The COVID-19 Tale of Two Commissioners

Yesterday, Ascension Sacred Heart deployed its mobile testing unit to Southern Oaks to collect specimens from all its residents – about 200 people. We have not received any word whether the staff was tested.

Inweekly caught up with County Commissioner Lumon May, who lives a block away from the infected skilled nursing home.

“I’m grateful for Ascension testing those at Southern Oaks,” he said. “However, I know of one employee at the facility that has died due to the coronavirus. I would hope the management would make sure all its employees are tested for the safety of the residents, the employees and their families, and the community.”

Challenge for Underhill

While May was fighting for more testing of those working in infected environments, County Commissioner Doug Underhill took another approach. He sent out another email to Escambia County voters that contained his interpretation of COVID-19 data: “The Government, the Press and the Medical Community keep feeding you a message of fear, but their own numbers don’t support it.”

He implored voters to write and call his fellow commissioners to meet immediately, vote to open beaches and petition the governor to allow counties to decide which businesses should be open.

Underhill accuses the medical community of feeding voters a “message of fear,” but we haven’t heard from the medical community for weeks (or county administration). We only have the data that the Florida Department of Health has released.

Here is our challenge to Underhill: Call a press conference with the heads of DOH Escambia, our hospitals, community health clinics and the infectious disease experts at UWF. Let them give us their interpretation of the COVID-19 data–something they haven’t done. They also can show us how the data fits the recovery criteria established by President Trump.

The meeting can be held in commission chambers. The commissioners and media can ask questions, and the briefing can be streamed live.

Will Commissioner Underhill call the press briefing and let those doing the COVID-19 testing and taking care of those stricken speak?

West Florida Left off

Governor Ron DeSantis hosted a conference call with members of the Re-Open Florida Task Force Executive Committee to discuss the re-opening of Florida’s economy.

Members of the Re-Open Florida Task Force Executive Committee are as follows – no one from our area serves on it:

Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez, Lieutenant Governor of Florida
Jimmy Patronis, Florida Chief Financial Officer
Ashley Moody, Florida Attorney General
President Bill Galvano, President, Florida Senate
Speaker Jose Oliva, Speaker, Florida House of Representatives
Senator Wilton Simpson, President-Designate, Florida Senate
Representative Chris Sprowls, Speaker-Designate, Florida House of Representatives
Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Commissioner of Education
Jamal Sowell, President & CEO, Enterprise Florida, Inc.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Mayor, Miami-Dade County
Mayor Dale Holness, Mayor, Broward County
Mayor David Kerner, Mayor, Palm Beach County
John Couris, President & CEO, Tampa General Hospital
Josh D’Amaro, President, Walt Disney World Resort
Todd Jones, CEO, Publix Super Markets
Syd Kitson, Chairman, Board of Governors for the State University System
Paul Reilly, Chairman & CEO, Raymond James Financial
Alex Sanchez, President & CEO, Florida Bankers Association
Eric Silagy, President & CEO, Florida Power & Light Company
John Sprouls, CEO, Universal Orlando Resort, Executive Vice President, Universal Parks & Resorts
Patrick Sunderlin, Vice President, Global Supply Chain, Lockheed Martin Corporation
Joe York, President, AT&T Florida and Caribbean

Last night, the FDOH reported the state’s COVID-19 cases topped 27K and the death toll increased by 49 to 823.  However, Escambia County had its second day of single digit increases in new cases.

4/19/20 4/20/20
6 p.m. 6 p.m. Increase
Total Cases 26314 27058 744 2.83%
Florida Residents 25598 25942 344 1.34%
Non-Fla. 716 1116 400 55.87%
Deaths 774 823 49 6.33%
Escambia 309 315 6 1.94%
Okaloosa 131 131 0 0.00%
Santa Rosa 138 140 2 1.45%
Broward 3971 4078 107 2.69%
Esc LTC cases 65 69 4 6.15%

Top 20 Florida Counties

Rank County Population Cases Per 30K
1 Dade     2,715,516 9657         106.69
2 Broward        924,229 4078         132.37
3 Palm Beach     1,446,277 2260           46.88
4 Orange     1,321,194 1216           27.61
5 Hillsborough     1,378,883 973           21.17
6 Duval        924,229 896           29.08
7 Lee        718,679 785           32.77
8 Pinellas        957,875 607           19.01
9 Collier        363,922 470           38.74
10 Manatee        373,853 433           34.75
11 Osceola        338,619 410           36.32
12 Volusia        527,634 342           19.45
13 Polk        724,777 335           13.87
14 Seminole        455,086 325           21.42
15 Escambia        311,522 315           30.33
16 Sarasota        412,144 291           21.18
17 Clay        207,291 249           36.04
18 Alachua        263,148 218           24.85
19 Brevard        601,942 218           10.86
20 Lake        335,362 211           18.88

Top 10 Florida Counties per capita (min 200 cases)

Rank County Population Cases Per 30K
1 Broward        924,229 4078         132.37
2 Dade     2,715,516 9657         106.69
3 Palm Beach     1,446,277 2260           46.88
4 Collier        363,922 470           38.74
5 Osceola        338,619 410           36.32
6 Clay        207,291 249           36.04
7 Manatee        373,853 433           34.75
8 Lee        718,679 785           32.77
9 Escambia        311,522 315           30.33
10 Duval        924,229 896           29.08

April 20, 2020
By NSF Staff
TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Health released updated numbers Monday evening about the coronavirus in the state. Here are some takeaways:

— 27,058: Total number of cases.

— 398: Increase in cases from a Monday morning count.

— 823: Deaths of Florida residents.

— 34: Increase in deaths from a Monday morning count, with deaths of people who tested positive in Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Miami-Dade, Duval, Hernando, Highlands, Lake, Lee, Madison, Manatee, Orange, Palm Beach, Polk, Sarasota and Suwannee counties.

— 1: Number of deaths in Madison County, an 89-year-old man whose death was reported Monday.

— 1,928: Cases involving residents or staff members of long-term care facilities.

— 75: Increase in long-term care facility cases from a Monday morning count.

— 204: Deaths involving residents or staff members of long-term care facilities.

— 17: Increase in long-term care deaths from a Monday morning count.

— 272,390: Test results received by the Florida Department of Health.

— 9.9: Percentage of positive test results.

— 16.3: Percentage of positive test results in Miami-Dade County, which has the largest number of cases in the state.

Source: Florida Department of Health


1 thought on “The COVID-19 Tale of Two Commissioners

  1. I want some REAL answers from our “leaders” that I now doubt have the ability to make sound decisions regarding our health & economy. Douglas Underhill seems to be a medical, scientific, & economic expert now, so as a small business owner, I have some valid questions for him.

    First & foremost: What happens if we reopen the beach to tourists, & businesses at the same time (as he’s pushing for) & God forbid we see a spike in cases & have to shut everything down again. Those that have gone back to work & lost their unemployment benefits (the ones that have actually received any), have to reapply & start the waiting game all over .. The small business owners put what they have left back into reopening, then have to close yet again, & they have nothing to fall back on due to the funding promises not coming to fruition … Then what??? We seriously deserve answers to these valid questions!

    Also, if tourists become sick here while on vacation & need hospitalization, will they be treated here, or sent back to their hometown? This is one of many reasons we need total transparency regarding numbers & testing. Instead, are we just going to welcome them with open arms under false pretense regarding the numbers & lack of testing?

    The people that keep talking about suicide rates due to not reopening, will really have some high statistics to discuss if we reopen in a reckless manor without a solid plan & have to start all over again from square one!

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