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COVID-19 Morning Update

Florida Department of Health

Florida Reports more than 10,000 New COVID-19 Infections Sunday

State health officials reported 10,105 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, marking the largest single-day increase in reported infections since July 25. There have now been 885,201 reported cases of the virus in Florida since the start of the pandemic.

The Florida Department of Health also reported 30 new coronavirus-related deaths, Nov. 15, increasing the statewide death toll to 17,734 fatalities.

Over the past seven days, the single-day average number of new infections reported has increased to 5,887 cases. The average number of daily deaths reported over the past week has grown to 57 fatalities a day.

The latest single-day positivity rate reported by the Florida Division of Emergency Management, using the formula recommended by the World Health Organization, increased to 9.21% on Saturday. Over the past two weeks, the range of single-day positivity rates has increased to between 7.35% and 11.40%.

The number of patients being treated for COVID-19 in Florida hospitals has also been on the rise in recent weeks. Florida's online census of hospitals shows numbers hovering around 2,000 to 2,200 patients a day for most of the past month, but on Sunday, the state reported 3,118 coronavirus patients in hospitals around Florida.

Critics Want Gov. DeSantis To Explicitly Address His New Approach To COVID-19

As Florida’s reported COVID-19 infections are again on the rise and some other states are announcing new restrictions, some Florida officials are questioning the state’s messaging about the pandemic here in the Sunshine State.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said that in the absence of a vaccine, “the only thing you have as your vaccine is information.”

Gelber said the public needs to be reminded how to stop the spread of COVID-19 and what elected officials are doing about it. He wants Gov. DeSantis to officially explain his approach. “I think people need to know that the state of Florida is essentially embracing the spread of the disease the way some of these of these fringe scientists have said would be a good idea,” said Gelber.He was about what’s called herd immunity. It usually involves vaccination programs. Supporters believe as more people get infected with COVID-19, the spread would slow down, but critics say we don’t have enough hospital beds to pursue that strategy.

DeSantis’s last COVID update on Oct. 23 focused on nursing home visitation rules.

Federal Judge Dismisses Most Complaints in Lawsuit Challenging Collier Mask Order

A federal judge has dismissed most of the claims in a lawsuit challenging Collier County's mask ordinance amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge Sheri Polster Chappell dismissed 11 of the 14 claims in the lawsuit filed by business owner Alfie Oakes, who has been an outspoken opponent of the county's mask mandate.

Oakes owns the popular "Seed To Table" grocery store and has publicly called the pandemic a "hoax." The Naples Daily News reports before he filed the federal challenge, Collier Code Enforcement has cited Oakes three times for violations of the county's mask order.

The county had filed a motion to dismiss Oakes’ amended lawsuit outright, but Judge Chappell is giving Oakes a chance to file a second amended suit consistent with her order. The case will close if Oakes doesn't meet a Nov. 24 deadline to file an amended complaint.

Most of Oakes complaints were dismissed because the county's current mask order, adopted Oct. 22, is narrower in focus. Judge Chappell also dismissed some of the complaints due to Gov. Ron DeSantis's executive order to suspend fines and penalties stemming from local enforcement actions aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

The judge also finds some of Oakes claims were insufficient to support some of his allegations.

The remaining complaints Oakes could bring in an amended lawsuit include claims of retaliation, trespassing and violating his business' right to equal protection under the law.

During a normal year, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital diagnoses around 16% of children that have diabetes with Type 2 diabetes. Between March and October, they've already diagnosed close to 40% of patients with Type 2 diabetes.

Distance learning, stress eating junk food and lack of exercise have led to increases in Type 2 diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic and it has some experts worried about the increase in children.

Dr. Mauricio Flores is a pediatric endocrinologist and said the increase in kids is concerning because it reflects an increase of diabetes in the general population.

“It feels like we are in an obesity pandemic on top of the pandemic,” he said.

Flores described Type 2 diabetes as the production of a significant amount of insulin that our bodies can’t use. Insulin allows sugar to enter our cells as fuel.

Health problems caused by it include high cholesterol, high blood pressure, joint pain and sleep apnea, a disorder where breathing repeatedly starts and stops.

Signs of Type 2 diabetes include obesity and dark pigmentation of the skin around the neck, underarms, groin and joint-surfaces like the knuckles and elbows.

Flores said that increased urination despite normal water intake is one of the most important symptoms. He also said children may have no energy.

“Kids may say they have to take frequent naps because they’re feeling so fatigued and tired,” he said.

However, Type 2 diabetes is preventable with consistent exercise and a good diet. Parents have to make sure their children avoid eating too many sweets.

Flores says it’s also important to note the cultural influences in our diets.

“With Hispanic, Latino and Caribbean backgrounds, I would say that yes, we love fried foods and carbs. And as long as we monitor portions, I think we should be okay,” Flores said.

He also stresses that parents have to step in and be proper role models. They have to spend time with their families outside.

“It doesn’t take very long, to go out, spend one hour, with your loved ones and have a great time,” he said.

Local Holiday Celebrations Cancelled Due to COVID-19 Concerns

Concerns about the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have prompted the cancellation of several holiday celebrations in Southwest Florida. The Fort Myers Beach Town Council has cancelled the island's annual New Year's Eve celebration and fireworks show. In years past, the event has included a midnight ball drop and typically attracts thousands of people to Time Square on Fort Myers Beach.

The City of Naples has also canceled the annual Naples Christmas Parade and the city's New Year's Eve Fireworks display, also due to concerns about large gatherings during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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