A 67-year-old man who died on Sept. 26 is the 24th Flagler County resident to die of Covid-19, according to the Flagler Health Department. Two of three non-residents have also died of covid in the county. In the state, 14,207 people have died of the disease since it spread in March, and over 200,000 have died in the country.
The average age of Flagler County residents who have died of the disease is is just over 70. The youngest victim was 44, the oldest was 92.
Flagler County continues to experience a significant number of infections–what Flagler Health Department chief Bob Snyder referred to as a “mini-surge”–though totals have fallen for two successive weeks, down to 80 in the week ending Sept. 26, from 109 the previous week and 139 the week before that, with a little over 100 tests a day being administered on average, according to the state Department of Health’s figures.
Hospitalizations for covid-related reasons remain relatively high, with 14 individuals hospitalized currently at AdventHealth Palm Coast with a primary diagnosis of cocid-19, the same number as in St. Johns County. Bed capacity is not an issue in the state or in the region.
Infections are spreading to a broad range of individuals across all ages. In the last seven days, children ages 0, 12, 15 and two 16-year-olds were among those infected. Overall in the county, 168 children under 18 years of age have been infected since the pandemic began, out of 1,305 tested, a positivity rate of 13 percent, just under the state average. While the disease claims a disproportionate number of lives among its elderly victims, it’s also claimed the lives of nine children in the state, two of them 10 or younger, and three of them between the ages of 11 and 13. Some 720 children have been hospitalized. The data does not reflect the number of children who have died or developed complications from multisystem inflammatory syndrome, what the journal Nature describes this month as “a new dangerous childhood disease that is temporally associated with coronavirus disease.”
As of Saturday, 37 students in the Flagler County school district had been infected since school resumed in late August, and 12 staffers, with 32 of those infections at Old Kings Elementary and Flagler Palm Coast High School. But by mid-September, attendance overall was back above 13,000, roughly in range of normal attendance, with 7,851 of those students, or 60 percent, attending in person, and the rest attending either through the district’s remote-live option, with some 4,000 students enrolled, or through its virtual school.
On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted all covid-related restrictions on businesses, including restaurants. Restaurants may now serve customers without a limit on capacity, indoor or outdoor, though the governor’s order allows local ordinances that still limit capacity to 50 percent to remain in effect as long as the state approves.
DeSantis did so as coronavirus cases have been falling in Florida but rising again in most of the rest of the nation. Once the epicenter of the pandemic this summer, Florida’s rate of new cases in the last seven days places it 28th among the states. Flagler County is 24th out of 67 counties with its rate of infections in the last seven days, a much higher level than it had been used to in previous months.
Florida’s so-called Rt value, or the value at which covid-19 is reproducing, is below 1, at 0.95. If it were at 1, the number of infections would be steady. If it’s higher than 1, even by a fraction, then the number of infections would be rising. At its current level, the number anticipates a slow but steady decline in cases. The full business reopening, however, may place that trend in jeopardy the way the governor’s premature reopening of the economy in May did: almost as soon as DeSantis lifted shelter restrictions in early May, the Rt value began to climb, then surge–and with it, infection numbers. European nations are seeing similar resurgences of the virus, especially in Britain, as residents have relaxed their vigilance.
Last week six states reported a record number of cases. The United States is averaging 765 deaths daily currently, according to University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), a widely followed model. But Dr. Chris Murray, director of the Institute, warned in an interview with CNN that deaths could surge to an average of 3,000 a day as people begin to move indoors because of the cooling weather, with the surge beginning in October. Even New York State, which had sharply reduced its infection and death numbers after being the pandemic’s national epicenter in April, saw infections rise by more than 1,000 cases a day for the first time since June. In Florida, the seven-day average remains at 2,400. The institute projects 371,500 covid-related deaths in the United States by Jan. 1.
Currently, Florida is among 21 states with negative Rt values.
On Friday, The Lancet, a medical journal, published a study that, based on a sample of 28,500 patients in 46 states, indicated that fewer than 10 percent have antibodies to covid-19, meaning that herd immunity is still a distant hope in the country. “During the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic,” The Lancet summarized, “fewer than 10% of the US adult population formed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2, and fewer than 10% of those with antibodies were diagnosed. Public health efforts to limit SARS-CoV-2 spread need to especially target racial and ethnic minority and densely populated communities.”
Steve Vanne says
You know with thousands of thousands of people testing positive why aren’t we dropping like flies. Just a thought?
Edith Campins says
Wait for it.
I know for a fact that survivors have lingring health issues.
What do you expect with all of these I don;’t care people gathering in mass in the clubs and bars and at home parties around Flagler. The karaoke party on August 28th has 50 positives and 2 deaths. It has nothing to do with DeSantis or Trump or Biden , its people that don’t give a shit about anyone else and they think “oh I want get it’. They can tell that to the two that are dead. Now wait for the new numbers to start hitting now that everything is opened up.
so, what percent of Flagler residents have died from covid-19 this year?
Rosie Gonzalez says
Less than 800 cases STATEWIDE today – fewest since March or April I believe. In Flagler County 1700 cases out of a population of 110,000. That’s 1700 cases since Late January. Reread that and let it sink in for a minute. Facts over fear.
Edith Campins says
I am sure the families of the dead take great comfort in that.
Thank you, Rosie. Florida is a state of 22 MILLION. Those numbers are all since late January. I have seen similar numbers of deceased during Bike Weeks in this area. We need to stop the shaming, practice kindness and care for our neighbors. And don’t forget to wash your hands frequently.
Both commenters are misinformed. The first cases were detected in Florida in the first week of March, the first deaths recorded in the state shortly after that. The first case in Flagler was confirmed the third week of March, the first death confirmed April 1. While the comparison is specious, there has never been anywhere close to “similar numbers of deceased during a Bike Week” in the history of Bike Week. Commenters concerned about spreading kindness should refrain from spreading misinformation here.
The fear comes in when in that County people dont take it seriously and wont adhere to some simple precautions for whatever reason. Thje calm before the Storm IMO
ItsNot AboutYou says
The people focusing on percentages are ignoring the fact these aren’t just numbers.
These are Americans, with families. We stopped the whole country, wrote new laws, changed our governments structure, abolished rights, and started 2 wars over 4,000 American deaths in 2001. What percentage of the population is 4,000?
We are now at 200,000 dead Americans nationwide. Thats more than every war since 1950, every mass shooting, and every terrorist attack combined. 24 deaths in this community is notable. That is 24 families affected. And this is not over.
I think percentages do matter. 0.06% of the nations people died from covid-19. 24 is 0.02% of 107000 Flagler residents. So the other 99+ percent must disrupt their lives, sometimes leading to suicide, homicide, divorce, undue stress and other future issues unknown. We didn’t shut down the country when 0.02% of the county died of the Flu in 2017-2018. I agree this is stronger than the annual flu and even the Swine Flu, but it typically affects people with underlying conditions or age.
I think we should let this tiny population of people with these conditions self-quarantine if they wish, wear masks or gowns in public if they wish and wash their hands when they wish. Order groceries online and avoid going to public areas with crowds or traveling excessively.
For those of you who think I am horrible, this is what we all do now for .06% of the population.
Let our free country be free.