Florida officials reported 151,415 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Aug. 6-12, an average of more than 21,600 infections per day. This marks the third consecutive week that the state has set a new record for weekly infections.
The latest tally brings the total number of cases up to 2,877,214 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported 17 months ago on March 1, 2020.
The state added 1,071 deaths since the previous week’s report, up 74 percent from the week before. This brings the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 40,766. The report indicates that 286 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 in June 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.
This past week, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the state may reconsider returning to daily reports.
“In terms of breaking it down by county, you know, that might not be a bad idea going forward,” he said. “I know we used to look at that a lot.”
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 384,328 vaccine doses in the past week, including 261,396 who received their first dose of the vaccine.
So far 65 percent of Florida residents age 12 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state. About 54 percent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated.
That still leaves 53 percent of Florida’s total population without full protection, including children 11 and under who are not eligible to receive the vaccine.
Vaccination rates are highest among Florida’s older adults. Eighty-six percent of Floridians over the age of 65 have been vaccinated, and 79 percent of those ages 60 to 64 have been vaccinated, according to state data.
The largest vaccination gains were among teens and young adults for the second week in a row: 44 percent of those 12 to 19 are vaccinated. School started in Tampa Bay and in across Florida this week. In other age groups, 45 percent of those 20 to 29 and 54 percent of those 30 to 39 received the vaccine.
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In Hillsborough County, 60 percent of residents age 12 and up have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 62 percent; in Pasco, 60 percent; in Manatee, 62 percent; in Polk, 56 percent; in Hernando, 54 percent; and in Citrus, 55 percent.
Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate rose to 19.1 percent in the past week, up from 18.5 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 sixth week in a row in the Tampa Bay area, where the positivity rate was 23.1 percent in Hillsborough, 19.2 percent in Pinellas, 25.6 percent in Pasco, 20.5 percent in Manatee, 27.2 percent in Polk, 28.6 percent in Hernando, and 27.2 percent in Citrus.
Hospitalizations: Florida had 15,441 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 Tampa Bay area saw 3,203 hospital admissions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hillsborough county hospitals had 1,012 admissions, Pinellas had 791 admissions, Pasco had 391 admissions, Manatee had 157 admissions, Polk had 585 admissions, Hernando had 184 admissions, and Citrus had 83 admissions.
Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 32,842 cases in the past week, bringing the area total up to 515,964 cases.
As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 10,920 new cases, Pinellas had 6,434 cases, Pasco had 3,871 cases, Manatee had 2,639 cases, Polk had 6,521 cases, Hernando had 1,501 cases, and Citrus had 956 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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