Florida officials reported 110,477 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from July 23 to July 29. It’s the first time since early January that the state has surpassed 100,000 infections in a single week.
Cases continue to climb at an explosive rate, increasing by over 50 percent since the last seven-day reporting period and more than double the number of infections reported two weeks ago.
The latest tally brings the total number of cases up to 2,590,699 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported on March 1, 2020, nearly 17 months ago.
The state added 409 deaths since the previous week’s report, bringing the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 39,079. It can take officials up to two weeks to confirm and report a coronavirus-related death.
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 state 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.
Vaccinations: Florida administered 334,064 doses of vaccine in the past week, nearly 100,000 more than the week before. The increase was driven by 235,368 first-time vaccinations administered, nearly as many as the previous two weeks combined.
So far 61 percent of Florida residents age 12 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state. About 52 percent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated.
Vaccination rates are highest among Florida’s older adults. Eighty-five percent of Floridians over the age of 65 have been vaccinated, and 76 percent of those ages 60 to 64 have been vaccinated, according to state data.
The largest vaccination gains in the past week was among teens and young adults: 38 percent of those 12 to 19 are vaccinated, while 41 percent of those 20 to 29 and 49 percent of those 30 to 39 have received the vaccine.
In Hillsborough County, 57 percent of residents age 12 and up have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 59 percent; in Pasco, 57 percent; in Manatee, 59 percent; in Polk, 53 percent; in Hernando, 50 percent; and in Citrus, 52 percent.
Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate rose to 18.1 percent in the past week, up from 15.1 percent the week before.
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 increased for the fourth week in a row in the Tampa Bay area, where the positivity rate was 20.5 percent in Hillsborough, 16.7 percent in Pinellas, 22.5 percent in Pasco, 17.5 percent in Manatee, 22.3 percent in Polk, 25.5 percent in Hernando, and 21.1 percent in Citrus.
Hospitalizations: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 8,855 confirmed COVID-19 patients were admitted to Florida hospitals from July 23 to July 29. That’s an increase of over 1,500 new hospitalizations compared to the prior seven-day reporting period.
The Tampa Bay area saw 1,413 hospital admissions from July 19 to July 25, the latest county-level data available. Hillsborough county hospitals had 467 admissions, Pinellas had 338 admissions, Pasco had 155 admissions, Manatee had 54 admissions, Polk had 295 admissions, Hernando had 65 admissions, and Citrus had 39 admissions.
Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 21,627 cases in the past week, more than 55 percent higher than weekly cases from the previous week and triple the number of cases from two weeks ago. This brings the total number of cases in the Tampa Bay area to 456,041.
As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 7,124 new cases, Pinellas had 4,164 cases, Pasco had 2,883 cases, Manatee had 1,552 cases, Polk had 4,100 cases, Hernando had 1,147 cases, and Citrus had 657 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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