As the number of infections has grown to more than 1.1 million worldwide, health care systems are straining under the surge of patients and lack of medical equipment like ventilators, protective masks, and gloves. All of which has heightened concerns about the exposure of hospital personnel.
In Florida, the number of positive cases in the state topped 11,000 as of Saturday morning with 190 deaths as of Saturday morning, according to statistics collected by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
The state is under a statewide stay-at-home order issued by Gov. Ron DeSantis after federal and local mounted pressure on him to abandon the county-by-county approach he had implemented to combat the coronavirus pandemic.
Even though there are a lot of places that have very low infection rates, Florida keeps adding number of positive cases of coronavirus at a rate of more than 1,000 per day since the date the governor issued the order with more than 1,300 hospitalized.
Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said 39-year-old Deputy Shannon Bennett died Friday night from the disease. Tony said at a news conference Saturday that Bennett was a 12-year veteran of the agency.
The sheriff said Bennett had worked most recently as a resource officer at Deerfield Beach Elementary School. Bennett called in sick March 23, checked into the hospital that same day and tested positive for coronavirus March 27.
It’s unclear exactly where or when Bennett contracted the infection, Tony said.
“He was on duty when he reported it so as far as I’m concerned this is an ‘in the line of duty’ death,” Tony told reporters.
Bennett was one of 21 deputies, firefighters and civilian employees of the Broward Sheriff’s Office who have tested positive for coronavirus, Tony added. Most are self-isolated at home.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as a fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.
A University of Washington model is projecting that Florida could see a rapid increase in deaths and hospitalizations, with 100 people dying daily by mid-April and more than 175 by May 1, when the number nears its peak. It predicts that 10,000 people will need hospital care by mid-month and 20,000 on May 1. The model predicts that more than 6,500 Floridians will die from the virus by June 1, among more than 90,000 deaths nationally.
One of the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus is by washing your hands with soap and water. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends first washing with warm or cold water and then lathering soap for 20 seconds to get it on the backs of hands, between fingers and under fingernails before rinsing off.
You should wash your phone, too.
More than 11,000 the Number of Coronavirus Cases in Florida