Lee County has surpassed a grim milestone, reporting its 1,000th COVID-19-related death, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health.
The county became the ninth Florida county to cross this deadly threshold with a total of 1,005 deaths reported as of Tuesday. Together, these nine counties accounted for about 57% of the state’s 36,581 resident deaths.
While Lee is ninth in overall COVID-19 deaths, its death rate of 1.4% was fifth among counties with at least 1,000 coronavirus fatalities. The rate is calculated by dividing the county’s total resident deaths by its total resident cases. Pinellas has the highest death rate among counties with at least 1,000 deaths at 2.1%.
Lee’s first COVID-19 fatality was 77-year-old Jermaine Ferro, whose death was reported on March 7, 2020. She and her husband Salvatore were among the first Floridians to contract the virus after traveling to the Dominican Republic in February to celebrate their first anniversary as a married couple. Salvatore Ferro spent five weeks in a coma but survived his battle with the coronavirus.
State health officials do not include the actual date of death for county residents in the daily updates, but rather the day the agency reported the COVID-19 death.
There were 446 days between Ferro’s reported death and Lee’s 1,000th. The county reached its 500th death on Oct. 22, 2020, 231 days after its first. In comparison, Collier County reached 500 resident deaths on April 2, 369 days after its first COVID-19 fatality was reported. Collier was at 542 resident deaths as of Tuesday.
Here’s some additional data about Lee’s reported COVID-19 deaths:
- The median age of Lee County residents who have died of COVID-19 is 78. That means half of its 1,005 deaths were people younger than 78 and half were older.
- The youngest person to die from the coronavirus was Carsyn Leigh Davis, a 17-year-old student at Cypress Lake High School who died June 23, 2020. Three 102-year-old residents, two women and one man, are Lee’s oldest.
- Men have died from COVID-19 at a higher rate than women in Lee County, accounting for 56.6% of the county’s 1,005 reported deaths.
- About 35% of Lee County’s deaths, or 351, were listed as residents of long-term care facilities. That’s the 11th-highest number of deaths related to nursing homes in the state.
Lee County’s 1,005 reported COVID-19 deaths
- Date first death reported: March 7, 2020
- Date 100th death reported: May 28, 2020
- Date 200th death reported: July 14
- Date 300th death reported: Aug. 1
- Date 400th death reported: Aug. 23
- Date 500th death reported: Oct. 22
- Date 600th death reported: Dec. 8
- Date 700th death reported: Jan. 8
- Date 800th death reported: Feb. 2
- Date 900th death reported: March 13
- Date 1,000th death reported: May 25
- Youngest: 17
- Oldest: 102
- Median age: 78
- Men: 569 (56.6%)
- Women: 436 (43.4%)
- White: 848 (84.4%)
- Black: 77 (7.7%)
- Other: 41 (4.1%)
- Unknown: 39 (3.9%)
- Hispanic: 145 (14.4%)
- Non-Hispanic: 802 (79.8%)
- Unknown: 58 (5.8%)
- Involved travel: 14 (1.4%)
- Involved contact with a confirmed case: 306 (30.4%)
- Both travel and contact with confirmed case: 10 (1%)
- Neither travel nor confirmed contact: 122 (12.1%)
- Long-term care facility deaths: 352 (35%)
Source: Florida Department of Health
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