Florida hospitalizations due to covid-19 have increased by 25 percent over the last two weeks and more than 35 percent in the last 30 days, according to a top Florida health care regulator. Self-reported data from hospitals published by the state shows 3,034 patients hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of covid-19 as of Tuesday.
In Flagler, hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of covid-19 bottomed out at two in mid-October, but have since risen again, albeit slowly, reaching nine on Nov. 3 and settling back to around seven most days since. There were seven hospitalizations in Palm Coast as of today. The county has been totaling more than 100 new infections per week for the past three weeks, and appears on track for over 100 this week as well. There were 26 cases reported last Saturday alone, and 48 cases since.
So far 40 local residents have died because of the disease, making it the sixth or seventh leading cause of death in Flagler this year, ahead of car crashes, suicides, Parkinson’s or Alzheimner’s and on par with diabetes.
On a phone call with hospital providers Tuesday, Agency for Health Care Administration interim Secretary Shevaun L. Harris described the increase in hospitalizations statewide as the number of Covid cases in the state continue to climb, despite Gov. Ron DeSantis’ push for a return to normalcy. As of Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health reported 852,174 COVID-19 cases in Florida, an increase of 4,353 cases from a Monday count.
The health department data also show that nearly 4 percent of the state’s nursing home residents have tested positive for the virus as of Tuesday. The rising number of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations was predictable, according to Manuel Gordillo, medical director of Sarasota Memorial Health Care System’s Infection Prevention and Control department. The spike in Covid-19 cases in Florida and nationwide can be attributed to pandemic fatigue, mixed messages from television and social media, and “wrong messaging coming from the top,” Gordillo said, an allusion to Gov. Ron DeSantis scrapping all restrictions on business and restaurant capacity restrictions, forbidding local governments from enforcing mask mandates and essentially letting the pandemic run free.
“And, whether Floridians know it or not,” the Tampa Bay Times reported about DeSantis this week, “he is pursuing a policy that will allow the virus to spread freely in the state until most of the population becomes infected — or is vaccinated with a yet-to-be obtained vaccine — while attempting to protect those thought to be most vulnerable. … He has since spent more time and commanded more media attention to his “open-everything” policy than on encouraging people to prevent contagion. It is the same policy advanced by Scott Atlas, the controversial White House coronavirus adviser who does not have a background in infectious diseases.”
Local health officials, including Stephen Bickel, the medical director at the Flagler and Volusia Health Department, have argued strongly against a herd-immunity approach. Aside from the heavy death toll, it’s not an option “in any short-term time-frame,” Bickel wrote in July, “probably a minimum of three years is required, maybe up to five, to develop herd immunity in a population, and what are you supposed to do in the meantime? And you’re presuming that letting the disease run its course through the community won’t cause material damage to the economy by itself. You’re also assuming people won’t stop carrying on their business activities out of fear.”
Herd immunity means that enough people have contracted (and presumably survived) the virus that its ability to spread is significantly diminished. If a certain proportion of the population has become immune, it creates protections for the rest. Many people who refuse to get vaccinated for, say, polio or other diseases for which schools usually require immunization are taking advantage of herd immunity created by those who have been vaccinated. But getting to herd immunity with covid would require long-lasting immunity to the coronavirus in 60 to 70 percent of the population, Bickel said.
“That would mean 210 to 245 million people needing to get naturally infected,” the physician wrote, “and if you use a fatality rate of somewhere between
0.3% and 0.5%, figures which are on the low end of the range, you end up with somewhere between 630,000 and 1.25 million deaths before this thing is contained. It’s far from clear to me that our citizens have the stomach for this amount of death.”
But that approach is in effect in Florida at the moment. The state has been spared the massive spike in cases unfolding in much of the country, where the weather has become colder, new cases are breaking records almost daily. There were 142,000 new cases on Veterans Day.
The surge across the country has struck states indiscriminately, but has generally followed colder weather as it descends further and further south, raising concern locally that the late fall and winter’s colder weather, combined with late November and December’s holidays, will combined to replicate the spike being seen across the country. “All these are something that the virus loves,” Gordillo said Monday in a video posted on YouTube by Sarasota Memorial Health Care System.
