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Health officials say Okaloosa County reaching critical stage for COVID cases

Published: Jun. 25, 2020 at 9:47 PM CDT
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OKALOOSA COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -

According to the Florida Department of Health's COVID-19 Dashboard, Okaloosa County reached 500 cases this week.

Health officials say the county has also shown as much as a 12 percent increase in average coronavirus cases in the last two weeks.

“The Department of health communicated to us that there is a concern with the rising number, we’re going to see a rise in the number of hospitalizations and also some derivative of that in the ICU beds,” said Okaloosa County Commissioner Trey Goodwin.

For now, COVID patients take up less than one percent of hospital beds and less than six percent of ICU beds according to the health department.

But, officials are still keeping an eye on available beds and personal protective equipment.

“Right now those two things are not in danger but with this growing number we have to watch that minute by minute,” said Goodwin.

County officials also say more mobile testing is taking place, which could result in more positive cases.

“That’s allowed access to a much larger number of folks, even those who are asymptotic, to be tested,” said Goodwin. “We feel strongly that’s having a big impact on the total number of cases we’re seeing.” Health officials say locals need to continue practicing social distancing, wearing masks when social distancing isn’t possible, and staying home when you’re sick to stop the spread.

“Do your best to take care of yourself and the county will do everything in its power to make sure the community at large is safe,” added Goodwin.

Health officials say those between 25 and 34 make up the majority of new cases, while officials say they will generally have a less severe illness, the virus could still reach those at a higher risk.

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