A 72-year-old Flagler County woman has tested positive for Covid-19, according to the Department of Health’s latest tally of coronavirus cases, with Florida cases reaching 1,007, doubling since Friday.
“What we expected has occurred. We’ve been waiting for the positive cases to be processed so we have our first Flagler County resident positive case,” Department of Health Director Bob Snyder said early this evening.
The case of the 72-year-old woman technically qualifies as Flagler County’s first, even though a 48-year-old woman has been in treatment at AdventHealth Palm Coast since last week. But the 48 year old is a Volusia County resident, so her case registers as one of Volusia County’s 14 cases.
Ironically, the Flagler County case just confirmed may not itself be within the county at the moment. The case of a Flagler Beach woman in the same age range was confirmed at a health care facility in Jacksonville, and is being treated there. Snyder could not confirm if that is, in fact, the case that is now registering as a Flagler resident.
“I don’t know which case this is because we’re following a couple of presumptive cases,” Snyder said, with the number of confirmed cases likely to increase soon. “Our surveillance system is the database that’s used to monitor and includes lab results and all of that, because we’re going to get to the point that more cases will develop and be followed. We do not know which cases get into the dashboard, when.”
Snyder said he will be able to tell within 24 to 36 hours whether the new case is a Flagler resident currently in-county or out of county.
Until late last week, the Department of Health would not disclose the difference, and for days would neither confirm nor deny what it finally confirmed on Friday–that the 48-year-old woman from Volusia was being treated locally. But Snyder said that after he implored state officials allow the distinction to be released, the department started doing so Friday.
“I will share the count so that it’s accurate, so if a person has been diagnosed in our county and lives in another county I will let the community know,” Snyder said. “I don’t want to have a repeat of what occurred this past week with Cynthia, from the hospital.” He was referring to Cynthia Corventino, who volunteered her information on social media and was subsequently interviewed on WNZF. “I spent hours on the phone getting the approval to share such circumstances, so even though it might not be counted as such in the larger database I will make sure to let folks know if we have such a case again, so that we have a very accurate count for Flagler County.”
Nevertheless, the reverse is still not applicable: a Flagler resident testing positive out of the county is not immediately being confirmed as such, even though the number might show up in the official tally as a Flagler case. But that distinction will be forthcoming. Snyder also noted that for a local resident who would be found positive for Covid-19 in another state, that case would not show up in either the local or state tally, either. The reason for that is to prevent double-counting cases.
Whatever the real number of cases in the county, Flagler Department of Health and county emergency management officials have been saying for days that residents must act as if the virus is in the county and has affected a number of people. Officials are urging residents to act accordingly, maintaining social distances and following guidelines regarding hygiene and minimal social contact.
Earlier today, Snyder and Flagler Beach officials agreed to shut down the beach starting Monday morning, and county officials will do likewise, so the county’s 18 miles of beaches will be off limits. Parking will also be restricted in certain areas.
Flagler County government late this afternoon decided to let employees know that only essential employees would be reporting to work, with much of the Government Services Building shutting down, with severely restricted or no public access allowed.
Palm Coast government this evening announced that all open-air parks and trails, which had remained open until now, will close to the public. The city had shuttered its parks and recreation facilities and its City Hall, but in a lingeringly hopeful effort to give residents some open air, had kept parks and trails open. No longer.
The rapid changes have taken over the state as they have the nation, in line with the increasing urgency of addressing a pandemic that remains ferociously out of control.
Snyder said the continuing, sharp increase in Florida cases overall “is clearly related to the increased testing capacity and capability statewide especially in our hard-hit counties like Broward, Miami Dade, Palm Beach, Hillsborough.” It’s only since Friday that the state finally increased testing capabilities, and for now, those capabilities remain relatively restrained to certain areas, with a shortage of testing kits continuing.
“It’s been very well communicated at the federal and state level that there’s a significant shortage that’s being addressed but a shortage nonetheless,” Snyder said. Labs that are able to the testing are also constrained by a lack of testing agents they need to complete the test. “The reagents are back ordered. That’s what’s causing this significant shortage of lab capability,” Snyder said.
“At the health department we have about 200 collection kits for testing,” he said, but those tests will still be reserved for diagnostic purposes–people meeting certain criteria. There is no at-will, or on-demand, testing in Flagler at the moment. And it’s not clear to what extent health care providers are testing. “I do not know how many collection kits are out there in the community. I think that’s something others are trying to determine, so that we have a good sense of the inventory here locally.”
Starting next week, the state health department is setting up testing sites in Jacksonville, Miami and Orlando, but again, the priority at those testing sites will be for first responders and health care workers, people who are 65 and older, and people whose immune systems are compromised. A fourth testing site is already operating in Broward County, the hardest-hit county in the state. But while only a few days ago the majority of Florida counties had not registered a confirmed Covid-19 case, that’s now been reversed, with only about 20 counties left, out of 67, without a confirmed case.
Vito’s Grammy says
I don’t want to be the one to tell my dog he can’t go to the park. He won’t understand and frankly neither do I. My husband said everyone at the park in Town Center was practicing the six foot rule.
Is there a dog park in Town Center?
C’mon w says
There will be dead bodies in the street and officials will still say it’s not a Flagler case.
What is the difference between Flagler County residence regarding the virus.?
