The Florida Department of Health reported today that a 50-year-old Flagler County man, died of coronavirus related complications. The man, Andre Dwayne Mintz, is the youngest of Flagler’s seven Covid-related fatalities so far, and the second reported Covid death in two days in the county. He had been admitted to the hospital on June 26, his family said.
The department reported the deaths of 156 people for Covid-related causes in Florida, breaking a fatality record for the third time in eight days, a time span that recorded 788 deaths.
People 60 and older continue to account for the majority of the deaths. But younger people are by no means being spared. In today’s report alone, those who died included a 39-year-old woman in St. Johns County, a 26-year-old woman in Okaloosa County, women ages 33, 37 and 56 in Orange County, a 39-year-old man in Lake County, a 36-year-old woman in DeSoto, a 55-year-old woman in Escambia, a 50-year-old woman in Hillsborough, a 58-year-old man in Hillsborough, and five people in their 50s in Miami-Dade.
Florida reported an additional 13,965 positive cases of Covid-19, with Florida in the last 14 days seeing on average a daily 519 cases per million people, by far the highest rate of any state except Arizona, which is at 446 per million. Florida’s positivity rate is over 18 percent. But the majority of states except in the northeast are seeing runaway infection rates, with rates more pronounced in states that reopened rapidly and carelessly after the April surge. Florida is among those states.
Flagler reported an additional 18, bringing the week’s total (with two reporting days to go) to 102 in Flagler, just two short of last week’s seven-day total. The positivity rate in Flagler for the past five days is 9.8 percent, twice the level considered safe for places where people congregate to operate safely, such as restaurants, schools, churches and public functions. Flagler Broadcasting agreed to cancel a concert scheduled last month the moment the positivity rate exceeded 3 percent.
The overwhelming majority of new infections are the result of community spread, with up to 50 percent of carriers showing no symptoms, and scores of individuals who, whether they show symptoms or not, are being forced to wait a week, 10 days or more for their test results, all the while potentially unknowingly spreading the virus. The Flagler Health Department announced getting a surge of new staffers to help with such things as case investigations and contact tracing, but accounts by local residents who have tested positive suggest the department is overwhelmed and still not staffed enough to conduct the necessary contact tracing as local cases explode.
A Palm Coast resident and parent who asked that she be referred to as Ms. Green says she’s been “horrified” not only at the rate at which younger people, including children, are getting infected, but at the long delays with testing results and haphazard controls even for those who have been reported positive.
“On July 1, my children and I along with one of my dear friends went to a site to be tested by the Flagler County Health Department,” Green said today. “It took 10 days for my adult son’s result to return, negative. Another two day (12 days later) I was advised that my three little ones were positive. A days later (day 14) I get my results, negative. Whelp, I just had had surgery and released on June 29th when I learned that my children were possibly exposed. My friend who stood in line with me (with a mask on) had mild symptoms. She went to an urgent care two days later and got a positive result in minutes. She was hospitalized due to terrible symptoms and released and still no result from the FCHD. She had to call to get her results (which we now knew) 16 days later. I was told the labs are backed up. We are talking about the Health Department. My children were in daycare, two 3 year olds and an 11 year old. We will not beat this virus if it takes this long to get results. My children had very little if no symptoms.”
Green’s friend, who asked not to be identified by name, described her own ordeal: “I was tested July 1, and have yet to get those results, after waiting in line to be tested to get immediate results on the 2nd and being turned away. I finally was tested again (3rd try) on July 3 after waiting in line and in my car for over eight hours and got rapid same day results, testing positive.” When her husband notified his workplace, he was told he could not go back to work until his wife tested negative.
“The testing time line is too long, some people use those to determine if they should isolate,” the woman continued. “I still have not received a call from my first results nor has any type calls been made for supposed contact tracing.” She specified: “I was told they would contact people I had contact with and they took their names and numbers, one of which is my husband and my daughter, who is in the National Guards and working at a test site. The military has had her take numerous tests since. However, they have not contacted them.”
Both women essentially described personal situations that sharply illustrate how community spread happens.
“By the time it happens,” she said, “how many infections happened as a result of slow response? Again, I doubt it is even taking place. They could have found me while I was in the hospital. I was in the hospital here in Palm Coast and the strict procedures were well thought out. Too bad it does not carry outside of the hospital where the war is being fought.”
Local businesses and government agencies are being affected by the spread, with positive cases reaching into the ranks of businesses and local governments, including, for example, the sanitation department in Flagler Beach and fleet management at Flagler County government. Sheriff Rick Staly said that his department has seen about 10 cumulative cases, including among correctional deputies, but no cases involving inmates.
