Coronavirus outbreak killed two at Florida office, official says; a vaccinated employee was not infected

Lar Gand

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"A coronavirus outbreak at a Florida government building killed two people and hospitalized several others who were unvaccinated against the virus, a county official said.

The Manatee County Administration Building reopened Monday after the virus that causes covid-19 spread throughout the county's IT department and forced the building to shut down last Friday. Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes, an epidemiologist, said six unvaccinated employees, including five in the IT department, tested positive for the virus within a two-week period.

Hopes said that the one IT employee, 23, exposed to the virus who was vaccinated did not get infected.

"This particular outbreak demonstrates the effectiveness, I believe, with the vaccine," he said to reporters Monday. "All of the cases were non-vaccinated." He added in a news release, "Individual employees in the IT Department who were known to be fully vaccinated and who were in close proximity of those who were infected did not contract covid-19."

Despite the outbreak, masks will remain optional for staffers returning this week, with unvaccinated workers being "encouraged but not required, to follow covid-19 prevention measures."

At a news conference, Hopes said he suspected the outbreak could have been because of the delta coronavirus variant, which spreads more easily. The Manatee County Health Department is working with epidemiologists in contact tracing and to confirm whether the variant was responsible. Hopes said that the high fatality rate from the IT department's outbreak suggested "we are dealing with a variant unlike what we had last year."

The delta variant has a chance to be the dominant strain in the United States this summer. First found in India, the highly contagious variant, which is accounting for 6% of new infections in the United States, "is more transmissible than the alpha variant," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said last week. Walensky noted that while she fears a new strain could prove resistant to vaccines, full vaccination protects against the delta variant.

"As worrisome as this delta strain is with regard to its hyper-transmissibility, our vaccines work," she said in a recent interview with ABC's "Good Morning America."

The United States has fully vaccinated 150 million people against coronavirus, the White House said Monday, marking a major milestone even though the country is nowhere near the threshold necessary to snuff out the virus nationwide. Roughly 46% of U.S. residents have completed their vaccination schedule, according to data compiled by The Washington Post.

Florida, which has fully vaccinated 44% of its eligible population, has seen a sharp decline in the number of total doses administered in the past week. Manatee County, located in southwest Florida, has fully vaccinated 43% of its eligible population.

The Manatee Board of County Commissioners repealed covid safety requirements last month and strongly recommended that people visiting the County Administration Building "use their best judgment" to protect themselves from a potential spread of the virus.

Then, covid spread throughout the IT department, killing and hospitalizing staffers. When the second employee died Thursday, the decision was made to shut down the building the next day so it could be disinfected.

"When you have that many cases, and you have a 40 percent fatality rate, you have to worry," Hopes said to Florida Politics. "I would prefer not to have any more employee funerals."

Yet the county announced over the weekend that "face masks will be optional for the public and employees inside the facility."

"Visitors and employees who are fully vaccinated may return to work as usual," Hopes said in a news release. "Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged, but not required, to follow covid-19 prevention measures, including use of N95 or equivalent masks, which will be available at each entrance, and social distancing."

Hopes defended the decision Monday night on CNN, saying the focus was more on getting government employees vaccinated. The county is offering another vaccine clinic for employees at the Manatee County Administration Building on Friday.

"Clearly masks work, but the vaccine is more important at this point," Hopes said.

Christopher Tittel, a spokesman with the Florida Department of Health in Manatee County, agreed that vaccination among government employees was needed to help prevent another outbreak.

"We really need everybody to get on board with this, whether it's vaccination testing, prevention, all of it is so, so, so, so important," Tittel told WTVT. "The vaccinations, they only work if people get vaccinated."

Funerals and celebration-of-life events for Knight and Cox are scheduled for later this week.

Friends and co-workers remembered them both as loving community leaders.

Knight, an IT customer service center supervisor, was involved with Manatee County Women in Government and volunteered at local churches, according to her obituary. She's survived by a large Italian family that includes her husband, six children and one granddaughter. Suzie McGuire, the acting IT director, wrote in an online message for Knight's obituary that her close friend would be missed by many.

"She was a force beyond compare," McGuire wrote. "Our hearts are broken."

