DOH Collier warns if social distancing doesn’t continue, the peak will be worse

Reporter: Veronica Marshall
Published: Updated:
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What we do right now during the coronavirus pandemic, will have serious impacts for everyone.

That’s the warning from Kristine Hollingsworth with the Florida Department of Health Collier County.

She says, “We know people are getting bored, but this is the most crucial time for us to maintain that stay at home order.”

As it stands, Florida’s coronavirus cases are expected to peak at the end of April, and Collier County’s peak will come two weeks after that.

LINK: COVID-19 projections assuming full social distancing through May 2020

Chief Nursing Officer of NCH John Kling said the week or two delay is explained by the fact that more densely populated urban areas hit the hardest earlier on, will reach their peak before less populated areas do.

According to the latest model, “we will have enough beds to meet the surge of patients,” he added.

But Hollingsworth says if we don’t hold the line and stay home now, that could change, “When we hit that peak, it really depends on how well our mitigation efforts are working right now.”

Her warning is if Southwest Floridians continue to congregate in groups of more than ten 10 and congregating closely, our peak be a sharp rise.

Now, Hollingsworth is asking everyone to make social distancing a priority.

“Practicing social distancing now – not going to grandma’s house and celebrating Easter or Passover – not doing those things right now can help us mitigate our efforts today and in the future,” she added. “Proper social distancing will help us flatten that curve.”

Hollingsworth says that means making essential trips like picking up groceries and medications quick and efficient while staying six feet away from anyone you may encounter.

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