Flagler County recorded 154 confirmed covid infections in the last 24 hours, as of 4 p.m. today, and AdventHealth Palm Coast had 86 patients with a primary diagnosis of Covid-19, yet another record, according to Bob Snyder, director of the Flagler County Health Department, a state agency.
There have been 668 confirmed infections in the last six days in Flagler, already exceeding last week’s total of 665, with one more reporting day to go. Residents are again having difficulties scheduling immediate testing as the number of people requesting tests has created backlogs.
The 16-hospital AdventHealth network in Central Florida has 1,350 in-patients with covid, 400 more than it had during the highest previous peak of the pandemic last January. Patients who survive stay an average of 14 to 21 days at the hospital, averaging in age between 50 to 55–younger than in previous waves–but all ages have been seen in hospitals. Of the 1,350, some 350 are in ICU, and the majority are on ventilators, according to Dr. Eduardo Oliveira, executive medical director of critical care services at AdventHealth Central Florida.
“It’s definitely putting a certain level of strain in the system as far as our ability to care for all those patients,” Oliveira said today. “We’ve done that very well so far but the number is pretty high.” Getting vaccinated is the quickest and surest way to reduce the number of hospitalized, he said: the overwhelming majority of those in the hospital are unvaccinated.
“More than 90 percent of the patients that come to the ICU that are really sick, that require mechanical ventilation or almost are about to require mechanical ventilation, or the breathing tube to be able to help them breathe, they are unvaccinated,” Oliveira said. “The minority that’s vaccinated comes to the ICU, they usually have some underlying problem, or illness or immunosuppression.”
There are unconfirmed reports of deaths, but because of the protocols surrounding death reporting of covid cases, those have not yet been recorded.
“There is a lag time between hospitalizations, number one, and people who do pass away,” Snyder said. But the death rate is not expected to be as high as it was in previous waves. “Because who’s being hospitalized are younger patients whose mortality rate is not as high as older folks with chronic conditions, and people who are immunocompromised and elderly. So that is true. But still, these hospitalizations, it’s dire and it’s very serious. Our patients are younger, they’re sicker. They’re still individuals that are in the ICU and younger people that are being intubated and on a ventilator. So, no, this is very serious.”
There has been an outbreak at the Windsor assisted living facility and some smaller assisted living facilities. The assumption should not be made that those are “breakthrough” cases of vaccinated residents or staff members: while the health department conducted an extensive and comprehensive campaign to get all residents and staffers at the county’s 72 assisted living and other congregate care facilities vaccinated earlier this year, significant proportions of staff members refused, and some residents refused as well. What is known, and factually confirmed by a study published this week and based on recent data, is that breakthrough cases are extremely rare, and hospitalizations of breakthrough cases rarer still.
There has been a small–a very small–uptick in vaccinations in the county. When the Health Department conducted its testing and vaccination clinics on Tuesday, 62 people were tested and 22 received vaccines. But the county still lags in vaccinations and remains below 50 percent overall vaccinations, according to Centers for Disease Control data, with a much higher proportion of unvaccinated individuals the younger the demographic. People younger than 12 may not be vaccinated.
Oliveira recalled a recent instance of a patient “that was coming very ill and sort of asked to be vaccinated as they were arriving in the hospital,” he said, “obviously our heart goes out for that person. Because we really felt that the desire to live, the desire to really fight the disease–it’s kind of hard, we don’t blame anyone except we we have regret for them that situation. That was one that, you know, just touched the people’s hearts around the bedside.”
The Flagler Health Department has firmed up its schedule of testing and vaccination beginning next week as follows:
Testing for residents, including school district teachers, staffers and students, will take place on the second floor of the county airport annex building (the three-story building across the street from Flagler Palm Coast High School) weekdays from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. That’s for asymptomatic people and people who have had close contacts with infected individuals, but not vaccinated students or teachers who show no symptoms. Students, teachers and staff don’t need an appointment. Everyone else does.
For those who do show symptoms, testing will take place at the same time, between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. weeknights, at the Health Department’s headquarters at 301 Dr. Carter Boulevard in Bunnell, in a drive-through system–to keep the potentially infected from mingling with others. Again, students, teachers and staff don’t need an appointment. Everyone else does. The department will also be offering vaccinations inside the building at the same hours. All testing and vaccination is free and does not require appointments.
So incomprehensible because it was so avoidable.
Only Me says
Get vaccinated or would you prefer being admitted to the hospital and put on a ventalator? Do you want to have businesses shut down again, restaurants closing and a major outbreak again? Go get vaccinated unless you want the state under DeSantis continue to see innocent people die because of not listening to the medical experts. DeSantis is not a licensed Doctor so for those that are believing him over the medical professionals you are complete fools. DeSantis doesn’t care about you or your life all he cares about is himself like his idol Trump.
Why do you blame DeSantis, he allows you to make your own decisions, even when they are wrong. As for Trump, you wouldn’t be vaccinated if it wasn’t for him. At the rate this is going, we will reach herd immunity in no time since so many will have their own antibodies from having contracted the variant. Since nearly all deaths are the “unvaccinated”, maybe thinning the herd is a good thing. Grow up “only me”, the only people to blame are the idiots that refuse to get vaccinated.
