The Flagler Health Department today reported two more deaths attributed to covid-19: an 84-year-old man who died on July 17, and an 80-year-old man who died on July 21. Eight Flagler residents and two non-residents had previously died, for a total of 12 in the county since March.
The state Department of Health reports that Flagler’s tally of cases confirmed positive for coronavirus totaled 164 in the week ending Saturday, the sixth successive week that case loads have risen sharply in the county, and the fourth week in a row setting a new seven-day record.
The positivity rate, according to the state health department’s figures, was 11.9 percent (the department reported 164 positive cases out of 1,381 tests). The local department is relying on a county report that includes a broader swath of testing that adds antigen testing to the totals, and shows a positivity rate of 7 percent in the last 14 days. Nevertheless, even by the county’s accounting, the positivity rate is still rising. That’s in contrast with statewide numbers, which have been leveling off since July 19, but at a dangerously high level. Florida’s R value–the rate at which the average number of people become infected by an infectious person: if it’s above 1, infections spread more quickly; if it’s below 1, infections slow–is currently estimated at 0.99, essentially a level at which infections may slow very slowly.
Over the weekend, those confirmed positive in Flagler included people of all ages (the median age was in the mid-40s), among them girls age 7, 11, 17, and boys age 9, 11 and 15. Infections among children are eyed by school officials as they weigh reopening school on Aug. 24, two weeks later than originally planned. Five children 17 or younger have died from Covid-19 so far, and 303 have been hospitalized, according to the state’s pediatric report.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, 55 Flagler County children ages 17 or younger have tested positive out of 545 tested, yielding a positivity rate of 10.1 percent–a rate higher than commonly assumed.
Flagler’s cumulative case load remains fourth-lowest among Florida’s 67 counties in the last seven days when measured by 100,000 population, and at 706 per 100,000, it is the lowest in the state when measured from the start of the pandemic. (Florida’s rate is just over 2,000 since the beginning of the pandemic, and 344 in the last seven days.) But because of the extent of the crisis, comparative numbers that make one county look better than others nevertheless may cloud the fact that in absolute numbers the local numbers and positivity rate are nowhere near safe or suggestive of safer reopenings.
AdventHealth Palm Coast had eight of its 99 licensed beds available, an 8 percent capacity, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. It had one intensive care unit bed available, at least in relation to its 18 licensed beds, though the hospital has permission to expand ICU capacity with emergency beds. The agency was reporting this afternoon that 20 people are hospitalized at AdventHealth Palm Coast for covid treatment.
After a group home in Palm Coast’s R section, Hanifan’s Cozy Home, reported that four of its residents tested positive, and all four were hospitalized, it reported that two staffers tested positive. And two more group homes have reported a positive case each among staffers: East Coast Habilitations Options, at 520 Palm Coast Parkway, Palm Coast Parkway, and Memedina Enterprises at 61 Pine Grove Drive in Palm Coast.
“Key indicators like hospitalizations, cases, positivity rate last 14 days, and deaths, are still trending upward,” Bob Snyder, who heads the Flagler County Health Department, said today. He said Flagler’s cumulative positive covid cases now total 813, compared to 279 just a month ago, a nearly 200 percent increase. “A few weeks ago our case investigators and tracers made 35 calls per day,” he said, “compared to 550 now.”
That alone is an indicator of the magnitude of the community spread and an illustration of why it is so difficult for authorities–or the public–to contain the virus, absent draconian measures: up to half, if not more, of those infected are asymptomatic–they don’t know they’re carriers, and are spreading the virus unknowingly. Testing delays have become rampant, at times exceeding 14 days and making the tests essentially irrelevant, since for all that time a person may have been positive and spreading the disease without being confined. Many people are getting infected and getting tested, but by the time they get the results the infection will have subsided–but their infectious interactions may by then have already spread the disease far.
It doesn’t take much. Reports emerged today of at least 17 anesthesiologist residents and a fellow at University of Florida Health getting infected with covid-19 after attending the same party on July 10. “The UF Health outbreak illustrates the difficulties of stemming the spread of the pandemic, when even trained health care professionals can be sickened from a private party in Florida – one of the nation’s hot spots for the virus – after explicit warnings about the risks from social gatherings,” the University of South Florida’s news service reported.
UF Health’s chief communications officer, Melanie Fridl Ross, said in a statement: “UF Health educates its faculty, staff and students on best practices to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on and off-duty. Our goal is to minimize the spread of the illness on our campus and in our community, recognizing that it’s impossible to prevent all cases given the way pandemics naturally work.”
The state today reported 8,892 new cases of covid-19, the lowest daily total since July 7, after reporting 9,344 cases on Sunday. But the state also reported 77 deaths for the second day in a row, for a total of 6,049 deaths in the state since the pandemic began in late February. In the nation, 54,212 cases were reported Sunday, a 13 percent increase over a 14-day average, with 440 new deaths. In all, the pandemic has infected 4.2 million people in the United States, twice more than in the country with the next-highest number (Brazil), with 147,000 deaths so far. Florida this week is set to overtake California as the state with the largest number of cases accumulated since February, though its death toll, while high, remains below that of seven states, with New York and New Jersey alone accounting for upwards of 47,000 deaths between them.
