Florida added nearly 14,000 coronavirus cases Wednesday as vaccines slowly roll out across the state.
The Florida Department of Health announced 13,871 infections, bringing the total number detected since March to 1,306,123. The state also recorded 139 deaths from the virus. Across Florida, 21,857 people have died. The weekly death average increased Wednesday to about 115 people announced dead per day.
The number of tests processed Tuesday jumped after a four-day slump because of the holiday weekend, with more than 180,000 tests processed. The day’s positivity rate was 8.72 percent
Vaccinations: As of Wednesday, 175,465 people across Florida have been vaccinated against coronavirus. The number of people vaccinated increased by 29,305 from Tuesday.
In Hillsborough, 12,395 people have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 12,314; in Polk, 2,980; in Manatee, 2,696; in Pasco, 3,677; in Hernando, 1,088; and in Citrus, 634.
Miami-Dade and Broward counties lead the state with the most vaccinations, followed by Orange and then Hillsborough.
Hospitalizations: About 6,260 people across Florida are hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. About 1,280 are in the Tampa Bay area.
Cases that led to a hospitalization increased by 376 admissions Wednesday.
Statewide about 22 percent of hospital beds and 19 percent of intensive care unit beds were available. In Tampa Bay, about 20 percent of hospital beds and 18 percent of ICU beds were open. Pasco County had few ICU beds left, with only about seven percent of its normal capacity available.
Positivity: Florida’s average weekly positivity rate is about 11 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University. It spiked earlier this week as testing dropped significantly because of holiday closures. When the positivity rate is too high, it indicates there hasn’t been enough testing to capture mild and asymptomatic cases.
The World Health Organization recommends a 5 percent positivity rate or below before loosening social distancing restrictions. Florida is one of 46 states that does not meet that guideline.
Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 2,212 coronavirus cases and 30 deaths Wednesday.
Pasco County added nine deaths, Manatee added seven, Pinellas added five, Hillsborough and Polk added four each and Citrus added one. Hernando County did not report any additional deaths Wednesday.
Polk County leads the area with an average weekly positivity rate of 15 percent, followed by Citrus, Hernando and Hillsborough at 13 percent, Pasco at 12 percent and Manatee and Pinellas at nine percent. Positivity rates increased Tuesday because of the low numbers tested over the Christmas holiday.
As of the latest count, Hillsborough has 76,221 cases and 1,075 deaths; Pinellas has 44,243 cases and 1,052 deaths; Polk has 36,766 cases and 788 deaths; Manatee has 21,980 cases and 427 deaths; Pasco has 21,602 cases and 378 deaths; Hernando has 7,230 cases and 277 deaths; and Citrus has 6,567 cases and 263 deaths.
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Florida coronavirus cases by age group
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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