[FL Fact-check: the commenter below is not entirely correct: “How Pfizer’s and Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines are tied to Operation Warp Speed.”]
Actually, Moderna and Pfizer were not part of Warp Speed and took no government funds. They were working independently and had nothing to do with Trump or his administration. The vaccine that was part of warp speed, Novavax, has delayed submitting documents for approval time and time again, with 4th quarter of 2021 now as a possible submission target. It’s a protein-based vaccine and actually one I prefer over the mRNA ones, but you know spout off what you think you know about the hesitancy. It does fall on Trump and it does fall on DeSantis.
They consistently skew the message and those that are easily manipulated/brainwashed/coerced are the same ones who scream “No vaccine, my body, my choice, no mandates,” but will buy their Trump membership card with the Nazi-esque insignia and tell people what they can and cannot do with THEIR bodies. Hypocrites much?
C’mon, open “your” eyes and ears. You know damn well enough it’s the men waving their hands and screaming like toddlers why their legion of fans refuse the vaccine (both autocrats in Trump and DeSantis). They politicized this with the help of social media, Faux News, OAN, Newsmax, and a horde of disinformation. Is it really wise to kill off your voters and viewers though just to own the libs? How ridiculous, sad, and really indicative of their sociopathic nature and callousness to win.
Also, natural antibodies only last about 3 months and with each new variant deviating from the original, your body will produce less and less of an immune response negating natural herd immunity. Science. It’s not that hard.
Thank you. I could not have said it better my self.
“As for Trump, you wouldn’t be vaccinated if it wasn’t for him.”…..
Not exactly…while the set up of Warp Speed and the quick production of vaccines did happen under Trump (for which he deserves credit), he and his administration (particularly boy genius Jared) made a conscious, deliberate attempt to not vigorously plan or set up for actual distribution of the vaccines to states…their plan was to be able to (for political reasons) then blame the states for the resulting chaos.
That’s how Trump rolls….
Karen Curry says
Trump only moved on getting a vaccine when he finally realized his bumbling of the pandemic was going to end his criminal enterprise. The drug companies & universities were already working on developing the vaccines. His administration had no plan to distribute them, if he actually did get re-elected left up to those self serving bastards we probably still wouldn’t be vaccinated! If the pandemic has taught us only 2 things, they are you cannot count on people to do the right thing & the “honor system” does not work with COVIDIOTS. Vaccines have been readily available for 8 months, those that haven’t been vaccinated are responsible for 400,000 deaths, billions of dollars of medical bills that the citizens will end up paying for as well as the bailouts to private citizens and companies because of the shutdowns. It’s past time to hold their feet to the fire, time to squeeze them in any way possible-whether it’s loss of employment or ability to mix with the vaccinated and vulnerable in restaurants, venues or shops. Until that’s accomplished and Covid in it’s various variants are on the wane local governments must MANDATE for EVERYONE TO MASK UP OUTSIDE OF THEIR HOMES-let the murderous republican rube governors take it to the courts.
Well said Jake. People need to take responsibility for their own decisions whether that decision works out well for them or not. That’s life. Get vaccinated, wear a mask (common sense), and if you choose not to it’s not DeSantis’ fault if you get sick. It’s your own. I don’t need a mandate to make me do what’s right to protect myself.
Why do you need DeSantis to tell you what to do? The ones going in are the unvaccinated. They chose not to be vaccinated, as is their right, then they paid the price. It doesn’t affect you. Did you get vaccinated? Awesome! Now you are good and don’t have to worry what others are doing. Stop blaming DeSantis. Take responsibility for yourself. DeSantis is only saying what he should be, that everyone is free to make their own choices to protect their own body, how they see fit.
Increase testing and vaccination opportunities.
John Stove says
Every single one of these sick/unvaccinated patients is/will be driving up the cost of all our healthcare for years to come. Vaccinated and unvaccinated people belong to the insurance “pool” for whichever carrier you have. When the unvaccinated have to stay 10-20 days in a hospital or ICU those costs get added to the pool and in order to cover their loss, the insurance company raises the rates.
You don’t want to get vaccinated? Fine….pay for your stupidity out of your pocket and don’t force my rates to go up!
Karen Curry says
Too bad they sent back all those stimulus checks, they could’ve used that free money to pay their COVID bills 😆😝😉!
They want us and our children sick and dying.
Mark – Do you seriously believe that????? Wow.
CYNTHIA JOHNSTON says
DeathSantis said yesterday that “Covid is something we need to live with”. Ironic because it is something we are dying from every hour of every day. He is a selfish idiot with no heart and no soul. (just like his buddy Trump)
What a terrible thing to say. COVID is here, we do need to live with it. Get vaccinated, wear a mask, wash your hands. Why are you blaming him for something he has no control over. Personal responsibility…
Cynthia how would you resolve the pandemic? How would you make people get vaccinated? What would you do if they refuse? If you were in charge what would you do to force people to wear masks, get vaccinated, all while keeping businesses open so people can collect paychecks and take care of their families?
