Florida added more than 12,000 coronavirus cases and 105 virus-related deaths Tuesday, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Testing across the state has been down over the last week due to Christmas holiday closures, which has affected state data. On Tuesday, health officials recorded another 12,075 infections, bringing the number of cases detected since March to 1,292,252. The overall death toll has reached 21,718 people in Florida.
The weekly death average dipped slightly to about 106 people announced dead per day Tuesday.
The single-day positivity rate skyrocketed to 22.75 percent, which the Florida Department of Health said “should be interpreted with caution” due to holiday closures at doctor’s offices and testing sites. About 62,000 tests were processed Monday, about half of what testing was in the week prior. Health officials also said daily coronavirus reports may be affected through Jan. 4.
Vaccinations: As of Tuesday, 146,160 people in Florida have been vaccinated against the coronavirus, which is 23,279 more people than the day prior.
In Tampa Bay, 10,769 people were vaccinated in Hillsborough; 10,834 in Pinellas; 2,609 in Polk; 1,991 in Manatee; 3,009 in Pasco; 845 in Hernando; and 430 in Citrus.
Miami-Dade and Broward counties lead the state with the most vaccinations. All vaccinations recorded are the first dose of two to be “fully immunized” against the virus. Orange County has the third most people vaccinated, then Pinellas and Hillsborough.
Women continue to outpace men in receiving the vaccination.
Hospitalizations: About 6,150 people are hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 across Florida, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. About 1,270 are in the Tampa Bay area.
Statewide, about 25 percent of hospital beds and 21 percent of intensive care unit beds were available. In Tampa Bay, about 22 percent of hospital beds and 20 percent of ICU beds were available.
Positivity: Florida’s average weekly positivity rate is about 10 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University. It is one of 46 states that doesn’t meet the World Health Organization recommendation for a 5 percent rate or below.
When positivity is too high, it indicates there isn’t enough widespread testing to capture mild and asymptomatic cases, which then go undetected and case further spread of disease.
Florida’s testing took a dip over the Christmas holiday as many state-run and county-run testing facilities closed.
Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 1,885 coronavirus cases and 40 deaths Tuesday.
Both Hernando and Polk counties recorded 13 deaths each. Pasco had six deaths, Pinellas had five and Manatee had three. Hillsborough County reported no new deaths Tuesday.
Polk leads the area with an average weekly positivity rate of 15 percent, which jumped as testing decreased over the Christmas holiday. It is followed by Citrus, Hernando and Hillsborough counties at 13 percent, Pasco at 12 percent and Manatee and Pinellas at 9 percent.
As of the latest count, Hillsborough has 75,547 cases and 1,071 deaths; Pinellas has 43,869 cases and 1,047 deaths; Polk has 36,253 cases and 784 deaths; Manatee has 21,711 cases and 420 deaths; Pasco has 21,370 cases and 369 deaths; Hernando has 7,139 cases and 278 deaths; and Citrus has 6,508 cases and 262 deaths.
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Doctors say older people are at a greater risk to developing severe symptoms from COVID-19, which makes Florida especially vulnerable.
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