This regular bi-weekly COVID-19 operational update is for the fourteen days from Thursday February 11 through Wednesday February 24.
Over the past four biweekly reports, new COVID-19 infections have dropped substantially in Brevard County, as indicated below:
In addition, the percent positivity has also declined:
I have also recently begun spot-checking the State Department of Health data on COVID-19 vaccinations in Brevard County. As of February 15, approximately 11.5% of the Brevard population had received at least the first dose of vaccine. By February 17, that percentage had increased to 12.1%, and by February 22 it had increased again to 12.9%. As of today, that percentage had increased to 13.1%, and next week’s vaccination shipments will be substantially larger than this past week, this past week’s shipments having been adversely impacted by winter weather delays.
While these trends are indeed encouraging, earlier this week brought us the sobering COVID-19 fatality statistics over the past year of more than 700 deaths in Brevard County, 60,000 deaths in Florida, and 500,000 deaths in the United States.
We continue to be reminded by infectious disease experts to not let up on our guard even as new cases and hospitalization drop. We understand that those eligible for vaccination should go get vaccinated. We continue to be advised to avoid crowds, socially distance, frequently hand wash, and consistently wear our face coverings outside our immediate homes. In accordance with this continuing advice, the City’s requirement for employees and members of the public to mask while inside our municipal facilities remains in place. Hand sanitizer stations continue to be conveniently located just inside the entry doors of our municipal buildings so as to seek to maximize their use as soon as people enter.
Under the authority granted the City Manager in Section 11 of the West Melbourne Emergency Masking Ordinance No. 2020-05, I have administratively extended the City Council’s Emergency Masking Ordinance for employees and customers in our largest ‘essential businesses’ to mask while in publicly accessible areas of these stores to midnight on Monday March 1. Tomorrow, I will extend the requirement another week to Monday March 8.
As required by the emergency ordinance, each time I have administratively extended for one week the sunset date of the ordinance, this determination has been filed with the City Clerk and posted on the City’s web site. Each time the sunset date has been extended, this information has also been directly provided to the identified ‘essential businesses’ by members of the City’s Police Department.
Over the past year, we have had seventeen City employees return to work after recovering from being infected by the COVID-19 virus, including two who had at one time been hospitalized. As of this writing, the City has four employees off work who have either tested positive for COVID-19, or else who have been closely exposed to a positive person and have not yet reached the end of their quarantine period. Currently, we have no employees in the hospital with COVID-19.