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County Officials Hold COVID-19 Update Friday, December 18, 2020.

Fri, Dec 18, 2020 at 1:25PM

Written by Kristen Schmutz

Belden Communications News



The county officials, along with representatives from the Health Department and Halifax Health, provided a county-wide COVID-19 update Friday morning.


With cases on the rise, county officials wanted to provide residents with updates on the State-run testing site in New Smyrna Beach, off Live Oak Blvd, which will be offering free Viral PCR and Rapid Antigen Testing through January 31.


The testing site will be closed both Thursday and Friday, December 24 and 25, due to the Christmas holiday and Friday, January 1, for New Year’s Day. For more information on testing


Halifax Health Representative Dr. Margaret Crossman said that 21 patients were currently admitted to health care centers in their system for COVID-19 as of Friday morning. Crossman said that things are "very good" regarding the hospitalization capacity aspect and that the system is not currently overwhelmed.


Holly Smith, Government Liaison for the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County reported that, Volusia County as of Friday morning had 19,334 cases of COVID-19 and have 348 deaths attributed to the virus.


“We have not seen a surge in cases like this since the summer,” Smith said during the Press Conference.


Smith also reported that many people with symptoms similar to those of the common cold ended up testing positive for COVID-19. “Volusia County has not seen many cases of the Common Cold, and hardly any cases of the flu at this time,” said Smith.


With COVID vaccines Phase One distribution underway, which includes hospital workers, hospitals with infected people in COVID units, and pharmacies that will be working with Long Term Care Units. Other phases of distribution will include first responders, those considered as high-risk, and the general public quickly as possible, depending on vaccine availability.


Peter Springer, Volusia County Operational Medical Director, reported that once the vaccine is available to the public, will work diligently to vaccinate the public in large venues like the speedway, churches, or fire stations throughout the county.


“When that information is made available, it will be released to the public and we will make sure to be able to provide the vaccine to those that want it,” Springer said.


County officials want to remind residents that the deadline for rental and mortgage assistance is Wednesday, December 30. Applications will no longer be accepted after the deadline.

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