Flagler needs to give all residence 5 days to gather all supplies you will need to last 4 weeks and put forth a stay at home madate enforcebale by law and jail time. Making sure no one person leaves there home for at least 4 weeks and then slowly start to reopen begining with grocery and gas stores. This has gotten completely out of control and people need to be controlled at this point there is no other option.
Your watching to much news al, snap out of it, its propaganda !
This is not China. There is nothing in the Constitution that allows to our rights be taken away. I didnt serve my country for the people of government to take my or anybody else’s freedom of choice. Give me Liberty or give me Death!
Bill W says
“People need to be controlled” ???
Sorry Alfred, but this is America
Common sense says
Your comment is not an educated one. MOST people cant afford that many supplies. Plus the families will transmit the virus to one another and then the problem will start when (if) people are free again. Think before you speak.
Every household got $2400 from the goverment plus an extra $600 each week for unemployment. This money was meant to keep families home and not working. You can surrvive on that much money for several weeks. Quit your jobs! Stay home! Fight the virus! Anyone allowing their family outside during this pandemic can only blame themselves when they get infected.
Kris your comment has holes in it, Not everyone received $2400 and you cannot just quit your job and receive unemployment. People still HAVE to work just to survive. How far do you think $2400 really goes? Not as far as the pandemic!!!
Take a look at rent in our county then throw in your basic bills, water, electric ect ect. My spouse passed away last year, I didn’t receive $2400 & with his death I lost 70% of my income that is impossible to replace without working.
So no not everyone can just quit their jobs and collect unemployment!
palm coasterrr says
That $2400 and $600 a week sounds great, but will not last – and when it ends how much will they have saved? I will keep my crappy “essential job” because as the saying goes, a bird in the hand is better than being broke and getting evicted.
Trailer Bob says
First of all, where do I start?
1. Give the notice of five days to gather supplies, and there will be anarchy. Stores will be mobbed and the will certainly be some level of violence.
2. Enforcing the stay at home mandate or jail time is not easy, nor is it legal at this point. Where are we going to get all the jail cells that would be required, because certainly many will not abide by laws like those you propose.
3. The final comment, that “people need to be controlled” will certainly not work in Flagler County. There are far better solutions available that are not so extreme, like fines for people not wearing masks/face shields, and even that was not ever really enforceable.
Much easier and cheaper to just beat the crap out of someone you see without a face mask. But I regress.
Take care of yourself and stay safe. THAT is all you can really do currently.
Some of us work out of town, and staying home is not an option. We are not all retired on a pension, and have lives to live. The genie is out of the bottle, and it is going to go through the population. Just about everyone I know has had or has the virus now. Some are/were sicker than others, but overall the worst is similar to a flu; most have had mild symptoms. It is truly everywhere, so if you are vulnerable you better stay home.
Elizabeth Zieler says
I agree with Alfred. I am worried for my daughter and Grandaughter who are in Flagler and churches that stay open thinking they cannot be touched by this. They are misleading children and adults
Seriously, if people have a job they’re going to keep it. If you think it’s bad here you ain’t seen nothing yet, and what would be your plan for homeless people? Yes, we have plenty of them, living in tents if they’re lucky because we don’t have shelters. These are not usually crazy people addicted to drugs and alcohol, many of them even have children but can’t make ends meet. If your plan works for you, that’s great, but if everyone did everything you suggested it still wouldn’t stop Covid, the situation is out of control across Florida and the country. I wasn’t going to even address this, but I’m sorry to say you need a reality check on the situation, if you can do these things you’re in the minority, but you can’t push those ideas on other people and expect it to happen
HOME 🌍 Deirdre Rutledge says
A variation of my thoughts on this were previously published on Flagler live, but here are some specific ideas regarding children returning to school in person, because I’m sure that option will be shut down as soon as the kids start getting sick.
For parents that work, having high school students that can offer childcare for OJT school credit or community service hours would enable students to do online classes together from home at no cost.
Telling everyone in Flagler County to stay at home for a month or face jail time is unrealistic, and I don’t see it as a viable solution to our issues anyway.
Even if it’s mandatory to wear masks here there are no consequences for not doing so, so there’s no way people would face jail time because they’re out in the streets, going to school or work, getting groceries etc.
Just asking says
How do we keep getting daily totals if it takes a week to get back test results as stated in a previovs article on this site?
Alfred as nice as that sounds it is impossible to make happen. First off most people don’t have the money to gather 4 weeks of provisions. Second of all there are not enough police to monitor every single resident of Flagler county. People need to work not everyone can just stay home. However masks and social distancing and no parties with large groups will help slow the spread.
Here is the latest complete “GARBAGE” coming from the trump family about masks. . . “conspiracy theories” that are making people confused and encouraging the “cult” NOT to wear a face covering. The entire family is endangering each one of us:
Twitter restricted Donald Trump Jr.’s ability to tweet after he posted a video featuring a doctor making false claims about coronavirus cures and stating that people “don’t need masks” to prevent the virus from spreading, a Twitter spokesperson said Tuesday.
Some of the account’s functionality, including the ability to tweet, will be limited for 12 hours, the spokesperson said.
The video, which was published by the right-wing media outlet Breitbart News and went viral online on Monday, featured a group of doctors making false and dubious claims related to coronavirus, including that masks are unnecessary.
Twitter (TWTR), Facebook (FB) and YouTube removed the video after it started to go viral.
Whatever de santis about any issue, about Covid,storms etc. Listen to what he says and then believe the exact opposite!