TreasureCoast Covid 19 Update April 20 2020
Florida released the names of 303 nursing homes where staff or patients have been tested positive for the coronavirus. The seven-page list released Saturday evening names nursing homes and long-term care facilities in 45 of the state’s 67 counties. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said while patient names won’t be released, he thought it was important for families to know which facilities have had positive cases.
Facilities already were required to notify all residents, staff and families once there is a positive test.
As of Saturday evening, there were 1,785 cases and 175 deaths among staff and residents in Florida’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities, according to the state Department of Health. Overall, Florida has had about 26,000 cases and 764 deaths, according to numbers released Sunday. The counties with the most facilities on the list include Miami-Dade with 54, Broward with 39 and Palm Beach with 36.
The coronavirus took 26 more lives in Florida yesterday and the death toll is up to 774. The Department of Health reports there are more than 26-thousand cases statewide.
Today we will find out who the governor will listen to when it comes to reopening the economy. Governor Ron DeSantis said this weekend he’s forming a task force that will advise him on how to get back to normal. The members will be announced today.
The coronavirus crisis leading to major delays with the U-S Census. Normally, the data would be collected and presented to the president and congress by year’s end, but that deadline has been pushed into next year
After weeks of waiting, people living in Port St. Lucie are back out on the water.
The boat ramps re-opened Friday, allowing many to get back in their normal routine.
City leaders closed the ramps last month to minimize large gatherings and help stop the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
By 10 a.m. Sunday, most of the boat ramp parking lots were full with barely anywhere to park.
While boaters are out on the water, city leaders said social distancing guidelines are still in place. As a result, the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s office and Port St. Lucie police will be out patrolling the waterways and enforcing boating laws to help keep people safe.
The city of Port St. Lucie reminds residents as they charter the waters to practice social distancing.
Here are a few recommendations:
- Limit the number of people aboard to those family members you share your home with.
- Keep your distance from other groups.
- Maintain a safe distance from others when doing things like loading up at the dock or fueling the boat.
- After doing anything that requires touching an item someone else may have touched, like a fuel pump, disinfect by washing your hands or using a hand sanitizer as soon as possible.
The city wants to remind boaters of executive order No. 20-09, directed by the Florida Fish and Wildfire Conservation Commission. Under the executive order, all recreational boats must be at least 50 feet apart and there can’t be more than 10 people on board.
A South Florida farmer’s market isn’t letting the coronavirus stop their tradition to provide to their community.
Cars lined up at Longwood Stadium in Fort Pierce on Saturday, sometimes waiting for up to an hour for the town’s first farmers market since the original was closed at the marina in order to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Drivers stayed in their cars and ordered from large menus as merchants from 17 local businesses wore protective gear and handled orders safely to customers. The Fort Pierce farmers market will continue for the next few weeks on the weekend from 8am to 1pm.
Relief is on the way for healthcare workers and medical staff in Martin County thanks to a new program. It’s called Farm to First Responders, and it was created by the regional nonprofit Fresh RX.
The new food distribution program began Saturday at Cleveland Clinic Martin North Hospital, with the help of Living Hungry.
It’s aimed providing healthcare workers easier access to healthy food options.
Employees at the hospital were all given a weeks supply of fresh bread, fruits and vegetables.
The Farm to First Responders program purchases produce from area farms, which allows farmers to stay in business while restaurants and farmers markets across South Florida remain closed.
In addition to the fresh produce, hospital staff were also given hundreds of N95 masks for protection.
Beginning April 28, Farm to First Responders will distribute produce to first responders and furloughed medical workers at Jupiter Medical Center and nurses and hospital staff at Good Samaritan Medical Center in West Palm Beach.
Fundraising is now underway to help keep the first responder program growing. A $25 donation will cover the costs of creating and delivering the box to first responders, ensuring they have access to healthy, fresh foods during this challenging time.
To donate, visit freshrx.org.
A federal judge in South Florida has ordered a Colombia-based church to stop selling an industrial bleach marketed as a treatment for the new coronavirus and other ailments.
Judge Kathleen Williams entered a temporary injunction Friday halting Genesis II Church of Health and Healing’s sale of Miracle Mineral Solution in the U.S.