Cox, a senior systems analyst with Manatee County, was known in the area as a youth football coach with the Manatee Mustang Sports Academy for 20 years, reported the Bradenton Herald. The organization said on Facebook that Cox "personified dedication and selflessness," and was "a father to the fatherless, a mentor to all, a hero in every aspect of the meaning, and a legend no less." Reggie Bellamy, the organization's commissioner, told the Herald that Cox impacted generations of young athletes.

"He had a lot of individuals that he touched, so it's a very, very tough time," Bellamy said."
 

OneBadHuskerFan

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At this point I don't feel the least bit sorry for unvaccinated people getting sick. They've had their chance to get the vaccine but use any excuse they can to not get it because they are pussies afraid of getting a little pin prick in their arm. They are the ultimate betas.
 

steinek11

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2228370_1.jpg
 

rgrachek

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This delta variant is going to kill a lot of slack jawed yokels who think they are tuff guys. Pretty sad that these upcoming deaths were completely avoidable.
Why are you sad about just a bunch of slack jawed yokels dying? I'd think you'd be celebrating!

Truth be told though is that the lowest vaccination rates are among African Americans. Could you make fun of them for us too?
 

rgrachek

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"A coronavirus outbreak at a Florida government building killed two people and hospitalized several others who were unvaccinated against the virus, a county official said.

The Manatee County Administration Building reopened Monday after the virus that causes covid-19 spread throughout the county's IT department and forced the building to shut down last Friday. Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes, an epidemiologist, said six unvaccinated employees, including five in the IT department, tested positive for the virus within a two-week period.

Hopes said that the one IT employee, 23, exposed to the virus who was vaccinated did not get infected.

"This particular outbreak demonstrates the effectiveness, I believe, with the vaccine," he said to reporters Monday. "All of the cases were non-vaccinated." He added in a news release, "Individual employees in the IT Department who were known to be fully vaccinated and who were in close proximity of those who were infected did not contract covid-19."

Despite the outbreak, masks will remain optional for staffers returning this week, with unvaccinated workers being "encouraged but not required, to follow covid-19 prevention measures."

At a news conference, Hopes said he suspected the outbreak could have been because of the delta coronavirus variant, which spreads more easily. The Manatee County Health Department is working with epidemiologists in contact tracing and to confirm whether the variant was responsible. Hopes said that the high fatality rate from the IT department's outbreak suggested "we are dealing with a variant unlike what we had last year."

The delta variant has a chance to be the dominant strain in the United States this summer. First found in India, the highly contagious variant, which is accounting for 6% of new infections in the United States, "is more transmissible than the alpha variant," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said last week. Walensky noted that while she fears a new strain could prove resistant to vaccines, full vaccination protects against the delta variant.

"As worrisome as this delta strain is with regard to its hyper-transmissibility, our vaccines work," she said in a recent interview with ABC's "Good Morning America."

The United States has fully vaccinated 150 million people against coronavirus, the White House said Monday, marking a major milestone even though the country is nowhere near the threshold necessary to snuff out the virus nationwide. Roughly 46% of U.S. residents have completed their vaccination schedule, according to data compiled by The Washington Post.

Florida, which has fully vaccinated 44% of its eligible population, has seen a sharp decline in the number of total doses administered in the past week. Manatee County, located in southwest Florida, has fully vaccinated 43% of its eligible population.

The Manatee Board of County Commissioners repealed covid safety requirements last month and strongly recommended that people visiting the County Administration Building "use their best judgment" to protect themselves from a potential spread of the virus.

Then, covid spread throughout the IT department, killing and hospitalizing staffers. When the second employee died Thursday, the decision was made to shut down the building the next day so it could be disinfected.

"When you have that many cases, and you have a 40 percent fatality rate, you have to worry," Hopes said to Florida Politics. "I would prefer not to have any more employee funerals."

Yet the county announced over the weekend that "face masks will be optional for the public and employees inside the facility."

"Visitors and employees who are fully vaccinated may return to work as usual," Hopes said in a news release. "Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged, but not required, to follow covid-19 prevention measures, including use of N95 or equivalent masks, which will be available at each entrance, and social distancing."

Hopes defended the decision Monday night on CNN, saying the focus was more on getting government employees vaccinated. The county is offering another vaccine clinic for employees at the Manatee County Administration Building on Friday.

