Florida officials reported 134,506 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from July 30 to Aug 5. At more than 19,000 infections per day, it’s the state’s highest infection rate since the start of the pandemic.
The latest tally brings the total number of cases up to 2,725,450 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported 17 months ago on March 1, 2020.
The state added 616 deaths since the previous week’s report, bringing the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 39,695. The report indicates that 175 deaths occurred in the past seven days, but 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 380,576 doses of vaccine in the past week, nearly 50,000 more than the week before. Included in the count are 278,375 who received their first dose of the vaccine.
So far 63 percent of Florida residents age 12 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state. About 53 percent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated.
That still leaves 64 percent of Florida’s total population not fully protected, including children 11 and under who are not eligible to receive the vaccine.
Vaccination rates are highest among Florida’s older adults. Eighty-five percent of Floridians over the age of 65 have been vaccinated, and 78 percent of those ages 60 to 64 have been vaccinated, according to state data.
The largest vaccination gains was among teens and young adults for the second week in a row: 41 percent of those 12 to 19 are vaccinated, and 43 percent of those 20 to 29 and 49 percent of those 30 to 39 have received the vaccine.
In Hillsborough County, 58 percent of residents age 12 and up have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 61 percent; in Pasco, 58 percent; in Manatee, 60 percent; in Polk, 55 percent; in Hernando, 52 percent; and in Citrus, 54 percent.
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Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate rose to 18.5 percent in the past week, up from 18.1 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 fifth week in a row in the Tampa Bay area, where the positivity rate was 22.8 percent in Hillsborough, 18 percent in Pinellas, 24.3 percent in Pasco, 18.5 percent in Manatee, 26.3 percent in Polk, 27.2 percent in Hernando, and 23.1 percent in Citrus.
Hospitalizations: Florida had 12,864 confirmed COVID-19 patients in the hospital as of Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s the highest level of hospitalizations since the start of the pandemic.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 12,227 confirmed COVID-19 patients were admitted to Florida hospitals from July 29 to Aug 4. That’s an increase of about 3,300 new hospitalizations compared to the prior seven-day reporting period.
The Tampa Bay area saw 2,569 hospital admissions. Hillsborough county hospitals had 782 admissions, Pinellas had 635 admissions, Pasco had 303 admissions, Manatee had 126 admissions, Polk had 518 admissions, Hernando had 141 admissions, and Citrus had 64 admissions.
Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 26,962 cases in the past week, bringing the area total up to 483,058 cases.
As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 8,853 new cases, Pinellas had 5,125 cases, Pasco had 3,404 cases, Manatee had 1,985 cases, Polk had 5,703 cases, Hernando had 1,346 cases, and Citrus had 816 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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