As of Monday, 11,863 inpatient beds in Florida were being used by Covid-19 patients, about 22 percent of all inpatient beds in the state, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services data show. No other state had as high of a utilization rate. The number of in-patients at AdventHealth Palm Coast on Monday was 80, more than double the January peak.
Flagler County Health Department
Bob Snyder, the Flagler Health Department chief, had managed to make it through a year and a half of the pandemic’s most viral trenches unscathed, even when he was unvaccinated for two-thirds of that time.
Today, Snyder revealed he was among the “breakthrough” cases, contracting the delta variant recently despite his January vaccination. The infection barely sidelined him.
While the Flagler Health Department and AdventHealth Palm Coast are overrun with Covid cases and in-patients, local governments have gone silent, indifferent to the worst wave of the pandemic yet, making a mockery of their claim of a “partnership” with the Health Department or the hospital and amplifying community apathy that multiplies infections.
Vaccinated people need to mask up again, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. On July 27, 2021, the CDC recommended that everyone in areas with high Covid-19 infection rates wear masks in public indoor spaces, regardless of vaccination status. A physician who specializes in infectious diseases explains.
The Health Department revealed the free, off-campus rapid-testing option for students and staff today as the district itself published its new, 2021-22 school covid protocols, a four-page guide updating last year’s safety procedures. In contrast with conditions in the community, the protocols reflect a pronounced push for normalcy, as if Covid were no longer a serious problem.
Palm Coast hospitalizations for covid broke a record Tuesday, with 32 people hospitalized (six in intensive care), and broke the record again yesterday, with 37, all among the unvaccinated, while Flagler County is recording an average of 52 new infections a day, with schools reopening in three weeks.
The fact that more vaccinated people are dying than unvaccinated people does nothing to undermine vaccine safety or effectiveness. In fact, it’s exactly what we’d expect from the excellent vaccines, which have already saved tens of thousands of lives.
The bottom-line verdict on the Delta variant of the coronavirus is this: it is far more transmissible than its predecessors. It is more virulent. Vaccinated people, while not immune, are extremely unlikely to be gravely sickened by it. Unvaccinated people remain susceptible to easy infection, a greater chance of serious illness, and death.
Flagler County schools have declined an offer from the Flagler County Health Department to place free rapid-covid-test kits at the district’s nine school campuses. The rapid tests, part of a federal grant, could have been used to drastically minimize the need for students to be quarantined at home for 10 days at a time when merely suspected of having been exposed to the virus.
The dramatic rollback of mask-wearing and physical distancing recommended last month by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention applies only to people who have been fully vaccinated. Even if you are vaccinated, though, you don’t need to change your behavior one iota if doing so makes you uncomfortable.