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State reports under 2K new COVID-19 cases, the lowest single-day increase since June; Lee Health extends visitation

By Staff | Aug 31, 2020

As the Florida Department of Health on Monday detailed the lowest daily increase in new COVID-19 cases since June 15 and the death rate throughout the state declining, Lee Health announced the expansion of its visitation hours.

According to Lee Health officials, effective immediately, Lee Health is expanding its adult hospital visitation hours to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“In addition to expanded hours, vented masks will no longer satisfy masking requirements for visitors as they let expelled breath into the air,” stated a Lee Health release. “The visitation policy for all other facilities remains unchanged.” For Lee Health’s full visitation policy, including safety requirements for visitors, please visit https://www.leehealth.org/our-services/public-health-awareness/hospital-visitation-temporary-restrictions.

Expanded testing in the Cape

FDOH in Lee County on Monday, in partnership with the city of Cape Coral, announced a day of additional free testing for COVID-19 in Cape Coral for residents without appointment this Friday.

This additional testing day will take place at the Cape Coral Sports Complex at 1410 Sports Blvd.

Testing is scheduled beginning at 9 a.m. Sept.18 and will continue, weather-permitting, until 12:30 p.m. or until all available tests have been administered.

According to the release, there will be 300 tests available each day for those 4 years of age or older. Children will be referred for testing to FDOH Lee County.

By the Numbers

As of 11 a.m. Monday, there are 623,471 total cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Florida, an increase of 1,855 since FDOH’s last update Sunday morning. This is the lowest single-day increase in new cases since June 15.

More than 39,500 test results were reported to the Department of Health on Sunday, Aug. 30. Of those reported tests, 5.52 percent tested positive. Percent positivity rates in new cases over the last 19 days have been 10% or less and under 7% the last five.

The state saw its highest daily percentage of positive patients July 8, when 18.50 percent of tests reported were positive among 51,686 tests.

The death toll increased by 68 (three occurring yesterday) from Sunday’s update, reported among Lee, Broward, Dade, Hillsborough, Lake, Lee, Marion, Martin, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk counties.

According to FDOH’s Friday report, “Today, data reported to DOH shows there has been a steady decline in the number of Florida resident deaths who were previously diagnosed with COVID-19. The third week of July compared to the third week of August, shows a nearly 70 percent decrease in the average number of COVID-19 related deaths.”

This does not mean all of the deaths occurred or were reported by local health care facilities on that day but that they were released in the state report that day after reports were processed.

A total of 4,622,552 individuals have been tested: 3,992,068 have tested negative, 7,013 tests were inconclusive and 3,472 tests are pending results. Of those testing positive, 38,495 Florida residents have been hospitalized at some point during their illness according to the state. There have been 11,331 deaths.

According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, at 11 a.m. Monday, there are 3,735 current hospitalizations with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19.

The age groups of Florida residents that have yielded the most positive test results are 25-34 years old (19%), followed by 35-44 (16%), 45-54 (16%) and 15-24 (15%).

The highest hospitalization rate is found in patients 65-74 (20%), 75-84 (18%) and 55-64 (18%) years old.

In Lee County, 18,673 (+38) individuals have tested positive as of 11 a.m. Monday; 7,618 in Fort Myers (+16), 4,303 in Cape Coral (+7), 3,693 in Lehigh Acres (+8), 1,199in Bonita Springs (+0), 703 in North Fort Myers (+5), 438 in Estero (+2), 115 in Alva (+0), 82 on Fort Myers Beach (+0), 46 in Bokeelia (+0), 41 in Sanibel (+0), 27 in Saint James City (+0), 19 on Matlacha (+0), 16 in Tice (+0), five in Boca Grande (+0), five in South Fort Myers (+0), four in Buckingham (+0), four in Miromar Lakes (+0), three on Captiva (+0), two in San Carlos Park (+0), one in Bonita Beach (+0) and one in Immokalee (+0); 44 cases were not identified by community.

Positive COVID-19 cases in the county have ranged from infants to a 103-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 423 (+5) deaths in Lee County; 227 (+2) of those deaths were reported in residents or staff of long-term care facilities.

As of Monday afternoon, Lee Health had 101 COVID-19 patients isolated in system inpatient hospitals, including 34 new admissions and 30 discharges since Friday.

A total of 2,498 patients who had tested positive have been discharged since the beginning of the pandemic.

On Sunday, Lee Health had a 10.8% positivity rate on COVID-19 tests processed through Lee Health Labs. This represents Lee Health results only, not Lee County as a whole. Hospital positivity rates tend to be higher as the tests are performed on patients seeking treatment for a health issue, not the general public that includes asymptomatic individuals.

Census as of Monday afternoon was at 77 (-6)% of staffed operational bed capacity, with 9.3 (+.8)% of those being COVID-19 patients. Staffed operational capacity reflects the number of beds for which the hospital has adequate staffing, not the total number of beds within Lee Health hospitals. Overall bed capacity fluctuates hour to hour as the system discharges patients throughout the day who are ready to go home.

As of Monday, 72 (+4)% of ventilators and 15 (-2)% of ICU rooms are available for use across Lee Health facilities.

As of Monday, there were 14 (-4) COVID-19 patients on ventilators and 22 (+2) in the intensive care unit.

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.