On Monday, drug manufacturer Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE announced that their Covid-19 vaccine candidate had a more than 90-percent efficacy rate seven days after the second dose of the vaccine was administered. The companies are accumulating the required safety data and will apply for emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration later this month, after safety milestones are reached, the announcement said. Meanwhile, Gordillo, in an echo of repeated cautions by local health officials such as Bickel and Bob Snyder, director of the Flagler health department, said the best tools currently available to Florida and the nation are non-pharmaceutical: social distancing, mask wearing and hand washing.
President-elect Joe Biden on Monday announced the creation of a coronavirus task force comprised of scientists and physicians that will help guide his policies.
–FlaglerLive and News Service of Florida
Ron DeSantis is another glaring example of extreme failure of Leadership. He has all but disappeared as far as C19 is concerned. He is reckless and just following the lead of his loser Idol. May He experience this firsthand and up close. Your ReElection cant come soon enough for me Mr. Do Nothing Pillsbury doughboy.
so there are 3034 people in the hospitals state wide in florida, with a population of 22000000(22 million people)= a rate of .00013. where is the problem. also the death rate state wide has and is still falling just check the state web site. https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/#latest-stats
You’re right cgm, it’s just a big hoax. Three older members of my family fell for this Liberal trick and are sick.
Don’t you realize what 3,034 represents? 3,034 worried families, lives forever affected that didn’t have to be.
How ‘bout you go to a few ICU’s with your stat sheet and tell them it’s all make believe. In fact, go there without a mask and prove how tough you are.
Former Resident says
We also only lost 3000 Americans on 9/11. I guess that’s no big deal either?
Jason Barton says
When a society laments the loss of an economy more than the loss of human life, it doesn’t need a virus …. it is already sick.
Kathleen Vacchelli, APRN says
Increase in COVID numbers? I went to renew my driving license today. There were enough people inside the building to tell me where to stand, to ask me what I was there for and to open the door. I gave all my information to the person behind the plexiglass. I was then told to put my face in the viewer to test my eyesight. I asked if it was cleaned after each person. I was told it was cleaned a coupled of times a week,” couple of times a week I asked, then I was told a couple of times a day. I looked around with all the people who were putting the face in the viewer. No one was wiping them down before or after. I was told finally that it had to do with the lack of manpower and then it was getting the materials to clean the glass off in the viewer. How difficult and expensive is it to have a box of disinfectant wipes beside the viewer so that each applicant can wipe it down before and after? The value of human lives?? City Hall needs to start enforcing safety precautions
The Voice Of Reason says
That and the fact the average repub voter is far more concerned about those 4 deaths with Benghzi. Covid and 9/11 are a drop in the bucket compared to Benghzi. It;s such an important part of repub guiding principles. Compare USA with rest of the world and covid and we are a dismal orange failure. Getting worse by the day. Herd immunity my butt!
jim dana says
So very true – we can’t wait to vote DeSantis out – as well as the rest of these do nothing politicians. Our health is on the line.
Susan Shappell says
Mr. Desantis is among many government officials that, in ny opinion need to get this virus and receive the same care that I would receive. Maybe if more of our Republican Leadership would get this virus and have the same care. the normal every day American citizen gets, just maybe, just maybe, they would give a shit and work on getting us quality relief and a mandate for mask wearing whenever outside of your home. The problem is these Government officials get medical care that the average person would not receive therefore the virus does not impact them the way it impacts the rest of the community. They really don’t care because they have access health care that we do not.
Jason Barton says
I see Terranova’s in Bunnell has closed until further notice, apparently someone on their staff has tested positive. Until we have an administration, and a Governor who takes this pandemic seriously, we are never going to get this situation under control and get our economy back on track.
Rick G says
Does it make one think that the spike was assisted by Biketoberfest?
De Santis has earned a new nick-name nationwide…Death-Santis. Maybe he feels that playing the role of “Mini-Me” to Trump’s “Dr. Evil” has been worth it.
Not to worry Biden will cure it the day he swears in, with a wave of a wand……err pen……..and all the deaths after he swears in will be his fault, right?
