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Florida adds 45,604 coronavirus cases, 231 deaths in the past week

New infections double across the state as vaccinations languish.
Florida's weekly coronavirus numbers.
Florida's weekly coronavirus numbers. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and KINFAY MOROTI | Times ] ]
Published Jul. 17

Florida officials reported 45,604 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from July 9 to July 15. That is nearly double the number of weekly cases from the last reporting period and more than four times the number of weekly cases seen last month.

That brings the total number of cases up to 2,406,809 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported on March 1, 2020, more than 16 months ago.

The state added 231 deaths since the previous week’s report, bringing the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 38,388. It can take officials up to two weeks to confirm and report a coronavirus-related death.

Related: Florida leads nation in coronavirus infections in 2020-like surge

The Florida Department of Health announced last month that it would no longer release daily COVID-19 data. Instead, it is now releasing a weekly report every Friday, but withholds information that was publicly available before.

As of June 4, the state no longer reports non-resident vaccinations, coronavirus cases and fatalities. The Florida Department of Health has declined repeated requests to provide non-resident data to the Tampa Bay Times.

“Florida is transitioning into the next phase of the COVID-19 response, and has shifted reporting to parallel this,” the agency said in a June 18 email to the Times. “Among reportable diseases monitored by the department, such as HIV and Hepatitis, it is not typical to calculate cases for non-Florida residents.”

Florida is the only state that updates its coronavirus caseloads and data once a week. Although weekly reports can be more reliable than daily updates, experts warn that infrequent data updates may delay identifying emerging trends.

Related: Q&A: Why are a small number of vaccinated people catching COVID-19?

Vaccinations: Florida administered 224,326 doses of vaccine in the past week. The number of first doses administered dropped to 110,525, the sixth consecutive week that first-dose vaccines have fallen.

So far 59 percent of Florida residents age 12 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state. That’s the same percentage the state reported last week. Just over 51 percent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated.

Vaccination rates are highest among Florida’s older adults. More than 84 percent of Floridians over the age of 65 have been vaccinated, and 74 percent of those ages 60 to 64 have been vaccinated, according to state data. Meanwhile, vaccination rates for those under 40 remain low. Only 33 percent of those 12 to 19 are vaccinated, while 38 percent of those 20 to 29 and 46 percent of those 30 to 39 have received the vaccine.

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In Hillsborough County, 54 percent of residents age 12 and up have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 58 percent; in Pasco, 55 percent; in Manatee, 57 percent; in Polk, 50 percent; in Hernando, 49 percent; and in Citrus, 51 percent.

Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate rose to 11.5 percent in the past week, up from 7.8 percent the week before, and double the rate from two weeks earlier.

Before reopening, states should maintain a positivity rate of 5 percent or less for at least two weeks, according to the World Health Organization. A positivity rate of 5 percent or less indicates testing is widespread enough to capture mild, asymptomatic and negative cases.

Positivity rates were up for the second week in a row in the Tampa Bay area, where the positivity rate was 13.7 percent in Hillsborough, 9.2 percent in Pinellas, 13.2 percent in Pasco, 12.6 percent in Manatee, 13.3 percent in Polk, 12 percent in Hernando, and 11.2 percent in Citrus.

Hospitalizations: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 3,652 confirmed COVID-19 patients were admitted to Florida hospitals from July 7 to July 14. That’s an increase of over 1,200 new hospitalizations compared the week before.

The Tampa Bay area saw 723 hospital admissions from July 7 to July 14. Hillsborough county hospitals had 257 admissions, Pinellas had 160 admissions, Pasco had 64 admissions, Manatee had 22 admissions, Polk had 169 admissions, Hernando had 30 admissions, and Citrus had 21 admissions.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 7,701 cases in the past week, more than doubling the weekly cases from the previous week. This brings the total number of cases in the Tampa Bay area to 420,426.

As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 2,918 new cases, Pinellas had 1,365 cases, Pasco had 885 cases, Manatee had 657 cases, Polk had 1,424 cases, Hernando had 294 cases, and Citrus had 158 cases.

The state no longer reports deaths by county. According to CDC data, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk, Manatee, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties each recorded fewer than 10 confirmed COVID-19 related deaths in the past week. The federal agency does not report exact deaths by county when the count is under 10.

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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

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