Does any one really believe this is our only case? I am embarrassed how stupid my fellow Americans are!
The woman in the article is not the only positive Flagler county resident. 🤬
Why oh why is the reporting on this, in this state, such a crap show? This is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever experienced.
I dont really understand an entire article devoted to if you live in another county than where you are diagnosed, you go on your resident county poll. Seems pretty simple. As far as the beaches, I hate to see them close, but like anything else, a few stupid ruin it for the majority. The best thing we can probably do is stay in the house, walk your dog, work in your yard. Keep your distance from everyone. The sooner we obey these rules, the sooner life can return.
Shutting down our Parks? Really, where will this madness end. Quarantined in our homes without work,food and toilet paper. God help us.
With this being said , everything is now closed except for supermarkets and gas stations . By the looks of it , they’re next .
Robyn Ferguson says
And Hobby Lobby! You can still get your ESSENTIAL glitter and Easter decor!
Diane Cline says
If anyone hasn’t figured out yet that the way these cases are being recorded is more detrimental to us than closing the beach then they all need to be replaced! Unfortunately, when I hear crap like this I tend to not believe anything else that’s said…blah blah blah. The latest is that the Governor said to close the beach or was it the Health Department suggested it? It we are going to avoid getting sick please quit telling us what to do and just tell us the truth. If the boogeyman is lurking outside my door I’ll stay inside. We may not be smart sometimes (Trump supporters I’m talking to you) but most people have survival instinct…and it kicks in with a vengeance.
DeSantis is glued to Trump and, like so many others, does what Trump tells him to do. I heard this morning that Florida is the next hotspot because DeSantis did not close all beaches in Florida and already some spring breakers that were here in Florida on break are getting sick. These kids have left their mark for us to catch.
Lisa Moyer says
I think its pretty sad that there is nothing planned in this area. So what you are saying is if someone needs to be tested in this area they need to drive either to Jacksonville or Orlando? How is that containing a virus when you need to drive over an hour to be tested spreading the virus? We have a 1000 case and short testing kit? Sounds like we are the next major crisis area in the future with all the elderly in Florida. Something is wrong here. Cuomo is getting his needs met why isn’t Florida?
Coumo does what he feels is the right thing and definitely not a Trump follower and is not under his spell or afraid of him.
Ok, one case and we cannot manage the data.
Anyone caught on Flagler Beaches as of 23 of March! Should Be Given a Summons !
1st Offense. 50
Till smarten Up an Follow Orders
BEACH IS CLOSED Period!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m thinking unfortunately there are more cases in Flagler. These ppl act like vulchers in the stores. No gloves, no social distancing.
This virus sucks and this is a living night mare. The worst thing any of us have ever been through. This includes our president who is constantly attacked. He is one person doing and acting accordingly.
This also is the worst birthday ever.
David Schaefer says
Dr Trumpee and Dr Pency think they know everything please don’t listen to them our infectious disease people know best especially Dr Facui . Everytime Trump talks he has to be corrected by Dr Facui it’s a shame that our elected officials are so incompetent……
More information would be helpful!! Where has this person been in the last 14 days, Target, ALDI, Walgreens, The GSB, local businesses need to know and the public needs to be informed of a possible exposure.
DeSantis is failing in my opinion. He allowed all those spring break brats party because the businesses wanted their money. Not that spring break is over he says to close the beaches. What a governor. Sad that he didn’t think or didn’t care all the brats are going to home to where ever and spreading the germs, some have already tested positive.
Just like Trump they are failing the people they are supposed to be protecting. Trump is lashing out at all news stations that thankfully are reporting the truth to the American people, and reporting the truth he is doing a lousy job. He has put all this on each State Governors to do their own thing and he gets on tv everyday patting himself on the back.
He is a pathetic leader and DeSantis is right behind him.
I am one of the multitude called Fear Mongers and Hysteria driven bloggers, when I started posting 3 months ago about the danger of this virus in China…and commenting about it with my kids living out of state. Look what we have now and still out there quiet few making charges shamefully blaming the past administration after 3.5 years of the current one with total and “tremendous power and control”
My husband went “early” to Publix for some necessities this morning. He was astonished to be the “ONLY” person wearing gloves and practicing any kind of social distancing. Although, plenty of people were buying what little toilet paper there was. At least one person had an entire shopping cart full! There was no bleach or alcohol, much less hand sanitizer. Why isn’t Publix putting some kind of “LIMIT” on such items to prevent hoarding?
We have friends in Washington state who told us that their grocery stores (weeks ago) have taken painters tape and marked off squares for shopping carts in the lines to help with “Social Distancing”.
We obviously need much better, “PROACTIVE” leadership from our government, starting from the top! DeSantis is a complete BUFFOON! Where is the “Federal Government” when you really need them? Where are the vital medical supplies that were promised over a week ago? At every level, all I see is “lip service”, “complete incompetence” and “finger pointing”!
Nichole Mboko says
Quick question. Due to the corona virus and the closings of business and laying off of jobs due to certain industry that require close and direct contact with people. Also that oder by the Mayor to stay home, where can we go to get support tfor making our rental payments. I just received notice from my property management company that they are aware of what’s going on, but they are still requiring the rental payment going forward. Where can we as tenants get support.