A second Flagler County resident has died of Covid-19, Flagler Health Department Chief Bob Snyder said this morning. The resident had been in treatment at AdventHealth Palm Coast hospital’s intensive care unit, and died in the early hours of on Easter Sunday.
Details about the individual, such as age and gender, were not immediately available, Snyder said, but were expected to be known soon. “This is not surprising given the unprecedented, tragic evolution of this novel virus, meaning new,” Snyder said, “something we’re learning about as we’re going along. I just found it to be particularly sad, but not unexpected, on Easter Sunday.”
Dorothy Strickland, 70, a resident of Flagler Beach, died of the disease on April 1. Statewide, 446 people have died of Covid-19 so far, out of 19,000 confirmed cases as of Saturday. Cases were expected to reach 20,000 by the end of the weekend. There were 46 confirmed cases in Flagler County as of Saturday evening, including two non-residents. The Department of Health does not indicate how many of the cases have recovered, or how many additional residents are under surveillance for Covid-19.
More than 2,600 Floridians have been hospitalized, cumulatively, seven of them involving Flagler residents and one non-resident. The number does not reflect those who have been been discharged and have recovered. The two fatalities were part of the number of those who were hospitalized.
The disease has infected 1.8 million people and claimed 110,000 lives worldwide so far, with 412,000 recoveries. This weekend, with the number of deaths approaching 21,000, the United States exceeded Italy in fatalities, until then the country with the largest number of deaths. More than half a million Americans have been confirmed to be infected, with 30,500 recoveries so far.
New cases in Florida have been recorded at an average of just over 1,000 per day for almost two weeks, but the numbers have stopped spiking. In other words the curve appears to be flattening, but not yet falling. “We’re seeing the start of that, but we’re still sticking with the model,” Snyder said, referring to a model that shows Florida’s apex of cases around April 21. “That’s the best model we have,” he said of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.
The model is calculated much like hurricane models, its projections changing from day to day as new data comes in. The model had previously shown Florida’s peak to be in the first week of May. It then moved the peak to April 21. But on Sunday, the institute’s model for Florida again pushed back the peak use of health care resources to April 26. The model does not foresee a shortage of hospital beds in the state, but it does project a need for over 1,000 ventilators. The peak number of deaths per day are projected around April 27, with 112 deaths, followed by a slow decrease each day through June 1. Florida is expected to lose 4,000 people to Covid-19 by August 4, according to today’s projection by the institute. All the projections are based on the state following social distancing rules.