COVID-19: The State We’re In

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The spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has increased in Florida and Lee County over the past month. Not only are new diagnosis numbers up, but hospitalizations and deaths attributed to COVID-19 are up and availability of ICU beds and ventilators are decreasing.

While Floridians once “flattened” the curve, it’s not flat now. The measures people were willing to take in April and May, have to some extent been abandoned and the statistics reflect that.

The instructions have been the same for months:

  • Wash your hands often for at least 20 seconds.
  • Don’t touch your face.
  • Stay at least 6-feet away from anyone you don’t share a living space with.
  • If you can’t stay 6-feet away from others in any environment, wear a mask.
  • Those over 65 and those with underlying medical conditions should avoid being in public spaces.

Studies have shown that a mask protects those around you. Even home-made fabric masks do a pretty good job of doing that. As we watch PPE become scarce once again for medical professionals and first responders, those fabric masks are making a comeback. Even those without any sewing skills have easy access to them. If you’re still looking for a source, check out etsy.com/

Five steps to protect our community during a public health crisis.

Anyone old enough to remember the transition from smoking in restaurants being common to a total ban on smoking in enclosed places, knows that it takes time for public attitudes to shift. At first, smoking anywhere you wanted to was a “right.” Then we learned about the dangers of second hand smoke and even the most hardcore smokers learned to take their habit outside and away from their kids and other people. It was still their right to smoke, but not to endanger others.

COVID-19 precautions are not that much different, except the danger is invisible. So long as people continue to resist following those five simple instructions, this public health crisis will be with us and our economy will suffer. It could begin to recover if everyone followed those instructions and people could trust that when they went out, others were following the guidelines. Until that happens, the economy is hamstrung.

Florida now stands at over 220,000 COVID-19 diagnoses on July 8, 2020. Almost 4,000 people have died in our state. Lee County has 8,125 total cases and 171 deaths. In the past two weeks, Lee County has more than doubled its average rate of new cases per day.

If you’ve heard about how loose some states are in determining how they count their cases, know that Florida is not one of those. In fact, Florida Department of Health has been criticized for being loose with the negatives and tight with the positive tests. They count every negative test as if it’s a different person testing negative, while they count only the first positive test for any individual. So when you look at the positivity percentage, keep that in mind.

Testing

If you suspect that you might have COVID-19, you can get a free test at the Century Link Sports Complex. The testing site is open every day starting at 9am. It closes at 3pm or when they hit their limit of tests, or with threatening weather. You should be 18 or over and bring a photo ID and mask. Plan to be in line a long time, so have a full tank of gas, water, snacks and any medication you may need. Other testing sites require a doctors order and appointment.

If you think you might have COVID-19, stay away from others until you have test results. If you get a positive result, you should self-isolate for at least 2 weeks, even if you have no symptoms. A good part of our current surge in cases is believed to be the result of those with no symptoms spreading the disease.

For more information see leegov.com/covid-19/ or bit.ly/isp2020virus

Lee County COVID-19 Info

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Total positive cases: 8,125
Total deaths: 171

Average # new Lee cases/day

July 1 -7                     317.3

June 24 – 30             271.3

***

May 20 -26                57.7

May 13 – 19               29.1

+ Cases 33931         37

+ Cases 33908         329

Lee Health Stats

Current hospitalized COVID patients: 316

Ventilators: 60% available

ICU beds: 9% available

Hospital Census:

Bed Capacity used: 87%

(23.4% COVID-19 patients)