Everything you need to know can be explained with a number


Economics author Ron DeLegge II once said, “99% of all statistics tell 49% of the story.”

But sometimes numbers tell stories easier than words.


• As of Wednesday, 4,609 residents and visitors of Clay County have tested positive for COVID-19, and 88 of them have died from the virus. The numbers represent a collection of data that started with the county’s first positive test in March.

What it doesn’t show – and it’s nearly impossible to get a firm count – is how many currently have the disease.

Heather Huffman, the director of the Florida Department of Health-Clay County, said the typical incubation period for the coronavirus is 10-14 days, which means there could be as many as 600 who currently are infected.

But those numbers are skewed by a data dump of cases collected months ago by Quest Diagnostics last week, as well as a 164-case outbreak at the Clay County Jail.

More than one-third of the cases reported in the last two weeks came on those two days.

• The state said 328 have been hospitalized in Clay in the past seven months. However, only four currently are on ventilators, eight are in intensive care and 28 are in non-ICU beds, Huffman said.

• The Clay County School District said six students and six faculty and staff members have tested positive for COVID-19. The district also said 136 students have been ordered to quarantine, while 29 staff members are either on leave or in quarantine after displaying coronavirus-like symptoms.

There are 39,161 students in the district.

• An important number to remember is zero. That’s how much it costs a county resident to be tested for the coronavirus. Just bring identification and a pen to the county health department. Results usually are returned in about three days, Huffman said.

• Since the county declared a state of emergency, as of Thursday the Emergency Management Office has been operational for 190 consecutive days, emergency director John Ward said. The good news, Ward said, is his agency now is working on how a vaccine will be dispensed.

“We’ve brought our planning team together,” Ward said. “There’s a discussion from our state and federal partners, and from the media, there is a vaccine that will be coming soon. We’ve started to look at what that’s going to look like.

“Obviously when it first comes, it’s going to be very limited doses and it will probably be after the first of the year when we start seeing those open vaccination areas. That’s what we’re starting to plan, what that would look like, what we would need in place if that were to happen.”

• To fully understand just how much COVID-19 continues to effect Clay County, the health department recently hired 23 fulltime workers whose only job is woking with the coronavirus.

• The ratings game for televised sports can be tricky. But you don’t need to be polled to know people aren’t watching the NBA or NFL like they once did.

According to the Athletic, ratings for NBA are down by 40% on TNT and 20% on ESPN.

And while the NFL regular season opener between the Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans outdrew the NBA Playoff game between the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets, 27 million-1.3 million, the NFL’s return still dropped by 12% compared to last season.

• The number 1 was prominent in Jacksonville when the Jaguars hosted Indianapolis on Sept. 13. That’s the total number of incomplete passes thrown by Jacksonville quarterback Gardner Minshew III.

• A phone number to remember are (904) 529-2900, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., for any questions about COVID-19.

• And finally, there are only 14 shopping weekends remaining before Christmas.


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