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Three Cs and masks: DeSantis urges Floridians to take safety measures

By Staff | Jul 2, 2020

As the state and country prepare to celebrate Independence Day, Gov. Ron DeSantis urged Floridians to take precautions over the holiday weekend amidst the highest single-day increase in cases since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

DeSantis, along with Florida Surgeon General Dr. Scott Rivkees, presented three “C’s” for those across the state to take into consideration while enjoying the holiday.

The three C’s include:

1) Closed Spaces. Avoid closed spaces with poor ventilation that could allow contagious droplets to linger in the air.

2) Crowded Places. Avoid crowded places with many people nearby; the greater the number of individuals in an area, the greater the chances of COVID-19 spreading from person-to-person.

3) Close-Contact Settings. Avoid close-range conversations and stay at least six feet from others.

“People over the age of 65 and those with underlying conditions are at risk of severe complications from COVID-19 and should avoid crowds and minimize contact outside of the home,” DeSantis said in a statement. “As we head into this holiday weekend, I encourage all Floridians be diligent in avoiding closed spaces, crowded places and close-contact settings, and remember to wear a mask. Together, we must continue to take the appropriate steps to slow the spread of this virus.”

Rivkees said, “Many asymptomatic individuals are unknowingly carrying the COVID-19 virus in public. Wearing a mask in public settings, frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds and observing the latest social distancing guidelines will also amplify our ongoing efforts in protecting our most vulnerable populations from contracting this virus. Every Floridian has an important role to play in shielding and safeguarding our communities against COVID-19.”

By the Numbers

As of 11 a.m. Thursday, there are 169,106 cases of the new coronavirus confirmed in Florida, an increase of 10,109 since FDOH’s last update Wednesday morning.

This is the highest single-day report of cases from the state.

More than 68,800 test results were reported to the Department of Health on Wednesday, July 1. Of those reported tests, 14.59 percent tested positive. Since June 21, positivity rates have increased from 7.74 percent up to 15.99 percent.

On Friday, June 26, 78,318 tests were processed by the state – the highest since the beginning of the pandemic.

The death toll increased by 67 from 11 a.m. Wednesday to 11 a.m. Thursday, reported among Lee Broward, Collier, Dade, Duval, Escambia, Hillsborough, Lake, Manatee, Martin, Monroe, Okaloosa, Orange, Osceola, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Sarasota, Seminole, St. Johns and St. Lucie counties.

A total of 2,033,794 individuals have been tested: 1,863,077 have tested negative, 1,611 tests were inconclusive and 1,683 tests are pending results. Of those testing positive, 15,150 (+570) have been hospitalized at some point during their illness. There have been 3,718 deaths.

The age groups of Florida residents that have yielded the most positive test results are 25-34 years old (20%), followed by 35-44(16%), 15-24(16%) and 45-54 (15%).

The highest hospitalization rate is found in patients 65-74 (19%), 75-84 (18%) and 55-64 (17%) years old.

In Lee County, 5,869 (+354) individuals have tested positive as of 11 a.m. Thursday; 2,688 in Fort Myers (+138), 1,122 in Cape Coral (+90), 1,311 in Lehigh Acres (+59), 377 in Bonita Springs (+22), 201 in North Fort Myers (+22), 135 in Estero (+5), 32 on Fort Myers Beach (+2), 17 in Sanibel (+0), 23 in Alva (+0), eight in Bokeelia (+1), five on Matlacha (+1), four in Saint James City (+0), three in Tice (+0), two in Miromar Lakes (+0), two in Boca Grande (+0), two on Captiva (+0), two in San Carlos Park (+0) and one in Buckingham (+0).

Eighty cases were not identified by community.

Positive COVID-19 cases in the county have ranged from infants to a 101-year-old. Lee County saw its first two cases on March 7, when a man and a woman, each 77, tested positive. They had traveled to the Dominican Republic.

There have been 161 deaths (+2) in Lee County and a total of 616 (+6) hospitalizations; 117 deaths were reported in residents or staff of long-term care facilities.

As of Thursday, Lee Health had 258 COVID-19 patients isolated in system inpatient hospitals. A total of 927 patients who had tested positive have been discharged, including 34 on Wednesday. Lee Health had 245 patients insolated in hospitals on Wednesday.

The system has submitted a total of 28,927 specimens for testing, with 1,461 results currently pending.

Lee Health’s mobile collection sites on Wednesday collected 264 specimens.

Bed capacity as of Thursday is at 82 percent, with 20.1 percent of those being COVID-19 patients.

As of Thursday, 70 percent of ventilators and 11 percent of ICU rooms are available for use across Lee Health facilities.

COVID-19 is a highly contagious viral disease. For most individuals, symptoms are mild. For a minority, the disease becomes a type of viral pneumonia with severe complications. Especially at risk are those who are older, those with underlying health conditions and the immune-compromised.

Officials strongly urge all members of the public who are at risk to remain at home so as to limit exposure. All others are urged to observe social distancing and to wear a mask for all public interactions.

For more detail on Florida resident cases, visit the live DOH Dashboard.

To find the most up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19, visit the Department of Health’s dedicated COVID-19 webpage. For information and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control, visit the CDC COVID-19 website. For more information about current travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State, visit the travel advisory website.

For any other questions related to COVID-19 in Florida, contact the Department’s dedicated COVID-19 Call Center by calling 1-866-779-6121. The Call Center is available 24 hours per day. Inquiries may also be emailed to COVID-19@flhealth.gov .

-Connect with this reporter on Twitter: @haddad_cj