AdventHealth experts share insights from the front lines in WFTV-9 News special report

ORLANDO, Fla. – July 14, 2020 – Amid rising numbers of COVID-19 infections and an increase in local hospitalizations, a panel of medical experts shared insights and opinions on the pandemic in Central Florida during a 30-minute broadcast on WFTV-9, the local ABC News affiliate.

The program, sponsored by AdventHealth, provided an open discussion on COVID-19 virus-related topics weighing heavily on the minds of local residents in seven Florida counties – Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Polk, Volusia, Flagler and Lake. The counties are home-base for AdventHealth’s Central Florida Division, which includes 21 hospitals and more than 30 Centra Care urgent-care centers; dozens of sports-rehab and imaging centers; and hundreds of physicians, ranging from primary care to a full spectrum of specialties.

A panel of AdventHealth clinical experts interviewed by WFTV news

A panel of AdventHealth experts fielded COVID-19 focused questions from WFTV anchor Christian Bruey. Participants included:

  • Dr. Vincent Hsu, MD, MPH, is a board-certified internal medicine, infectious diseases and preventive medicine physician
  • Dr. Tim Hendrix, MD, Medical Director of AdventHealth Centra Care
  • Dr. Eduardo Oliveira, MD, AdventHealth Medical Group Critical Care of Central Florida
  • Dr. Omayra Mansfield, MD, Chief Medical Officer at AdventHealth Apopka and AdventHealth Winter Garden
  • Linnette Johnson, Senior Vice President, Chief Nursing Officer, AdventHealth Central Florida Division

While the COVID-19 health crisis is far from over, many lessons have been learned by medical professionals along the way.

“We’ve learned our behaviors make a big difference” said Hsu. “All aspects of life will be impacted for the foreseeable future. We have to implement those behaviors into our daily routine until we can get used to it.”

One of the simplest things to do, the panel agreed, is to practice social distancing in public and wear masks to prevent the spread of infection.

“If you don’t wear a mask for yourself, wear it for others,” said Johnson. “Masks are really the best way to keep each other safe, but that’s only if you wear and use them properly. It’s important to cover the key parts – your nose and mouth – otherwise, it doesn’t do much good.”

Questions ranged from asking about general inquiries about when and where to get tested for the virus, to potential treatments for COVID-19 infections.

“If you’ve been exposed, watch for symptoms up to 14 days,” said Hendrix. “There isn’t a need for you to rush out and get tested unless you are experiencing symptoms.”

If you need to get a COVID-19 test, please go to be tested at any local AdventHealth Centra Care or county-sponsored testing locations. Do not seek COVID-19 testing at hospital emergency rooms.

However, do seek emergency medical care if you feel sick and have a health concern you feel is putting you in danger. Please set aside any anxieties about the virus.

“The emergency room is still a safe place,” said Mansfield, “so we don’t want the community to delay their own care when they have serious symptoms.”