vaccinated.”

Mayor Curry pointed out the following:

  • The results are clear: The shots work. They are highly effective in preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19.
  • Per the Centers for Disease Control, of the 18,000 deaths our country experienced because of this virus in May, 99.7% of those patients were not fully vaccinated.
  • The vaccine is the best tool we have to protect ourselves, our friends, our neighbors, and our loved ones.

Despite having access to the vaccines, we’re seeing hospitalizations for this virus here in Jacksonville at a level we haven’t seen since the height of the pandemic last year.

  • We have a better solution this go around, a solution that helps prevent severe illness and death, and that is the vaccine. A vaccine that is accessible to basically anyone who wants it.
  • And so, my overall message to the citizens of Jacksonville… and I’m sure my colleagues from our hospitals here agree with me… My message is this: GET THE VACCINE.
  • The easiest way to find a vaccine location near you is to go online to and type in your zip code. You’ll be provided a map with all the vaccine locations in your area. And you can sort by vaccine type to get the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson shots.

“Of course, you don’t have to take my word for it,” Mayor Curry said. “I am no medical expert, but I have been fortunate to receive the advice and guidance from some of the brightest medical minds and leaders in the healthcare industry. To talk more about this recent surge in COVID-19, its effects here locally, and strategies we can take as a community and individuals to address it, I’m going to allow some of our area medical leaders to make brief remarks.”

Check out the full press conference below:

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