BY ANDREAS BUTLER
The coronavirus pandemic continues with no end in sight as confirmed cases and death tolls keep rising.
On Monday, Volusia County recorded its 100th death as a result of the virus.
As of the Daytona Times’ Wednesday night deadline, the Florida Department of Health had 6,523 confirmed cases with 107 deaths in Volusia County while Flagler county had 840 confirmed cases with 10 deaths.
Local health care officials are hard at work caring for patients, educating the public and trying to stop the spread of the virus.
Local governments are also doing their part. Volusia County and the city of Daytona Beach have taken steps to keep employees and the public safe.
Safety measures include constant cleaning and sanitizing, installed Plexiglass at offices and buildings, social distancing protocols and requiring face masks and coverings.
“I was for a county mandate for masks, but it’s a challenge to enforce. We need to put the resources we need into supporting the safety of the public. The numbers are going in the wrong direction. Personal responsibility is big too,” said Barbara Girtman, Volusia County Council District 1.
On July 21, the Volusia Council adopted a resolution encouraging everyone working, living, visiting, or doing business in the county to wear face coverings in any business where social distancing can’t be maintained.
The city of Daytona Beach is requiring masks to be worn indoors except for in a residence. Fines start at $50 for first offense, $100 for the second and $150 for the third and additional offenses.
The 32114 zip code, which covers the heart of Daytona’s Black community, has had 458 confirmed cases. The zip code also covers parts of Daytona Beach, South Daytona, and Holly Hill. It is reported to be the unhealthiest zip code in the county and has the highest amounts of health disparities.
‘Close to home’
The virus is having an impact on African American and Latino communities at disproportionate rates.
Girtman noted, “It’s close to home and concerning. I know too many people who have lost love ones or gotten severely ill. Many haven’t fully recovered.
“This virus is impacting minorities and people of color. We need to invest more in underserved Black and Brown communities. It shows with the health, employment and education disparities.”
Many retailers are now requiring customers to wear face coverings, including Aldi, Publix, Walmart, Sam’s Clubs, BJ’s Clubs, CVS, Kohl’s, Gap, Macy’s, Bed Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Walgreens, Best Buy, Starbucks, McDonald’s, PetSmart and Winn-Dixie. Target will start Aug. 1.
Here’s a list of COVID-19 some of the testing sites in the area.
Advent Health CentraCare
Visit www.centracare.adventhealth.com. Those seeking tests must meet CDC requirements; insurances accepted. Appointments are available for those without a physician; must be 18 years or older, children 6 months or older must be with an accompanying adult.
Family Health Source
• 1205 S. Woodland Blvd. Suite 4, DeLand; www.familyhealthsource.org
Testing is Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. Testing is free. Walk-ins and appointments accepted.
• 101 S. Ridgewood Ave., Daytona Beach
• 901 N Woodland Blvd., DeLand 615 E. Third Ave., New Smyrna Beach 3771 Clyde Morris Blvd., Port Orange
Tests are available to people 18 years or older. Insurance is accepted at no cost those those getting a test. Appointment only.
Department of Health-Volusia County
• 1485 Holsenbeck Drive, Daytona Beach
• 721 S. Keech St., Daytona Beach
• 717 W. Canal St., New Smyrna Beach
• 725 Harley Strickland Blvd., Orange City
Testing is Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call for an appointment. Anyone can get tested. It’s free and no symptoms are required. All testing is done in the parking lot.