Total hospital bed capacity across Florida was at 21 poercent today according to the Agen cy for Health Care Administration, and at 9 percent at Flagler’s AdventHealth Palm Coast, with ICU capacity at 16 percent statewide (40 percent for children’s ICU) and half of AdventHealth’s 12 ICU beds available, keeping in mind that the hospital locally has the capacity to add additional ICU beds on an as-needed basis to address the Covid emergency, as well as to transfer patients to hospitals in its network in Central Florida.
Gov. Ron DeSantis was in Tampa today, taking part in a discussion focusing on Covid-19 and mental health. He has not indicated a change of direction in response to the coronavirus surge. In a news conference on Wednesday he discussed the reopening of schools, reiterating his preference for giving parents the “choice” between at-home and in-person instruction. He also sought again to isolate the surge to pockets of Florida rather than seeing it as a statewide crisis.
He said the state is testing “at an incredibly high clip,” citing a figure of 90,000 per day. The figure is correct, but 17 states have tested at a higher rate than in Florida, compared to their population. “But one thing that I think is clear, we need to get these testing results back in a timely fashion,” he said. He said the Department of Emergency Management is going to “shift away” from labs that have lagged in providing test results.
The state now has 15 Covid-only nursing homes, DeSantis said, with 1,000 beds, where people are being discharged from hospital stays. An additional nine sites with 600 beds will open. “These facilities can serve as a step down where a hospital can safely discharge” a patient before the individual can go back to his or her original nursing homes. The patient may also go from a nursing home to one such facility if hospitalization is not required.
Flagler County has successfully kept the lid on long-term care infections, with only a handful of cases reported locally, most to staffers.
DeSantis also explained some of the discrepancies in the number of tests the Department of Health is reporting from individual labs, as opposed to the positivity rate, an issue that drew attention this week when an Orlando television station reported that some labs were reporting 100 percent positivity rates. DeSantis said some labs report their positive tests first, since those are the most essential to patients, then “dump” their negative test results in a batch.
“The percent positivity is a pretty good indicator, but you do have to weigh that against the fact that maybe not all the negatives are there,” DeSantis said. “I know some of the major labs, particularly in April and May, they were submitting the positives quickly and then maybe they would dump the negatives. So if you look at all our testing to ramp up as we got into May, there was one week where there was way more tests than we had ever done, and then we went down and built back up. That wasn’t because we did more tests that week, it was because they had been having for six weeks negatives, and then they dumped all the negatives, and so I think that day they dumped a bunch, we had like a 0.6 percent positivity. Well, that really wasn’t the true number, because of how the data was put in.”
Percy's mother says
Perhaps it’s time to start wearing a mask (correctly) AND a face shield.
Trailer Bob says
Thank you. I truly believe that if there was only the choice to wear one type of facial protection, it should be the face shield. Should probably wear both for the greatest effect, but that gets a little weird. But still, if you go to many bars you will find that younger people, mostly, are not wearing any protection and preaching that the virus scare is a hoax. Be smart and do your part folks. Herd mentality never works.
Shut down all non essential buissnesses in Flagler County and Florida, including schools, restaurants, bars, hair/nail salons, theatres, gyms and ban all gatherings of anyone who does not live in the same house!!!
if you only shut down “non essential” businesses. you still have the virus circulating through the county. we need a full shut down of everything but law enforcement. its time to stop picking and choosing who is non essential or essential, and shut it all down. this will prevent the circulation of the virus. should have been done this way from the start.
I was watching news from Germany on my FireStick and there’s a reason why the German’s have success in stomping down COVID and can put out any fires that start. Germany created health care. They were the first county to have a system in place for care. They also came up with many of the medical practices that Johns Hopkins University modeled its curriculum on for education. In Germany they use an app that you input your positive or negative COVID data. It uses your location services (which most people have on for directions anyway) and if you come in contact with someone that entered COVID positive on their app, it will send you an alert. It doesn’t name names and only works if both parties use location services. Another thing they have is a 1-2 day turnaround time on all tests. ALL TESTS! Because you see, one negative doesn’t mean your negative forever or even really negative then. It just means the virus hasn’t produced enough replication to show up on the test as positive. The reality is, if you even suspect you have COVID you need more than one test durning a 14-day period.
A gentleman they interviewd on German TV said he felt sick, not too bad, and went for a test. It took him 1 day to receive his result. When he received his result, he went back for another test, and it was positive. They contact traced and tested all the people he came in contact with – 20 people – and 12 were positive initially and another 4 tested positive a few days later. They were able to contact trace all of those people, and test, and trace, and test, and so on until they were able to successfully stop an explosion of cases. WE DO NOT DO THAT HERE. We can’t. We won’t. We aren’t able. Whatever the reason. All we hear are lies and people making up stories about this being not a big deal. Well it is a big deal.
