This morning’s much anticipated countywide COVID-19 coordinating meeting brought very little information due to representatives from both the local Department of Health (Bob Eadie) and Lower Keys Medical Center (David Clay) not showing up for the call. [View the video above.]
The County Mayor, Heather Carruthers, however, announced that there has been a special meeting of the BOCC called for tomorrow at 9:00 am. The Mayor stated that commissioners will be discussing taking actions in light of the growing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the Keys stating, “We’re not going in the right direction.” In particular commissioners will be revisiting the issue of closing mini season. Carruthers stated that commissioners would be discussing closing some public facilities from July 24th through August 9th. Carruthers also said that after speaking with Doctor Whiteside [the Medical Director of the Monroe County Department of Health] she learned that many of the problems we are having [with local spread of the virus] may be associated with vacation rentals. Commissioners will be discussing possible changes to the COVID-19 related plans for vacation rentals and the possibility of requiring hotels to diminish their numbers of clients. Carruthers said that she would be participating in calls later today with leaders of the municipalities and with a hospitality group.
Representatives of the Baptist run hospitals – Fishermens and Mariners – did attend the meeting and stated that this morning they have 4 COVID-19 patients in ICU beds and 1 COVID-19 patients in non-ICU beds. Emergency Management Director Shannon Weiner stated that Lower Keys Medical Center represented to her this morning that they have 4 COVID-19 patients in ICU beds and 7 COVID-19 patients in non-ICU beds. However, last night a source inside the hospital told The Blue Paper that the hospital currently had 15 COVID-19 patients.
Once the agenda is posted on the County’s website you will be able to access instructions on how to attend the 9:00 am public meeting. Click on this link: http://monroecountyfl.iqm2.com/Citizens/Detail_Meeting.aspx?ID=1129