By LISA MACNEIL
Emergency Operations Director Cecilia Patella updated the Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) on the latest COVID statistics for Hernando county on Tuesday, July 28, 2020.
Patella reported that since recording began, Hernando has had 1525 positive cases, an increase of 585 people since the last board meeting on July 14th. Of those testing positive, 1093 have been cleared (recovered), which calculates to 71.6% recovered to date. The median age of COVID-positive patients has increased slightly to 44.
There are currently 256 cases being traced, meaning that this is the number of individuals who have tested positive, and the Florida Department of Health (DOH) is tracking their progress. DOH is also tracking 171 contacts - individuals who have had exposure to a known COVID-positive person.
Twenty-two residents have died as of Patella’s July 28th report, an increase from eight deaths reported on July 14, 2020.
As of this writing, 165 residents have required hospitalization and on this date, Patella reports that 96 are still currently hospitalized. Ten of these patients require ventilators.
Twelve long term care facilities reported having had a positive case, which includes residents and employees. This represents an increase of one facility since July 14. Patella emphasized that this does not mean that these are currently active cases, only the number of facilities having reported a COVID-positive resident or staff member at some point.
So far, 16,412 Hernando county residents have been tested. Patella reported that previously, the infection rate was reported as 10.1%, however an additional report showed a lower rate, but that number was not available at the Tuesday meeting.
Commissioner Jeff Holcomb expressed frustration that the numbers of positive tests have not been further specified into asymptomatic and symptomatic patients.
Chairman John Mitten also spoke of frustration with the available data. Mitten also reported that he has personal knowledge of a resident who received a positive result, however, this individual only filled out paperwork, then left the facility before the test was performed due to the extended wait-time to undergo the actual test.
“So much of the data is a challenge. First of all, it’s incredibly politicized, and you’re not sure which to listen to, or how much veracity to place in it… it’s frustrating to know what to do with behaviors personally or as a governance board when you don’t have good data.”