It’s a big deal when you look at the numbers. The flu, in a bad year, kills about 60,000 people out of about 34 million infected, over 8-10 months. That averages .1%, in a bad year. COVID has killed 137,420 people out of nearly 3.5 million infections, in about 4 months. That averages as a 3% death rate. That is a huge deal. Why can’t people see that? Sure, for some it’s mild, but is it? Scans of the lungs of people with mild to no symptoms still show damage. What’s it doing long-term? What’s it doing to your other organs? Just because you don’t “feel” ill doesn’t mean it’s not harming you. I mean look, I don’t know 99.9999999999999999% of any of you from the next person. I’m not even fond of people in general. The more you leave me alone, the better. If I don’t have to talk to people, I’m giddy. But, even I wear a mask because it’s the right thing to do. Even though I’m not fond of most people, it doesn’t mean I want to be responsible for infecting or harming anyone.
jim dana says
Music to my ears – thank you.
Chris S says
You are wayYYYY too reasonable in your beliefs and societal conduct.
I believe the virus has been here for a long time. How else can people’s brains turn to mush?
Testing & tracing is not a cure. I really find it difficult to believe that every nation except the USA has it under control, significantly lower death rates. If the most recent news about FL labs indicate the Coronavirus test kits are producing 98% positives and they walk that number back to 9.4% That mean 90% of the declarations that people even have Coronavirus is mis-reporting at the diagnosis level.
Let’s go deeper into healthcare ? What are procedures at each stage of the infection for care ? Nobody has this magical list of billable charges and they are getting paid for this, with hazard pay in many or all cases. So why are people dropping like flies in the USA. China no longer reports much of anything. If the USA is having a resurgence or just a better testing continuation of Coronavirus, this pandemic is global. Everywhere is experiencing this. A virus doesn’t know a border when it’s airborne, it knows no nationality. It’s absurd to see this many tests of people with no symptoms. Coronavirus is fear driven testing. Requiriung people to get tested to be admitted to the ER, that creates the victims of erroneous test kits and the Government is still paying out on Coronavirus like it was some type of out patient surgery. The flu never paid this well and the reporting is flawed.
How absurd is this ? I went to a gas station today, I’m one of just a couple/few there, fumbling to hold a mask in place while making a credit card purchase. The clerk just tells me that if it’s becoming too much of a struggle, just set the mask down and make the payment. End of that encounter, nobody is too worried whether I’m a carrier as long as money is involved & changing hands from me to them. That’s been a theme in 2020, anytime before and will be in the future. The Coronavirus is just a way to make doing something just a little more difficult than it has to be. They’re making it virtually impossible to earn a living in 2020. Coronavirus is an excuse to create financial hardship as impossible to earn a living, it’s a wealth transfer at this point for 40+ million unemployed. Notice the market isn’t adjusting to people’s incomes as that reached a false floor. Gasoline prices dropped to well below $ 2/gallon, then it crept back up to $ 2.09/gallon in recent past couple of weeks for the 87 octane.
Why are you fumbling to hold your mask in place? Mine simply hooks onto my ears.
THANK YOU CHINA!!!!!!
Yes! Thank you Joe for putting blame where it belongs. How much more of the Communist are we
and the world going to take?
Gary R says
This is the longest something made in China has ever lasted.
How about being part of the solution instead of sitting around sniveling? Try being a good neighbor and respect your fellow human beings.
Unless you have viable PROOF that China intentionally created and unleashed this virus on the world, drop it. To maintain this discourse is to simply parrot the lies coming out of one DJT in the hopes of ginning up his ever decreasing base. Try for an original thought.
Absurd that ANY peoples would in process infect their own people as they try to harm the worlds population.
Today we live in an inter webbed economical dependence’s .
This is not the time to point fingers , it’s stupid to blame and cutoff the WHO as Trump has .
There will be time later for Serious conversations with all parties concerned or at fault , like China . Now is not the time .
Hell , we can’t even get our own house in order . Wish we could just concentrate and unite in that goal .
We had tests done last week at the Palm Coast DSC site, 11:00 am on 9 July to be exact. We received our results at 11:07 pm yesterday, 15 July. According to the report, the specimen was received by the lab at 1:27 am on the 14th. So it took five and one-half days for the sample to travel from DSC to the lab in Saint Petersburg, FL. While I seriously doubt that the actual travel time was that long, there was an obvious time lag between obtaining the sample and its receipt by the lab. Is the lab so backlogged that it took so long? Did the lab not have the needed chemicals to process the sample? I do not know but would guess that it was a combination of both.
