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Tests up, positive COVID-19 cases unchanged

Tim Croft
tcroft@starfl.com

The beaches opened and many restrictions on vacation rentals were lifted in time for Memorial Day.

The beaches were packed for the holiday weekend.

But as the Florida Department of Health and its health care partners ramp up testing, the number of positive cases in the county remains at just one.

And that Wewahitchka female has long since recovered.

This month the Florida Department of Health launched a statewide initiative to test at least 2 percent of each county’s population each month.

That is 325 people in Gulf County.

That has rapidly increased testing locally, as the number of tests jumped by nearly 300 in the past week.

Social distancing, local officials added, is likely to be with us for a time as a central component of each phase of re-opening; Florida is currently in the second phase.

Local governments continue to meet by teleconference and last week’s high school graduations practiced social distancing.

The focus remains primarily the at-risk populations of those over 65 or individuals with underlying health conditions or weak immune systems, said Sarah Hinds, executive director of the Florida Department of Health in Gulf County.

As of Wednesday’s press time, 690 tests for coronavirus had been performed in Gulf County, according to the Florida Department of Health dashboard, a near doubling from a week ago.

More tests have likely been performed, Hinds said, but there can be a lag on results from private labs.

The number of positive Florida residents is 50,916; up 4,000 the 46,944 cases the prior week as the past two weeks have seen an increase in cases.

There are 9,482 hospitalizations compared to 8,494 hospitalizations a week ago.

Deaths have risen from 2,052 to 2,259.

The state had performed 924,920 COVID-19 tests as of Wednesday, up more than 200,000 from the week before.

Every Florida county has at least one positive case.

The FDOH dashboard may be found at https://experience.arcgis.com/experience/96dd742462124fa0b38ddedb9b25e429