By Mike S Payton, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – As Palm Beach County officials wait to hear if the State will allow it to join the Phase 2 reopening plans, data shows that fifteen more people were reported dead from COVID-19 yesterday in the county.
As of the morning of June 10th, the confirmed cumulative cases are 1,979,893 in the U.S., with more than 112,006 deaths. Florida reports 66,000 coronavirus cases, while deaths reach 2,765, an increase of 53. In Palm Beach County, the confirmed cases have jumped up to 7,518, and deaths total 388, up fifteen since Monday.
To put that in perspective, Palm Beach County has 1.497 million residents, and from 2013 to 2018 the average deaths per year in the county were between 13,500 and 15,000, with the leading causes being heart disease, cancer and strokes.
Palm Beach Post reported that of the fifteen county residents who died, seven lived in long-term care facilities, but while ten of those who died were over the age of 65, a 37-year-old man and three other men in their 50’s also died from COVID-19.
Of those COVID-19 cases reported in Palm Beach County to date, the State of Florida data lists the demographics as 45 percent are white and 19 percent are black. Hispanics listed under ethnicity make up 33 percent and the median age for the county is 47 years old.
The largest cumulative number of cases in Palm Beach County are in the 25-34 age group (1,213), followed by 35-44 (1,156) and 45-54 (1,154). In the country the hospitalization rate for COVID-19 cases is eighteen percent, and the death rate is five percent.
On Monday, Delray Beach Fire Chief, Keith Tomey shared his biggest concern about the potential move to Phase 2 reopening. “As people return to their normal routines, we can expect to see the number of coronavirus infections rise,” he said.
“Which is why we encourage residents to stay vigilant when it comes to taking safety measures recommended by health officials,” Chief Tomey continues. “Those include keeping at least 6 feet of distance from others, washing your hands, staying home if you’re sick, staying away from large crowds and wearing a mask in public.”
Acknowledging the importance of testing, last week Chief Tomey reminded the public that “the fire department is still doing home-bound testing for anybody who can’t make it out, to a drive-up testing site or walk-up testing site, just give us a call at 561-243-7777.”
County officials admit that the spread will continue, but are looking to restart the economy and ease the financial crisis. “It will continue to spread,” County Mayor Dave Kerner said. “But we’re trying to make sure it stays flat and doesn’t reach that surge level.”