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Category: coronavirus

SCHOOL MASK OPT-OUT IS UPHELD AFTER TENSE EXCHANGE ON BOARD

On Sept. 7, the school board, district staff, health officials and the public sat together through another tense four-hour meeting. At least three hours were devoted to a discussion about masking children in the schools: Should the parental opt-out be changed to a full-on mask mandate with only a medical opt-out? Should the district go against Gov. Ron DeSantis’ recent executive order protecting a parent’s right to decide about masks? In the end, the school board upheld the same mask mandate with a parental opt-out, to be revisited in two weeks. However, the vote was four members for and one...

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HOW MANY COVID-19-RELATED DEATHS IN MONROE COUNTY?

Deaths related to COVID-19 infections stood at 63 in Monroe County on Aug. 31. Of those deaths, two were among individuals who were vaccinated, per the county’s top health official.  Bob Eadie said the Keys have seen an uptick in deaths since a spike in COVID-19 cases shortly after the Fourth of July. Of the total deaths, the majority, if not all, had underlying health conditions.  “The thing to remember is those conditions were managed well, and they wouldn’t have died on that day were it not for the COVID infection,” he said. “I don’t want to minimize the fact that COVID is...

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QUARANTINED VS ABSENT: HEALTH DEPARTMENT CANNOT SAY HOW MANY STUDENTS ARE QUARANTINED

There are currently 105 students infected with COVID-19 in the first three weeks of school. Students are being exposed, however. There are reports of up to 50 kids being sent home from a Keys elementary school on a single day after being exposed.  Yet, the Monroe County School District can’t say how many students are being sent home to self-isolate.  “As far as quarantine numbers are concerned, you have to get those from the health department,” said school district COVID-19 spokesperson Becky Herrin. “The health department is tracking those numbers. We just track how many students...

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RURAL HEALTH NETWORK OFFERS COVID TESTING, PRIMARY CARE, DENTAL, AND MORE

Need a COVID rapid test to return to work? Need to show a negative PCR test before you board a plane next week? Do you want a COVID vaccine? Rural Health Network can do all that, plus provide primary medical and dental care from its offices on North Roosevelt Boulevard in Key West.  For those who have long heard of Rural Health Network, but never known precisely what it does, here’s a quick refresher:  Rural Health Network is a nonprofit medical and dental care provider that opened in Key West in 1993. It operates a “comprehensive, culturally competent, high-quality health care center...

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COVID 19: WHERE TO GET TESTED IN THE KEYS

WHERE TO GET TESTED IN THE KEYS Editor’s note: This is the most up-to-date list available. Call ahead to verify current status.  Advanced Urgent Care  (Antibody, rapid testing) ·  305-294-0011. Pre-register at www.urgentcarefloridakeys.com. ·  Key West: 1980 N Roosevelt Blvd. ·  Marathon: 13365 Overseas Hwy. #102. ·  Key Largo: 100460 Overseas Hwy. AHEC  (Rapid testing, free testing) · 305-743-7111, Ext. 210; Testing provided only to students, staff, and limited family members of Monroe County Schools at all school sites. Rapid and PCR test provided. · ...

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ARE COVID CASES PLATEAUING IN THE FLORIDA KEYS?

Another week brought new positive COVID-19 infections throughout Florida and the Keys. Cases statewide and in the island chain, however, appear to have plateaued. The latest report by the Florida Health Department showed 491 new cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County from Aug. 13 to Aug. 19. That’s slightly down from the week before, when the island chain had 504 new infections spanning from Aug. 6 to Aug. 12.  Statewide, 150,118 new COVID-19 cases were reported  between Aug. 13 and Aug. 19. That’s slightly down from the 151,468 reported the week before.  Monroe County’s top health...

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Data shows COVID case count may be plateauing

Another week brought new positive COVID-19 infections throughout Florida and the Keys. Cases statewide and in the island chain, however, appear to have plateaued. The latest report by the Florida Health Department showed 491 new cases of COVID-19 in Monroe County from Aug. 13 to Aug. 19. That’s slightly down from the week before, when the island chain had 504 new infections spanning from Aug. 6 to Aug. 12.  Statewide, 150,118 new COVID-19 cases were reported  between Aug. 13 and Aug. 19. That’s slightly down from the 151,468 reported the week before.  Monroe County’s top health officer Bob Eadie...

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Islamorada council sets ground rules for remote meeting participation

Surging COVID-19 cases and more quarantining measures among those in contact with infected individuals drew council members to adopt new rules on remote meeting attendance.  An outbreak inside Islamorada Village Hall last month affected several employees and council members. It led to a 10-day quarantine for Councilman Henry Rosenthal earlier this month. Mayor Buddy Pinder was absent for the Aug. 19 council meeting after he contracted COVID-19, drawing Vice Mayor Pete Bacheler to lead the dais.  Discussions among village council members in July over remote meeting options were not only for regular...

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7 IMPORTANT COVID QUESTIONS ANSWERED

The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County continues to disseminate information regarding frequently asked questions about COVID-19 vaccines, vaccine clinics and CDC policy:  I’m vaccinated. Why do I need to wear a mask? Vaccinated individuals may be able to carry the COVID-19 virus, thus giving it to unvaccinated individuals. It’s their choice not to get vaccinated. Why should I wear a mask? There are several individuals who may not be able to receive the vaccine. This includes children, infants, those who are immunocompromised, and those with certain severe allergic reactions....

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Commissioners vote to require masks inside county buildings

At the Aug. 18 Monroe County Board of County Commissioners meeting, “Just wear the damn mask” became a mantra among officials after hearing from the county’s board of health that COVID cases are rising, plus news that Commissioner Mike Forster was absent due to being in a hospital after testing positive for the virus.  As a result, the four board members present voted to require staff members and the public to wear facial coverings inside all county buildings. Exceptions are being made for when social distance is possible and also when medical conditions prevent mask wearing. A county press...

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