While our results were the desired “NOT DETECTED”, the time delay for folks who are asymptomatic is unacceptable. There is too much time for these ‘carriers’ to circulate through our general population and infect others.
With all respect to those who say they feel fine and damn the masks, how do you know you are not a carrier? Have you been tested? Where have you been and who were you around in the week between the test and the results? Bottom line is that no one in the general population knows with 100% certainty that they are not a carrier.
How do we protect ourselves? Demand that our elected officials do more than give lip service to mask requirements, tell the sheriff to butt out of public health issues he knows nothing about, do not frequent stores with no mask requirements, avoid contact with people you do not know.
Yes, I brought up that mask thing. Wearing a mask is a pain in the butt. Catching this virus may only be a minor inconvenience for some, but it will be a death sentence for others. While you run around with no mask saying you are healthy but you really do not know, you have infected a guy at the gas station who had a heart transplant ten years ago or the gal at the grocery with rheumatoid arthritis. Is that something you want on your conscience? Don’t be ‘that guy’. Then again, if no have no compassion and life is ‘all about you’ – well, karma is a bitch.
REAL MEN WEAR MASKS.
Trailer Bob says
I agree fully. Today I made the rule of our home to be wear a mask and or shield anywhere out in public. My wife was going to meet a friend for lunch in Flagler Beach, on the beach. I told her there is no way you are doing that, so tell your girlfriend that your husband says no. They called me and said they are changing that and staying local out here in the country.
As of today I am wearing my shield everywhere away from home, regardless of what others think. I am a very strong 64 year old that hasn’t been sick since I was around 22 years old. But you know what?, I love life and will not be taking any chances. Use you heads people.
I never thought Americans , who helped win two world wars and has lead with authority for decades , cannot unite with resolve to defeat this virus .
The world is in awe of us lagging behind .
That generation of WW I vets is long dead, WW II vets are nearing their mortality life spans for human beings. A different breed of American is what we have. Opoid abusers and whatever else they are or may be.
In a nation of 330 million you can find them all .
What’s lacking today is the spirit of those determined people of generations past . We are complicit in lagging behind so many countries at this point .
Where’s the American determination , being the envy of the world rather than the PITY they feel for us .
It turns out that A Divided Nation can not stand on its own .
It is unfortunate that these types of news articles about Covid-19 deaths don’t provide more detail as to whether those that died had additional underlying conditions before contacting the virus or were they average healthy individuals. Statistics are great when provided ALL the necessary information to make a common sense conclusion. Until that happens then this information is as relevant and useful as those tests are that people have to wait for over two weeks to receive.
Maybe I don’t understand it correctly but this sentence confuses me. Isn’t this saying Florida is higher than Arizona?
“ Florida in the last 14 days seeing on average a daily 519 cases per million people, by far the highest rate of any state except Arizona, which is at 446 per million. ”
The “except” applies to the modifier, “by far,” since Arizona’s number are not far from Florida’s. But the sentence could have been written more clearly.
According to News4 Jax article “The state’s death data often have significant delays in reporting and some of the deaths may have occurred weeks ago.” Why does it take so long and this an accumulation of weeks? So yes, still tragic deaths, but when you see the number lumped altogether, it really incites more panic.
Thorough autopsies must be performed is my guess. There is going to be a time lag on anything.
Close all bars/restaurants down….unless it is take out 0nly. I drove to Flagler Beach today, just for a ride and get out of the house. People just going on about not caring about anything, like nothing is going on!
Bunch of MORONS.
WHAT EXACTLY IS “ CORONAVIRUS RELATED COMPLICATIONS “ ? Is this an official cause of death ?
This from the CDC, from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, from the Mayo Clinic, and this, “Study of 17 Million Identifies Crucial Risk Factors for Coronavirus Deaths,” from the Times, may help.
It sure is a national disgrace to humanity that our federal government is not requiring all states to follow the same guidelines to get a grip on this virus once and for all.
This state does this, that state does that, you can not resolve the virus-like that. And it doesn’t take a medical professional to realize that.
I cannot believe our federal government has failed so badly even from the get-go and that starts and ends in the Oval Office period.
They sure will want your vote in November though if there are many left alive to even go out in vote then.
It’s getting worse and even more corruptive as now hospitals DO NOT report their data to the CDC but rather directly to the WH .
Another brilliant move as our top doctors and scientists there won’t be able to review the much needed data .
Trump will hide or mislead the public . All he cares about is his own skin .
All we will hear from now till November is how magically the virus is disappearing and the millions of lives he has saved .
It’s like living in a comedy skit , “ Are you going to believe me or your lying eyes “
Except that none of this is funny .
RIP Andre. Prayers of Strength for Dee.