Genesis sells MMS through its websites, according to a U.S. Justice Department civil complaint filed Thursday in the Southern District of Florida. Prosecutors say Genesis markets the solution as a treatment for COVID-19, as well as Alzheimer’s, autism, brain cancer, HIV/AIDS and multiple sclerosis. The Food and Drug Administration has previously issued public warnings that MMS can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and severe dehydration. The chemical product, chlorine dioxide, becomes a powerful bleach when combined with the included activator, officials said.
“We will zealously pursue perpetrators of fraud schemes seeking to take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic,” U.S. Attorney Ariana Fajardo Orshan said in a statement.
Disease-related treatment claims for MMS are unsupported by any well-controlled clinical studies or other credible scientific substantiation, according to the complaint.
Genesis didn’t immediately respond to a message from the Associated Press seeking comment.
Health care professionals and patients are encouraged to report adverse events or side effects related to the use of these products to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program:
- Complete and submit the report online.
- Download form or call 1-800-332-1088 to request a reporting form, then complete and return to the address on the form, or submit by fax to 1-800-FDA-0178.
During a briefing at the White House on Sunday, President Donald Trump said he would use the Defense Production Act to force medical manufacturers to create more swabs that can be used in COVID-19 tests.
Trump’s comments come after weeks of requests from state governors for help in increasing coronavirus testing capacity.
On Sunday, Trump reported that the U.S. had tested 4 million people for the coronavirus, the most in the world. However, U.S. tests represent about 1 percent of the population, and currently only has the capacity to test those who are most at risk for the disease. Health experts agree that more testing needs to be conducted in order to more fully understand how the virus behaves.
Trump also said Sunday that he expects about 60,000 Americans would ultimately die of the coronavirus — down from his administration’s initial best-case scenario of 100,000 deaths earlier this month.
Trump’s press briefing came hours after the number of confirmed deaths linked to COVID-19 reached 40,000, according to a database kept by Johns Hopkins University.
During Sunday’s briefing, Vice President Mike Pence said that the White House coronavirus task force will have a conference call with state governors Monday to discuss guidance for reopening state economies. The also comes governors weigh the decision to relaxing social distancing guidelines to allow non-essential workers to return to their jobs.
Last week, Trump initially declared he held power to “reopen” states and would ultimately decide as to when workers could return to their jobs. On Thursday, he walked back those claims when rolling out his administration’s formal plan to re-start the U.S. economy. Those plans leave ultimate authority up to states but said some workers could return to their jobs as early as next month. A handful of Midwest states have said they plan to reopen by May 1.
The decision state governors face on reopening economies has become increasingly political in recent days. Protests have taken place in Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas and other states, as conservative groups call on governors to relax social distancing guidelines. Trump appeared to back those protesters in a series of Friday tweets calling for the “liberation” of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Virginia.
Trump reiterated his support for the protests during a briefing on Saturday, and also defended one of his administration’s economist who compared the protesters to “modern-day Rosa Parks.”
During Sunday’s briefing, Trump assured that anyone seeking to protest social distancing orders “are allowed” to do so.
Trump also faced more questions from reporters about his administration’s inaction in February in regards to virus. Trump failed to provide examples of actions he took against the virus outside of a travel ban instituted to China, and had a tense exchange with a reporter, which he at one point told to “keep your voice down.”
Trump used his task force briefing to tout his administration’s response to the virus, saying that the U.S.’s testing capabilities had greatly increased. However, a handful of state governors on Sunday said that more testing is needed to fully understand the virus, according to CNN. Trump on Saturday also said that the nation’s stockpile of ventilators had been replenished, and had even promised foreign countries that he would send along surpluses.
Numerous protests took place across the country Saturday as people ask government officials to lift ‘stay at home’ orders.
The streets of San Diego were filled with dozens of people picketing and asking for protection of their civil rights.
In Las Vegas, demonstrators grouped together with signs that said ‘liberate Nevada’ and ‘let thy people go back to work’.
Many people showed up to protest outside of the governor’s mansion in Indianapolis as well.
And in Annapolis, Maryland protesters wrote messages on their cars and did a drive-thru protest.
All the protesters are demanding states open up businesses and respect the freedom of Americans.
The protests come after President Trump asked Americans to “liberate” some states on Twitter.
Do you want to say thanks to an essential worker? Hallmark is sending 2 million free “thank you” cards to honor those keeping America functioning amid the spread of COVID-19.
Hallmark said that anyone in the continental U.S. and Canada who would like to show their thanks and help spread gratitude can go to Hallmark.com/CareEnough to sign up to receive a free three-pack of gratitude cards, while supplies last.
