As the number of Covid-19 cases continue to soar in Volusia County, operators of the seven hospitals say they are staying within their capacity.

“We are not at full capacity at AdventHealth," said Daryl Tol, president of AdventHealth Central Florida, in a Thursday, July 9, briefing. "We are testing more across the state, and the percentages are going up. We are seeing an increase in hospitalizations across the state. We have about an 84% capacity across seven counties, 16 campuses in total. Almost 20 percent of our ICU beds are still available for additional patients."

"The growth of COVID is something we are paying close attention to, but the capacity level is still within a manageable range for us," said Mr. Tol, who formerly was president of AdventHealth's Daytona Beach hospital. It also operates hospitals in DeLand, New Smyrna Beach and Deltona.

Halifax Health reported Monday, July 13, in a social media post that it was treating 30 Covid-19 patients in its three hospitals and did not indicate any strain on its ICU capacity. Halifax operates hospitals in Daytona Beach, Deltona and Port Orange.

Covid-19 cases in Volusia were up 167 to 3,972, including 28 non-residents, and one more death, as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, July 14, according to the Florida Department of Health. 

The median age, with half older and half younger, has dropped to 41 from 58 two months ago. The number of Volusia cases in children below the age of 18 were at 190 as of Friday, July 10, but there have been at least 31 more cases since then. However, Volusia has had at least four more outbreaks at nursing homes, including University East Rehabilitation Center in DeLand with 27 cases, DeBary Health Center with 19 cases, Oceanview Nursing Center with 17 cases, and Villa Health Center of DeLand had 14 staff members test positive.

Total deaths in Volusia County are at 78. The latest victim was an 89-year-old male nursing home resident. The county has had 49 deaths at long-term care facilities. Twenty-four of the deaths have been at the Opis Coquina Center in Ormond Beach; Bishop's Glen Retirement Center in Holly Hill has had 10; the Groves at Alliance Community in DeLand has had four; DeBary Health and Rehabilitation Center has had two; Deltona Health Care, Grand Villa of DeLand, Orange City Nursing and Rehab Center, Brookdale Ormond Beach West, Ridgecrest Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Daytona Beach and Woodland Towers in DeLand have had one each; and the location of three have not yet been reported.

The age range of Volusia County resident cases is 1 to 102 with 2,088 females and 1,841 males, and for 15 cases the gender hasn't been determined. It has now been determined 120 cases were travel related. There have been 314 residents, including five in the past 24 hours, and five non-residents hospitalized. There have been 51,239 residents tested with 47,215 testing negative, 16 awaiting testing and for 52 the tests were inconclusive.

By race, 1,675 victims were white, 506 victims were black, 527 victims were Hispanic, 241 were of other races and for 1,023 cases the race was unknown.

Many of the victims have been cleared by public health officials. Also, some who have been hospitalized have been released. The department is not releasing names to protect their privacy.

According to the Florida Department of Emergency Management, Daytona Beach has had 867 cases; Deltona, 728; DeLand, 659; Ormond Beach, 339; Orange City, 251; Port Orange, 249; DeBary, 178; New Smyrna Beach, 174; Edgewater, 88; Holly Hill, 83; Pierson, 76; DeLeon Springs, 58; South Daytona, 37;  Seville, 34; Lake Helen and Osteen, 17 each; Oak Hill, eight; Ponce Inlet, seven; Enterprise, three; Astor, Daytona Beach Shores and Glenwood, one each; and for 65 cases the hometown has not been determined.

Also as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, there have been 278,667 positive cases of Florida residents and 3,768 cases of non-residents with Covid-19 and 4,277 resident deaths. In the U.S., there were 3,364,704 cases and 135,615 deaths. There were 13,127,030 global cases with 573,664 deaths. The U.S. and world data are from Johns Hopkins University.

So far, Daytona Beach, DeLand and Orange City are the only cities in Volusia County mandating masks be worn when inside buildings or anywhere proper social distancing cannot be followed and instituting penalties for non-compliance.

DeBary is slated to meet Wednesday to discuss ways to encourage residents to wear face masks.

Masks also are mandatory in New Smyrna Beach, but the City Commission did not institute penalties and the NSB Police will not enforce it.

Port Orange Mayor Don Burnette issued a proclamation similar to Ormond Beach Mayor Bill Partington, urging residents to wear masks. Deltona City Commission approved a resolution recommending residents wear masks.

Testing continues in Volusia, including free drive-through testing from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, July 14, at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in DeLand. Appointments are suggested at https://mycw120.ecwcloud.com/portal16639/jsp/jspnew/preRegistration_new.jsp. For other testing sites or more information, visit https://www.volusia.org/services/public-protection/emergency-management/pin/coronavirus/faqs.stml.

The Florida Department of Transportation has an active checkpoint on Interstate 95 at the Florida/Georgia state line. To date, more than 64,700 traveler forms have been collected at the checkpoint. Travelers from certain hot spots must quarantine for 14 days upon entering Florida.

With the recent surge in Covid-19 cases, the state Department of Business and Regulation has closed bars and is more closely monitoring restaurants.

The county rolled out two programs to help local residents financially, earmarking $5 million for emergency rent and mortgage assistance and another $3 million for food aid. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis and can be obtained by calling the Volusia County Department of Community Services at (386) 736-5955.

The county also is taking applications for $3,000 grants to help small businesses recover financially from the COVID-19 pandemic. The grants now cover businesses with up to 50 employees. For information or an application, visit volusiabusinessresources.com.

Check out Hometown News Volusia on Facebook and Twitter for event updates.

For general information about the COVID-19 virus, call the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee at (866) 799-6121. The hotline is open 24/7. AdventHealth has a 24/7 hotline at (877) 847-8747.

If you are sick with COVID-19 or suspect you are infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, call the Florida Department of Health Office in Volusia County at (386) 274-0500.

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