"Clearly masks work, but the vaccine is more important at this point," Hopes said.

Christopher Tittel, a spokesman with the Florida Department of Health in Manatee County, agreed that vaccination among government employees was needed to help prevent another outbreak.

"We really need everybody to get on board with this, whether it's vaccination testing, prevention, all of it is so, so, so, so important," Tittel told WTVT. "The vaccinations, they only work if people get vaccinated."

Funerals and celebration-of-life events for Knight and Cox are scheduled for later this week.

Friends and co-workers remembered them both as loving community leaders.

Knight, an IT customer service center supervisor, was involved with Manatee County Women in Government and volunteered at local churches, according to her obituary. She's survived by a large Italian family that includes her husband, six children and one granddaughter. Suzie McGuire, the acting IT director, wrote in an online message for Knight's obituary that her close friend would be missed by many.

"She was a force beyond compare," McGuire wrote. "Our hearts are broken."

Cox, a senior systems analyst with Manatee County, was known in the area as a youth football coach with the Manatee Mustang Sports Academy for 20 years, reported the Bradenton Herald. The organization said on Facebook that Cox "personified dedication and selflessness," and was "a father to the fatherless, a mentor to all, a hero in every aspect of the meaning, and a legend no less." Reggie Bellamy, the organization's commissioner, told the Herald that Cox impacted generations of young athletes.

"He had a lot of individuals that he touched, so it's a very, very tough time," Bellamy said."
So what you're saying is that people who are vaccinated are less likely to get COVID? Man, thanks for that! Who knew?
 

scopeandtime

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Why are you sad about just a bunch of slack jawed yokels dying? I'd think you'd be celebrating!

Truth be told though is that the lowest vaccination rates are among African Americans. Could you make fun of them for us too?
Sir, I don't see race. If folks don't want to get the vaccine and want to rack up hospital bills and possibly die, that makes me sad. It's a tragedy!
 
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nelsonj22

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Why are you sad about just a bunch of slack jawed yokels dying? I'd think you'd be celebrating!

Truth be told though is that the lowest vaccination rates are among African Americans. Could you make fun of them for us too?
Yeah so one group has been the test subjects in the past, the other thinks UV butt plugs will save them.

Also most don't want ANY innocent American dieing 🤷‍♂️
 

nelsonj22

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People willingly NOT taking a vaccination that could save their lives or someone else are not innocent. I don't want people to die either, but they are selfish twats IMO. That includes black, white and everything in between.
Meh most are ignorant twats really 🤷‍♂️
 

rgrachek

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Sir, I don't see race. If folks don't want to get the vaccine and want to rack up hospital bills and possibly die, that makes me sad. It's a tragedy!
This is one you should read!

You don't see race? Then according to CRT, you are the biggest racist of all! According to CRT, you not seeing race, no matter what race you are, is just the way you ignore the systematic racism that's apparently baked into every American institution (no one has provided any proof of this or any specific examples, but we need to take their word for it). You should be ashamed of yourself!

In all seriousness however, I saw a comedian on Comedy Central the other night who put all of this racism stuff to rest.

He said that calling someone a "racist" is always a loser for the person making the accusation. The reason is that anyone who is truly a racist, no matter what race you are, is damn proud of it and will tell you so.

If you call someone a racist who is truly a racist, then you're essentially giving them a complement in their eyes, which defeats the purpose of your accusation. If you call someone a racist who is not a racist, then you're just being a ****ing dick to a likely decent person. Total lose/lose.
 
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hephusker

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This delta variant is going to kill a lot of slack jawed yokels who think they are tuff guys. Pretty sad that these upcoming deaths were completely avoidable.
And you love it - so why complain?. Too bad you don't know that most unvaccinated in US are black and Hispanic cuz Kamala told them it was likely dangerous. BTW Florida is a heavily vaccinated state - the surge is coming to your state too. Just wait. Next time Fauci should not fund dangerous research in sloppy foreign labs owned by our adversary.
 

scopeandtime

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And you love it - so why complain?. Too bad you don't know that most unvaccinated in US are black and Hispanic cuz Kamala told them it was likely dangerous. BTW Florida is a heavily vaccinated state - the surge is coming to your state too. Just wait. Next time Fauci should not fund dangerous research in sloppy foreign labs owned by our adversary.
I don't love it. It makes me sad.