Jami B says
I so agree with you Kathy ! I know people have a hard on for Trump and Desantis and even Biden, but the name blame game has to end ! We’re responsible for ourselves, if you don’t agree to the school mandates, keep your child home and home school. I know plenty of friends and their friends who switched to home schooling because they don’t trust what’s going on and they want to feel like their in control of their child’s life, not the government’s ! I hear all about how this one or that one wants people to die, their up so and so’s butt, or their doing it wrong, but never a reason as to why they feel that way, other than” it’s Trumps / Biden’s or De Santis fault” ??? It’s going to come back and bite you down the road if you let others make decisions for you. I have a few questions, how can the scientist tell the difference between the viruses, I have yet to hear so many with this type are in the hospital and so many with that type are in the hospital. Also, Florida is pretty close to the boarder of Mexico, so how are our tourist bringing in the virus when no one is monitoring the illegals as they find a way here and a place to call home here in Florida ? Have they been tested ? Who are they around while setting up house, eating out, shopping and where do you think their kids are going to go to school ? I have so many questions that aren’t being addressed and that should come from the White House, not our Governor, he just passes down to us, the information given to him, and then makes a qualified decision to pass that info on to us. Everyone says they don’t use social media or the propaganda news outlets, I personally don’t believe any channel, as the news journalist are only telling us what their employer wants them to tell us. It’s kind of hard to find unbiased news anymore because too many are playing the blame game. It’s time to really get down to the jist of things and demanding that we be told the truth, answer our questions, and give us honest answers ! In the mean time everyone needs to fend for their own families and pray to God, that we as a Nation come together, and quit placing blame ! If you want to blame someone for something or don’t like the way things are being handled, tell us how you’d go about it. Maybe you’ll put an idea into someone’s head and help the problem !!
As “Expert” Dr. Fauci says : ” I do not know how to explain to you how you should care for others”.
Kathy, why can you not comprehend that Covid is “extremely highly contagious”? Therefore, we are all in this together. Our “independent” actions will NOT STOP this pandemic. We must rely on the “leadership” of our political officials and business leaders, and the media to pull us together to do all the things necessary to overcome this worldwide pandemic.
Those that are not getting the vaccine/ not masking up correctly are needlessly “ENDANGERING” each of us, along with holding the economy and our financial well being HOSTAGE to their personal, self centered desires.
DeSantis “DOES” have as one of his major responsibilities the safety and health of the people of Florida:
The 2020 Florida Statutes
PUBLIC HEALTH: GENERAL PROVISIONS
381.00315 Public health advisories; public health emergencies; isolation and quarantines.—The State Health Officer is responsible for declaring public health emergencies, issuing public health advisories, and ordering isolation or quarantines.
(1) As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Isolation” means the separation of an individual who is reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease from individuals who are not infected, to prevent the possible spread of the disease.
(b) “Public health advisory” means any warning or report giving information to the public about a potential public health threat. Before issuing any public health advisory, the State Health Officer must consult with any state or local agency regarding areas of responsibility which may be affected by such advisory. Upon determining that issuing a public health advisory is necessary to protect the public health and safety, and prior to issuing the advisory, the State Health Officer must notify each county health department within the area which is affected by the advisory of the State Health Officer’s intent to issue the advisory. The State Health Officer is authorized to take any action appropriate to enforce any public health advisory.
(c) “Public health emergency” means any occurrence, or threat thereof, whether natural or man made, which results or may result in substantial injury or harm to the public health from infectious disease, chemical agents, nuclear agents, biological toxins, or situations involving mass casualties or natural disasters. Before declaring a public health emergency, the State Health Officer shall, to the extent possible, consult with the Governor
Sherry – I appreciate the information you are posting. I’ve had many questions and you have helped to answer them.
I am happy to do all I can to help everyone truly understand that we MUST all pull in the same direction if we are going to defeat this pandemic and bring our country and the world back to the “freedom” of safely going about our lives.
Don’t just take my word for the facts I have laid out. May I suggest that you take the time yourself to search out “credible” information on TV and the internet on politically less biased media outlets such as AP (Associated Press), BBC and PBS. I pray that once you find credible sources for factual information, you will truly understand how we are all in this together, and you will make decisions that will keep you and “US” safer, and bring you peace.
Wishing you Joy, Peace and Love Kathy!
Ray W. says
Thank you so much, Sherry, for your compassion and insight.
Pricks like desantis and scott remind me of what a nurse complained of to me: “Doctors tell homeless diabetics to improve their diet with food they can’t afford, kept in a refrigerator they don’t have — not even to store insulin!”
And so it goes.
Pogo – If you were a doctor how would you handle the situation? Would you offer to buy the diabetic homeless person healthy foods on a continuous basis, would you buy a refrigerator and maybe store it at you own home so that the homeless person can come there for their insulin? I’m serious, what would you do above and beyond what is expected of a doctor? The doc tells the patient what to do to get better. What more would you suggest the doc do?