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County has first COVID-19-related death

David Adlerstein
The Apalach Times
The Apalach Times

The Florida Department of Health in Franklin/Gulf is reporting the death of a patient who previously tested positive for COVID-19.

This event marks the first death of a Franklin County resident with a positive test. The patient was an 82-year-old male.

“The state's medical examiners are tasked with investigating and certifying COVID-19 deaths in the Florida, but we wanted to inform our rural county about this situation and would like to express our deepest sympathies to the family and loved ones of our resident,” said Deanna Simmons, a spokesperson for the department, in a Wednesday morning news release.

“The health of our residents remains our priority. In times of tragedy, our communities have always been a strong source of support for one another. We need our communities to help do everything they can to slow the spread of the virus,” she said.

Franklin County’s number of positive cases has risen sharply in the last week, for a total of 78 residents diagnosed since the coronavirus pandemic entered the county in late March.

Based on statistics posted by the Florida Department of Health, as of Wednesday morning, three cases have required hospitalization.

So far, of the 2.195 people tested in the county, 2,114 have resulted in negative results, with three of the 81 positives a non-resident.

The county’s median age is 55, well above the state median of 39, for the 50 females and 30 males who have tested positive.

The three youngest positive cases are between age 5 and 14, with eight between the ages of 15 and 24, and 12 between the ages of 25-34.

Seven individuals are between age 35 and 44, nine between age 45 and 54, and 21 between age 55 and 64.

Twelve positive cases are between ages 65 and 74, six are between ages 75-84 and two are age 85 or older.

Geographically, the largest chunk of the cases, 39, are in the Apalachicola are, 20 are in the Eastpoint-St. George Island area, and 18 are in Carrabelle.

COVID-19 cancels commission meeting

The case of a county staffer who tested positive for the coronavirus forced the county to cancel the county commission meeting meeting slated for Tuesday morning, July 21,

Franklin County Coordinator Michael Morón said he learned Friday from the Florida Department of Health that a county employee, who works in the courthouse annex, had tested positive.

“Workplace prevention protocols in alignment with the CDC are in place to minimize the spread of COVID-19,” he said. “Out of an abundance of caution, staff are being tested and will be taking additional steps to protect their health as well as the health and safety of others.”

Morón said the immediate requirement there be no contact with employees in the county offices in the annex forced the cancellation. He said plans are being formulated in the event the county has to return to entirely virtual meetings.

The next regular meeting of the county commissioners is scheduled for Tuesday, August 4 at 9 a.m. The budget workshop is scheduled for Thursday, July 30 at 9 a.m.

Email questions regarding future meetings to Morón at