I didn't read any of your other nonsensical ramblings, bub.
 

hephusker

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I don't love it. It makes me sad.

I didn't read any of your other nonsensical ramblings, bub.
No - you did read it - and you do laugh and hope people die. All my liberal friends tell me stuff like that ..they want conservatives to die needlessly like Ashley Babbitt.
 

scopeandtime

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No - you did read it - and you do laugh and hope people die. All my liberal friends tell me stuff like that ..they want conservatives to die needlessly like Ashley Babbitt.
Bless your heart, bucko. The only thing I laugh about is you selling all your stocks in January because you thought the markets were going to tank under Biden!
 

EriktheRed

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"A coronavirus outbreak at a Florida government building killed two people and hospitalized several others who were unvaccinated against the virus, a county official said.

The Manatee County Administration Building reopened Monday after the virus that causes covid-19 spread throughout the county's IT department and forced the building to shut down last Friday. Manatee County Administrator Scott Hopes, an epidemiologist, said six unvaccinated employees, including five in the IT department, tested positive for the virus within a two-week period.

Hopes said that the one IT employee, 23, exposed to the virus who was vaccinated did not get infected.

"This particular outbreak demonstrates the effectiveness, I believe, with the vaccine," he said to reporters Monday. "All of the cases were non-vaccinated." He added in a news release, "Individual employees in the IT Department who were known to be fully vaccinated and who were in close proximity of those who were infected did not contract covid-19."

Despite the outbreak, masks will remain optional for staffers returning this week, with unvaccinated workers being "encouraged but not required, to follow covid-19 prevention measures."

At a news conference, Hopes said he suspected the outbreak could have been because of the delta coronavirus variant, which spreads more easily. The Manatee County Health Department is working with epidemiologists in contact tracing and to confirm whether the variant was responsible. Hopes said that the high fatality rate from the IT department's outbreak suggested "we are dealing with a variant unlike what we had last year."

The delta variant has a chance to be the dominant strain in the United States this summer. First found in India, the highly contagious variant, which is accounting for 6% of new infections in the United States, "is more transmissible than the alpha variant," Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Rochelle Walensky said last week. Walensky noted that while she fears a new strain could prove resistant to vaccines, full vaccination protects against the delta variant.

"As worrisome as this delta strain is with regard to its hyper-transmissibility, our vaccines work," she said in a recent interview with ABC's "Good Morning America."

The United States has fully vaccinated 150 million people against coronavirus, the White House said Monday, marking a major milestone even though the country is nowhere near the threshold necessary to snuff out the virus nationwide. Roughly 46% of U.S. residents have completed their vaccination schedule, according to data compiled by The Washington Post.

Florida, which has fully vaccinated 44% of its eligible population, has seen a sharp decline in the number of total doses administered in the past week. Manatee County, located in southwest Florida, has fully vaccinated 43% of its eligible population.

The Manatee Board of County Commissioners repealed covid safety requirements last month and strongly recommended that people visiting the County Administration Building "use their best judgment" to protect themselves from a potential spread of the virus.

Then, covid spread throughout the IT department, killing and hospitalizing staffers. When the second employee died Thursday, the decision was made to shut down the building the next day so it could be disinfected.

"When you have that many cases, and you have a 40 percent fatality rate, you have to worry," Hopes said to Florida Politics. "I would prefer not to have any more employee funerals."

Yet the county announced over the weekend that "face masks will be optional for the public and employees inside the facility."

"Visitors and employees who are fully vaccinated may return to work as usual," Hopes said in a news release. "Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged, but not required, to follow covid-19 prevention measures, including use of N95 or equivalent masks, which will be available at each entrance, and social distancing."

Hopes defended the decision Monday night on CNN, saying the focus was more on getting government employees vaccinated. The county is offering another vaccine clinic for employees at the Manatee County Administration Building on Friday.

"Clearly masks work, but the vaccine is more important at this point," Hopes said.

Christopher Tittel, a spokesman with the Florida Department of Health in Manatee County, agreed that vaccination among government employees was needed to help prevent another outbreak.

