35 New Cases of COVID-19 in Duval County and a Total of 12 Cases at Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville

By Sydney Gorak| gargoyle@flagler.edu

COVID-19, also known as coronavirus has become a serious public health risk worldwide. Communities in all 50 states have all reported cases of this deadly disease. The United States recently surpassed other countries in the number of cases reported, leading the world in the most confirmed cases, according to the Wall Street Journal.

There have been a total of 163,539 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 2,000 deaths in the United States according to the CDC. Florida has over 5,000 confirmed cases, one of the states with the most reported cases following New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts and California.

“Recommendations for the general population are to social distance yourself and not congregate with other people as much as possible. Looking at other examples from around the world, looking at China, South Korea and Italy, the experience would tell us we would expect this to get worse before it gets better,” said Dr. Glasser, a doctor from Baptist Medical Center in Jacksonville.

Within the last few weeks, tons of people have come into the Baptist Medical Hospital with suspicious symptoms of COVID-19. These people have been tested for the coronavirus and the results generally take up to five days. There are 12 cases of people who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the Baptist Medical Hospital. 

“People that are tested for the virus will not be hospitalized and they will be sent home. Hospitalizations require the need for oxygen or if they can not take care of themselves at home,” Glasser said.

The individuals who have come into the hospital have upper respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough and fevers. These are major symptoms they are looking for when testing people for the virus.

The Baptist Medical Hospital is taking several precautions for the spread of the virus. They are requesting people who are sick and people who have tested positive for COVID-19 to stay home. They helped set up testing stations with the city that are mobile testing stations. 

The hospital also created areas in the hospital which are used for isolation that are housing people with suspected COVID-19 infection. This helps minimize exposure of these individuals to other people in the hospital. 

Negative pressure rooms are used to filter the air and remove the virus from the air environment. Providing personal protective equipment for physicians and staff and having an adequate supply of face masks, gowns, and gloves in the hospital is another precaution.

“We’re working on a protocol of treatment. There is no treatment that has been effective at treating COVID-19. We continuously look at all studies about potential investigation agents and try to evaluate whether we can make them available to our patients or not,” Glasser said.

The hospital continues to adequately test people.

“One of the key things in managing this is testing people, isolating them and making sure that the people they come in contact with know they have tested positive,” said Glasser.

Treating symptomatically is highly recommended such as taking tylenol for fevers. Social distancing and not congregating with other people during this time is suggested.

Statistically, the younger generation is less likely to be affected by the virus. Recently, in France, there are more younger people affected by this virus. 

Younger people need to practice social distancing because they can spread the virus when they come into contact with older people, who are at higher risk for severe illnesses.

“It’s very important for all involved to do what they can to not get sick and spread it to others,” Glasser said.

If we are successful at social distancing, it will cut down on the spread of the virus. The predicted time is unclear and will be a relatively long time frame lasting a few months. 

“Part of it is going to depend on how successful we are at social distancing and isolation. If people are still going to congregate in large crowds the virus is still going to spread and at a pretty rapid rate,” Glasser said.

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