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Florida is seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases again and Jackson County is seeing what health officials there are calling a second surge

Jackson Hospital converts third floor to COVID unit once again.
Jackson Hospital converts third floor to COVID unit once again.(WJHG/WECP)
Published: Nov. 18, 2020 at 5:10 AM CST
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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG) - The small towns in Jackson County are facing big numbers of Coronavirus cases. Jackson County Health Department officials say they’re seeing a second surge since the beginning of November. Environmental Health Director T.G. Harkrider attributes it to people letting down their guard.

“I think a lot of it is basically people are just fed up with it. I mean they’ve been wearing masks for so long and kind of gotten lax and in a bit of a lull,” said Harkrider.

Jackson Hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Jim Platt said the third floor has been converted into a COVID unit once again. He adds there are currently 25 COVID patients with five on ventilators, the most they’ve had hospitalized since summer. Platt said the hospital is better prepared after going through the first surge.

“Our staff and physicians are much better prepared to handle the increased COVID population and we’re doing well. We have more than enough adequate protective equipment,” said Platt.

The hospital isn’t the only place seeing more covid cases, the Coronavirus is also impacting Jackson County schools. Marianna K-8 closed their doors last Friday due to COVID-19 and is moving to remote learning through the end of Thanksgiving Break. Deputy Superintendent Cheryl McDaniels tells us that even though there were only about 10 to 20 positive students, the primary reason they closed is because of the over 300 students and staff in quarantine. In all of Jackson County’s schools, about 500 people were in quarantine as of Monday, according to Harkrider. He said there are simple steps to stop the spread.

“Face masks, good hygiene, social distancing, those are all key until we can get a vaccine in place,” said Harkrider.

Jackson county is currently seeing an 8% positivity rate, and many more people are in quarantine because they may have been exposed to the virus.

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