By the numbers: Despite downward trend, COVID-19 still impacting Clay County

By Don Coble don@opcfla.com
Posted 10/14/20

CLAY COUNTY – The numbers of residents infected by COVID-19 have piled up in the county. So have the number of deaths.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 5,519 people have tested positive for the deadly …

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By the numbers: Despite downward trend, COVID-19 still impacting Clay County

Posted

CLAY COUNTY – The numbers of residents infected by COVID-19 have piled up in the county. So have the number of deaths.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 5,519 people have tested positive for the deadly coronavirus, according to the Florida Department of Health. The agency also reported 111 deaths.

Hidden in the numbers, however, is the continued suggestion the disease may be showing signs of slowing down.

Florida has posted infection rates of less than 10% for 61 consecutive days, according to the Joint Information Center of COVID-19 for the State of Florida. Wednesday’s rate was 4.99% in Florida, compared to the national average of 5.1%, according to John Hopkins University and Medicine. Clay County’s rate was 2.66%, continuing a downward trend that started with the coronavirus’ peak of 9.01% on Sept. 6, including a brief spike to 6.8% on Sept. 20.

While the greatest fear for death remains with elderly residents or those with underlying medical conditions, the median age of infections in Clay County is just 43 years old.

The most-affected age group is persons 45-54 years old, while the two least affected are newborns-to-4 years old (59 cases) and persons 85 or older (142)

Of the 111 deaths reported in the county, 51 have been residents of long-term care facilities. Currently, there are 98 reported infections at long-term facilities, with 24 being counted as residents and 74 as employees.

Around the county, there have been 1,246 reported cases in the 32068 zip code for Fleming Island, Lakeside, Middleburg and Oakleaf and another 1,245 cases in 32073 for Orange Park, Fleming Island, Lakeside and Oakleaf. In 32043 for Green Cove Springs, Penney Farms, Lake Asbury, Fleming Island and Middleburg, there have been 1,104 cases, while 32065 for Lakeside, Jacksonville and Oakleaf, there have been 989. There have been 707 positive cases reported in 32003 for portions of Green Cove Springs, Middleburg and Fleming Island, followed by 32656 for Keystone Heights with 261. Zip codes 32666 for Melrose and 32058 for Lawtey have no reported cases.

The only way the county will continue to reduce its numbers of infections and deaths is to follow CDC guidelines, Clay County Health Director Heather Huffman said. While most know of simple ways to combat the spread, including wearing face coverings and avoiding large gathers in public and using hand sanitizer, the most-overlooked method of prevention is staying home if you don’t feel well, Huffman said.

“If there’s a fever, a cough or anything really, just stay home,” Huffman said. “Do not come to work if you’re sick.”

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