Today Governor Ron DeSantis held a press conference at Ascension Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola about COVID-19. Escambia County would like to thank the governor and hospital executives for providing updates to our community. He compared the data from March versus June. For example:
- By the end of March, Florida had seven state-supported testing sites, which had tested a total of 20,000 people. Today, Florida has 41 testing sites, and has tested more than 438,000 people.
- In March, the Florida Department of Emergency Management was fighting for critical PPE supplies and to date, FDEM has sent more than 40 million masks, more than 12.2 million gloves, more than 1.7 million face shields and more than 2 million gowns to support health care workers and first responders.
- There were many early actions to protect Long-Term Care residents and on June 15, mandatory testing was required every two weeks of all staff in Florida nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
- 85% of all FL COVID-19 related fatalities have occurred in people 65 or older.
- The age range of 25-34 year olds now have the highest number of cases; however many are asymptomatic or mild cases.
The governor and hospital executives also urged the community to do not delay other medical treatment if needed.
In addition to the safety precautions provided by Escambia County since March, please avoid the "Three C's"
- Closed spaces - with poor ventilation
- Crowed places - with many people nearby
- Close-contact settings - such as close- range conversations
The risk of COVID-19 clusters is particularly high when the "Three C's overlap." In addition to the "Three C's":
- It is recommended to wear your mask to protect yourself and those around you.
- Clean items used by multiple people with disinfectant.
- Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Stay home if you are sick or have symptoms.
The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
Wash your hands often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when social distancing is not possible
Cover coughs and sneezes
- If you are around others and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow and do not spit.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectantsexternal icon will work.
Monitor your health
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
- Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
- Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
If you believe you may have been exposed to COVID-19, please contact the FDOH Call Center (866-779-6121) or FDOH-Escambia’s number (850-595-6500) prior to traveling to any physician’s office, emergency department, hospital, or urgent care center, to ensure proper protective measures are taken to prevent further risk of spread to others. If possible, also review your signs, symptoms and travel history with your physician over the phone. Your physician will evaluate you for other possible causes of respiratory illness and also contact the health department to access COVID-19 testing. If you are without health insurance or a health care provider, please contact the Florida Department of Health in Escambia County so the health department can coordinate your medical evaluation and testing. Most people with confirmed COVID-19 infection reportedly have mild to moderate respiratory illness and can be managed at home in coordination with their health care provider and local health department. Persons with severe illness may be hospitalized. For updates and additional information, visit Florida Department of Health in Escambia County.
The Escambia County Joint Information Center provides daily updates Monday through Friday via news releases which are then posted to our social media channels @BeReadyEscambia on Twitter and Escambia County Emergency Management on Facebook. Please visit the Escambia County COVID-19 web page at https://myescambia.com/covid-19 for additional information.