Earlier during the pandemic, Hallmark allocated two million free greeting cards, which were claimed within a week.
In a letter sent to employees on Friday obtained by Scripps National, Walmart said it is requiring associates to wear face coverings while at work starting on Monday.
Walmart said that associates will have the option of using their own face covering, or use one provided by the company. This requirements applies to workers in all stores, clubs, distribution and fulfillment centers and corporate offices. The edict also affects Sam’s Club employees as well.
Walmart told employees that the company will encourage customers to wear masks while shopping. but is not requiring customers to wear them unless required by state law.
Walmart said that exceptions to the policy will be made based on local laws and individual health needs.
On April 3, the CDC updated guidance that now recommends the public wear masks while in public to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.
The CDC’s guidance stressed several points: That wearing a face covering is not a substitute for social distancing, and that the public should not use medical or surgical masks. The recommendations suggest the public should use fabric or cloth that covers the mouth and nose.
A Florida man encased himself in concrete outside the Governor’s Mansion in the state capital apparently to protest prison conditions related to the coronavirus.
A Tallahassee police spokesman says 28-year-old Jordan Mazurek put PVC pipes horizontally into two 55-gallon plastic drums filled with concrete, with some sort of mechanism that locked his arms in place.
He was first spotted about 6 a.m. Friday outside the fence surrounding the mansion and was eventually freed about 10:30 a.m.
The Tallahassee Democrat reported that one of Mazurek’s drums was painted with the words, “Stop the massacre.” The other read, “Free prisoners now.”
The union representing nurses and first responders on the front-line fighting COVID-19 at 50 hospitals across Florida claims the company behind those facilities is undermining safety when it comes to protective face masks.
The SEIU 1199 union represents nurses at medical centers owned by Hospital Corporation of America, also known as HCA. SEIU 1199 claims HCA loosened it’s protocols for N95 masks use.
SEIU 1199 says that on April 3, HCA protocol had all nurses who treated COVID-19 patients were directed to wear N95 masks. However, the union says that on April 10 the directive was loosened, stating “only staff performing the most severe procedures,” like surgery and placing tubes in the lungs of ventilator patients, “will be provided N95 masks.”
Front line workers battling coronavirus consider the distinctive N95 mask the “gold standard” of protection for disposable masks.
The union says the rest of “caregivers providing all other procedures on these patients may only utilize a less-protective mask” like these level 1 masks, which experts say offer less protection.
In an emailed statement, a spokesperson for HCA wrote, “the SEIU fails to recognize the reality all hospitals nationwide are facing, that this pandemic has strained the worldwide supply of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks, face shields, and gowns.”
The union wrote company executives, demanding the hospitals “provide N95 masks for all direct caregivers interacting with COVID positive patients.”
People are looking for ways to avoid getting sick from the coronavirus. One thing people are wearing while out in public is disposable gloves.
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said gloves should only be worn when you’re caring for someone who has COVID-19, especially if you are handling their clothes or cleaning surfaces inside the sick person’s home.
If you are caring for someone with the coronavirus, CDC said you should wear nonsterile disposable patient examination gloves.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, says he wouldn’t recommend wearing gloves during the pandemic.
Dr. Adalja said the only time gloves should be worn in medical settings.
CDC recommends that each time you do remove your gloves, you should wash your hands each time.
Health experts also say that wearing gloves in grocery stores won’t protect you if you are touching various items using those same gloves because it can cause cross-contamination.
If you have to wear gloves, it’s highly recommended by the CDC that you know how to remove gloves properly to avoid contamination.
Some north Florida beaches are opening starting Friday, becoming among the first beaches to reopen in the state since coronavirus concerns forced beachgoers away.
Mayor Lenny Curry said Duval County’s beaches are reopened Friday afternoon with restricted hours, and they can only be used for walking, biking, hiking, fishing, running, swimming and surfing.
The beaches will be open between 6 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Gatherings of 50 or more people are prohibited and people must still practice social distancing.
The city said in a tweet that, “It is for exercise only – No chairs, coolers, sunbathing, or towels/blankets laid out to sit on.”
Florida officials were criticized for leaving beaches open during spring break last month. Most counties closed their beaches in response.
On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis gave the green light for some beaches and parks to reopen if it can be done safely after being closed because of the coronavirus.