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Hours for COVID-19 mobile collection sites changing

By CJ HADDAD - | Sep 22, 2020

The hours of Lee Health’s COVID-19 mobile collection sites are changing beginning Thursday, Sept. 24. The Fort Myers mobile collection site at Lee Convenient Care’s Page Field location will be open on Tuesdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon. The Cape Coral mobile collection site at the Chester Street Resource Center will be open Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A doctor’s order and an appointment are required for patients to have their sample collected for testing at these locations.

The Florida Department of Health in Lee County began offer the free vaccines at pop-up COVID-19 testing sites beginning Sept. 17. DOH-Lee, in conjunction with the county, organized these free, walk-up sites that have been available to residents at various locations throughout the county all month long.

The flu vaccine is available to anyone age 6-months and older; the Hepatitis A vaccine is available to those 18 and older.

According to DOH-Lee, “The best time to receive a flu vaccine is before flu viruses begin spreading in the community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu so plan to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October.”

At these pop-up sites, DOH staff will have 300 tests available at each site for anyone 4 years of age or older.

Testing is scheduled on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 9 a.m. and will continue, weather permitting, until 12:30 p.m. Children under 4 are referred for testing to DOH-Lee. There is no fee for the test, and no appointment or doctor’s order is necessary. Parking is limited at some sites. These are not drive-thru sites; attendees are asked to walk up to the testing area.

Remaining test dates and sites include:

n Thursday Sept. 24: Veteran’s Park, 55 Homestead Rd. S., Lehigh Acres

n Tuesday Sept. 29: Kurt Donaldson Park, 180 Hunter Blvd., Cape Coral

By the Numbers

As of 11 a.m. Tuesday, there are 687,909 total cases of COVID-19 confirmed in Florida, an increase of 2,470 since FDOH’s last update Monday morning.

More than 44,900 test results were reported to the Department of Health on Monday, Sept. 21. Of those reported tests, 5.88 percent tested positive. Percent positivity rates in new cases has been under 10% over the last 40 days and has been 6% or less the last 14.

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 99 (12 occurring Monday) from the last update, including three in Lee.

According to FDOH’s Tuesday report, “Today, data reported to the Agency for Health Care Administration shows that the number of COVID-19 positive patients that are currently hospitalized is down more than 70 percent since July.”

A total of 5,139,472 individuals have been tested: 4,444,433 have tested negative and 7,130 tests were inconclusive. Of those testing positive, 42,771 Florida residents have been hospitalized at some point during their illness according to the state. There have been 13,579 deaths.

According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, at 11 a.m. Tuesday, there were 2,329 (+60) 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 (18%), followed by 35-44 (16%), 45-54 (16%) and 15-24 (16%).

The highest hospitalization rate is found in patients 65-74 (20%), 75-84 (19%) and 55-64 (18%) years old.

In Lee County, 20,063 (+36) individuals have tested positive as of 11 a.m. Tuesday, the lowest daily increase in the last week; 8,158 in Fort Myers (+16), 4,624 in Cape Coral (+10), 3,906 in Lehigh Acres (+6), 1,267 in Bonita Springs (+1), 742 in North Fort Myers (-1), 475 in Estero (+1), 117 in Alva (+0), 86 on Fort Myers Beach (+0), 49 in Bokeelia (+0), 48 in Sanibel (+0), 30 in St. James City (+0), 28 on Matlacha (+1), 22 in South Fort Myers (+3), 17 in Tice (+0), 10 at Florida Gulf Coast University (+0), nine in Bonita Beach (+0), five in Boca Grande (+0), five in Miromar Lakes (+0), four in Buckingham (+0), three on Captiva (+0), three at Babcock Ranch (+0), three in San Carlos Park (+0) and one in Immokalee (+0); 141 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 460 (+2) deaths in Lee County; 245 (+2) of those deaths were reported in residents or staff of long-term care facilities.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Lee Health had 56 COVID-19 patients isolated in system inpatient hospitals, including six new admissions and 13 discharges since Monday.

A total of 2,676 patients who had tested positive have been discharged since the beginning of the pandemic.

On Monday, Lee Health had a 7% 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 Tuesday afternoon was at 80 (+4)% of staffed operational bed capacity, with 5 (-.7)% 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 Tuesday, 71 (-1)% of ventilators and 20 (-6)% of ICU rooms are available for use across Lee Health facilities.

As of Thursday, there were six (+0) COVID-19 patients on ventilators and eight (-1) 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.

–Connect with this reporter on Twitter:@haddad_cj