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Coronavirus cases spiking again

34-year-old woman becomes youngest COVID-19 death in Lee County since summer

By Nathan Mayberg - Editor | Jan 13, 2021

The Florida Department of Health reported that a 34-year-old Lee County woman died from complications of COVID-19 on Jan. 2, the youngest person to die from COVID-19 in Lee County since a 30-year-old Lee County man died in July from the coronavirus.

There have been 715 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Lee County, up from 680 recorded a week ago.

The number of COVID-19 cases in the Fort Myers Beach zip code rose from 422 to 452 for the week, a 7% increase.

The number of new and confirmed COVID-19 cases locally and statewide have continued their spike as the latest figures reported Monday by the Florida Department of Health documented 111,894 new cases over the latest seven-day period statewide.

In Lee County, there have been 45,650 cases as of Monday, up from 42,368 cases, a 7.7% jump over the last week.

There have been 23,424 deaths attributed to the coronavirus in Florida since the pandemic began. The recorded deaths are up from 22,415 reported a week earlier.

At Lee Health on Monday, there were 192 COVID-19 patients isolated in its hospitals, down slightly from 200 reported on Friday. That is the most patients isolated at Lee Health at any one time in more than five months.

Lee Health CEO Larry Antonucci said last week that the health care provider has a limited supply of vaccines available for patients at 18 Lee Physician Group Primary Care Offices for qualifying patients over the age of 65 or who have significant co-morbid medical conditions. Vaccines are by appointment only, and Lee Health is contacting patients who qualify to be vaccinated to schedule appointments.

Lee County Government spokesperson Betsy Clayton announced Monday that the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in Lee County and county government will administer 9,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine this week to frontline healthcare workers and seniors 65 and older.

Through last week, more than 11,000 individuals have been vaccinated at Lee County sites open to the public, Clayton stated.

The site near Southwest Florida International Airport off Daniels Parkway will reopen for people with confirmed appointments at 8 a.m. Tuesday and will run similarly to last week on Tuesday and Wednesday, with an estimated 2,400 people with appointments per day receiving shots.

The county is working on details related to future vaccination opportunities for seniors and frontline healthcare workers beginning this Thursday and into next week. Watch for updates at www.leegov.com/vaccine.

The website also is where the announcement of the reopening of the phone line to pre-register for an appointment will be posted when that information is available.

FDOH-Lee this week will contact the initial individuals who need a second dose to schedule it in advance of their due date. Second doses for first-responders and frontline health-care workers, who were the first to receive the vaccine.

For the seniors who have received shots at Lee County sites, information will be forthcoming about scheduling the second dose. The state and county are collaborating on efficient ways to handle the number of people who need to be scheduled for second doses.