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Fort Myers Beach sees COVID-19 spike

State data shows 24 new cases attributed to town over past wek

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | Nov 10, 2020

The number of COVID-19 cases on Fort Myers Beach confirmed by the Florida Department of Health spiked to 125 this past week as the town reminded businesses with flyers of its mask mandate.

The number of positives for COVID-19 attributed to Fort Myers Beach saw its largest week-to-week increase since the pandemic began, on numbers reported Monday by the Florida Department of Health.

According to the state’s database, there have been 125 positives for COVID-19 on Fort Myers Beach since the pandemic began. That is up from the 101 cases reported a week earlier, making for a jump of more than 23%.

“That’s pretty substantial. I’m not surprised,” Fort Myers Beach Mayor Ray Murphy said.

“It just confirms in my mind that we’ve been on the right side of this the whole way.”

Murphy has voiced strong support for keeping the town’s mask mandate in place in recent weeks, including a call for an enforcement of the mandate at businesses.

Fort Myers Beach Manager Roger Hernstadt said town staff hand-delivered flyers to every business in town last week “reminding them of their responsibilities under the town’s declaration” relating to the mask mandate passed this summer. Hernstadt said there have been no complaints of violations since the flyers went out as of Tuesday morning. If there is a complaint, “we will take appropriate action,” Hernstadt said.

Hernstadt said he considers the flyers an educational warning.

Murphy said he hopes that the public’s awareness of the growing COVID-19 numbers locally and nationally will result in more precautions being taken. “People are getting relaxed,” he said.

Lee County’s new confirmed COVID-19 positives for the seven-day period reported on Monday rose from 23,834 to 24,929 for an increase of 4.6% over the past week. The previous week-to-week increase in new cases was 5%, according to figures from the Florida Department of Health.

Statewide, the number of confirmed positives for COVID-19 rose from 812,063 to 847,821 for the same seven-day period on data released Monday by the Florida Department of Health. The data represents a 4.4% increase over the previous week, mirroring the change reported for the previous week.

The number of deaths related to the coronavirus rose statewide rose from 17,043 to 17,391 on figures reported Monday for the latest seven-day period. The death reports don’t necessarily mean they occurred on those days but that is when they were processed in state reports.

In Lee County, the number of deaths rose from 518 to 531 over the last week. The most recently recorded death from COVID-19 in the county was an 81-year-old male on Oct. 27.

At Lee Health, there were 91 patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 on Monday, up from 81 the previous week and up by 51.6% over the figure two weeks ago. The hospital reported admitting another 22 patients on Monday and discharging patients, raising the COVID-19 hospitalization count to 101 on Tuesday. The hospital’s patient counts have fluctuated over the past month. They have more than doubled from 48 last month.

Between Friday and Monday, Lee Health reported admitting 51 patients for COVID-19 and discharging 33 patients treated for COVID-19. The admissions in Monday’s report was the most for a weekend report since the summer.