Clay COVID-19: 357 infected; death toll grows to 27

Numbers jump by 24 cases, two deaths in last four days

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CLAY COUNTY – The local death toll for COVID-19 grew to 27 when two patients from Diamond Assisted and Living Center were reported to have died on Saturday. Ten of the fatalies are residents of long-term care facilities, while the number of infected grew to 357.

Seventy-nine are patients, visitors or employees of long-term care facilities. Those figures, however, are dramatically changed by the state on a daily basis. (The state reported 105 long term infections on Monday and reduced that number by 20 on Wednesday).

Long-term care facilities in Clay County that have reported positive cases include:

- Brookdale Orange Park (one case)

- Diamond Assisted Living and Memory in Green Cove Springs (three cases)

- Governors Creek Health and Rehabilitation in Green Cove Springs (38 cases)

- Heartland Health Care Center in Orange Park (28 cases)

- Life Care Center at Wells Crossing (three cases)

- Life Care Center at Orange Park (one case)

- Signature Healthcare of Orange Park (one case)

- Isle Health and Rehabilitation Center on Fleming Island (one case).

Twenty-five of the infected at the long term facilities are employees, including 15 at Heartland.

Facilities that have reported deaths are: Heartland Health Care Center (four), Diamond (three), Seagrass Village (two) and Allegro (one).

The highest concentration of cases is in the Orange Park area where 97 people have been reported to be infected in the 32073 zip code.

All but two of the infected are residents. The Florida Health Department reported 213 of the patients are women and 142 are men. The sex of other patients hasn’t been reported.

Because numbers are reported at different times from a variety of sources and there's confusion between dying of COVID-19 and dying with COVID-19, the state is constantly updating and correcting its figures.

The ages of the infected range from 6 to 95. Eighty-seven have required hospitalization; the rest are in self-quarantine.

In response, several collection sites have been established in the county.

A free drive through testing site for Clay County residents is open at the Florida Department of Health Bear Run Clinic located at 3229 Bear Run Blvd. in Orange Park.

 Appointments will be scheduled every 10 minutes, from 8 a.m. to noon and from 1 to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. To make an appointment, call (877) 252-9362. You do not need to have signs or symptoms to be tested.

Five additional test collection sites now are open in Clay County – Palms Medical Group in Orange Park (904-688-3000), Aza Heath in Green Cove Springs (904-284-5904) and Keystone Heights (352-473-6595) and CareSpot Middleburg (904-406-8240) and Orange Park (904-213-0600) are a seeing patients, insured and non-insured, who exhibit symptoms of the coronavirus. Clay County residents also can be tested at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville.

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order requiring any “non-essential” workers to stay home until the virus threat has subsided. And he ordered cars to be stopped on highways from New York, Connecticut, New Jersey and Louisiana with orders that all visitors be quarantined.

Florida started Phase I May 4 to partially re-open parks, restaurants and stores with a limited number of customers. Barber shops and salons were allowed to open on May 11. The second part of Phase I started on May 18 with the opening of gymnasiums and fitness centers and the expansion of inside restaurant seating to 50%.

As of Sunday afternoon, 50,867 people have been diagnosed with COVID-19 in Florida. The state’s death toll was 2,237.

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