"We really need everybody to get on board with this, whether it's vaccination testing, prevention, all of it is so, so, so, so important," Tittel told WTVT. "The vaccinations, they only work if people get vaccinated."

Funerals and celebration-of-life events for Knight and Cox are scheduled for later this week.

Friends and co-workers remembered them both as loving community leaders.

Knight, an IT customer service center supervisor, was involved with Manatee County Women in Government and volunteered at local churches, according to her obituary. She's survived by a large Italian family that includes her husband, six children and one granddaughter. Suzie McGuire, the acting IT director, wrote in an online message for Knight's obituary that her close friend would be missed by many.

"She was a force beyond compare," McGuire wrote. "Our hearts are broken."

Cox, a senior systems analyst with Manatee County, was known in the area as a youth football coach with the Manatee Mustang Sports Academy for 20 years, reported the Bradenton Herald. The organization said on Facebook that Cox "personified dedication and selflessness," and was "a father to the fatherless, a mentor to all, a hero in every aspect of the meaning, and a legend no less." Reggie Bellamy, the organization's commissioner, told the Herald that Cox impacted generations of young athletes.

"He had a lot of individuals that he touched, so it's a very, very tough time," Bellamy said."
You guys seem to be celebrating when people die and then blaming one party. Disgusting!! I highly doubt these were both Trump supporters, but keep up the low life posts.
 

OneBadHuskerFan

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You guys seem to be celebrating when people die and then blaming one party. Disgusting!! I highly doubt these were both Trump supporters, but keep up the low life posts.
But then you turn around and blame one party for "letting in all the immigrants" and blaming the Covid issue on them. Spare me the "Disgusting!" BS. You're doing the same thing.

ANYBODY that is unwilling to help out their fellow countrymen and women by getting the vaccine are huge asshats. Pubs, Dems and everywhere in between. The problem is that CLEARLY loudest subsection of anti-Covid vaxxers ARE Republicans. The vast majority of the misinformation and lies are from the right, but that doesn't mean ONLY the right are idiots. They are everywhere and every race/religion/party.
 

scopeandtime

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You guys seem to be celebrating when people die and then blaming one party. Disgusting!! I highly doubt these were both Trump supporters, but keep up the low life posts.
No one is celebrating (seems to be the common deflection tactic used by Trumpers who know they can't defend their party's actions)...and yes, one party is absolutely anti-vaxx/anti-mask and their policies are killing people...that's a fact, jack!
 

hephusker

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Bless your heart, bucko. The only thing I laugh about is you selling all your stocks in January because you thought the markets were going to tank under Biden!
Look what else I recommended (check posts) in January - Moderna - how did that work out? MRNA if you want to look it up - don't feel sorry for me. It was my biggest holding. I kept my oil stocks as well. BTW stocks have not really gone up much since January and if this 3.5 trillion dollar mess passes - look out below.
 

scopeandtime

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Look what else I recommended (check posts) in January - Moderna - how did that work out? MRNA if you want to look it up - don't feel sorry for me. It was my biggest holding. I kept my oil stocks as well. BTW stocks have not really gone up much since January and if this 3.5 trillion dollar mess passes - look out below.
Lmao, the spin cycle is on high!
 

EriktheRed

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No one is celebrating (seems to be the common deflection tactic used by Trumpers who know they can't defend their party's actions)...and yes, one party is absolutely anti-vaxx/anti-mask and their policies are killing people...that's a fact, jack!
But then you turn around and blame one party for "letting in all the immigrants" and blaming the Covid issue on them. Spare me the "Disgusting!" BS. You're doing the same thing.

ANYBODY that is unwilling to help out their fellow countrymen and women by getting the vaccine are huge asshats. Pubs, Dems and everywhere in between. The problem is that CLEARLY loudest subsection of anti-Covid vaxxers ARE Republicans. The vast majority of the misinformation and lies are from the right, but that doesn't mean ONLY the right are idiots. They are everywhere and every race/religion/party.
Wait is this real OneBad? The Dems are clearly not enforcing border controls. Please. That's ignorant 100%. It's not all Dems, but it is the Dems.

You clowns also think Alphonso Cox was Trumper? You are sick. He is probably not, but stop the death articles where you blame sides. Disgusting.
 
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