YEAH IFF he and his Administration sit back and do nothing to try and keep this Virus under wraps . The Orange Lump of Lard knew it was airborne. I think you may know the rest SMH
Gary R says
Joe Biden already cured Covid. Didn’t you see all his supporters not social distancing and some were not wearing masks.
Are you sure every Covid death is actually from COVID? You never hear anything about people dying from the flu, heart attack, strokes, etc. They are putting everything under COVID and you can’t believe what you hear!! The number are not accurate! Also you can’t just shut the country down. How are people going to pay there bills and businesses are going to be gone! Our governor is doing a great job!!
Warning: the commenter above, “Ken,” is making baseless claims that have spread on Facebook but have been repeatedly discredited, as they were here, here, here, here, here and here. Please do not use this site to spread disinformation. It wastes our time, it’s irresponsible, and you should be embarrassed.
To all the people who defied wearing a mask and taking other precautions because they “didn’t believe” the scientists and chose to be defiant or make it political.
To all the people who socialized and partied in groups
To all the governors and other leaders who allowed bike fests, trump rallies, and
all the other irresponsible things that were allowed to happen
To all the protestors that joined together in a mass all over the country
To the government and president who were to cowardly and irresponsible to take
Welcome to the expanding world of Covid where we are now in way more danger than we were before and our 2 most enjoyed Holiday seasons are ruined, as well as all other phases of life. Maybe now you will all realize that 150,000 people are day are getting sick and a lot of them dying or will be left with serious health problems when they “recover” from Covid and the economy will remain sick and take a very long time to recover from the effects.
Diana L. says
Who wants to spend some time in the ICU? How about long term lung and heart damage? Strokes, blood clots? Any takers? It’s not that bad according to some of these commenters stuck on death rate. And who cares if grandma dies from it? She’s old anyway, right?! Let’s live it up! Toss the mask! To heck with mandates! Open up and let nature take it’s course. Hopefully there will be no correlation between IQ and COVID-19 infection.
EVERY SINGLE LIFE IS PRECIOUS ! STOP, just stop with the FOX talking points twisting the numbers to try and make them look OK! No “reasonable”, “educated” “human” being wants to read this same “inhumane” tripe over, and over, and over again!
Regarding trump having the pain, suffering and death of thousands on his hands. . . several studies have shown that better government “leadership” at all levels could have saved thousands of lives during this pandemic. If “ANY” President, by their negligence, “completely FAILS” to keep the American people safe , of course they should be held accountable. trump has “LIED” and “DENIED” his way through one of the most terrible and tragic times in American history!
For those who still care to be educated by actual analysis of facts:
Thank you, again, Flaglerlive for taking “your precious time” to do FACT CHECKING to point out the spreading of “LIES” and incorrect information in the comments posted here. Hopefully your time and effort will help stop the acceptance of baseless GOSSIP and DISHONESTY in our society.
Only Me says
Steve, you are so correct about what you wrote about DeSantis “The Pillsbury Doughboy” of Donald Loser Trump”. DeSantis needs to be reminded we will all be remembering all his failures when he is up for re-election.
Just like his idol, he will be a one-term Governor Republican state or not, red states are now going blue because of the Republicans and Donald Trump’s failure to handle this deadly virus.
If you’re concerned about your risk or a loved one, take precautions. But it’s not the job of other citizens, or the government, to ensure you live in a totally risk free world. Probably near half of the population has already had Covid. Those tested are but a small sampling. Time to let another quarter, who are at very low risk get seriously ill, to reach that herd immunity by year end.
Do you understand that herd immunity means knowing that some of the herd will not survive? Can you gather your herd around you and accept the fact that you are going to sacrifice some of them? It may be the older ones in the group. It may be those with asthma or diabetes. Or, it may be you will be surprised by losing young and fit herd member. When considering whether or not to accept this approach please picture your parents, your children, your neighbors, your co-workers rather than a faceless and distant crowd. It may become a little harder to say that this is good enough. It might make it a little more doable to give up that night out at the bar or to don mask when you go out.
John Nianouris says
DeathSantis will kill millions of people in Florida. Not just residents but visitors too. Impeach him now. Otherwise vote him out next term. Until then we are screwed thanks to the orange piece of lard and his dough boyfriend. Revolt people before it’s too late. Every single life matters no matter what age.