Florida officials reported 150,118 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Aug. 13-19, an average of more than 21,400 infections per day. This marks the first time the state’s weekly report has recoded a reduction in cases since June 18, more than two months ago.
The latest tally brings the total number of cases up to 3,027,954 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported nearly 18 months ago on March 1, 2020.
The state added 1,486 deaths since the previous week’s report, a 141 percent increase from two weeks ago. This brings the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 42,252. The report indicates that 346 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.
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 443,953 vaccine doses in the past week, including 216,136 who received their first dose of the vaccine.
So far 66 percent of Florida residents age 12 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state. About 55 percent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated.
That still leaves 52 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 80 percent of those ages 60 to 64 have been vaccinated, according to state data.
In the second week back at school for many young Floridians, the largest vaccination gains were among teens and young adults for the third week in a row: 47 percent of those 12 to 19 are vaccinated.
Forty-seven percent of those 20 to 29 and 55 percent of those 30 to 39 received the vaccine.
In Hillsborough County, 61 percent of residents age 12 and up have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 63 percent; in Pasco, 61 percent; in Manatee, 63 percent; in Polk, 58 percent; in Hernando, 55 percent; and in Citrus, 56 percent.
Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate rose to 19.8 percent in the past week, up from 19.1 percent the week before. It’s the seventh straight weekly increase in state-wide positivity. Positivity rates were highest among 12 to 19-year-olds, with nearly one in four tests coming back positive.
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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 remained high in the Tampa Bay area, where the positivity rate was 22.2 percent in Hillsborough, 20.6 percent in Pinellas, 26.4 percent in Pasco, 19.4 percent in Manatee, 28.9 percent in Polk, 28.6 percent in Hernando, and 25 percent in Citrus.
Hospitalizations: Florida had 16,849 confirmed COVID-19 patients in the hospital as of Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. It’s just shy of the record 17,040 hospitalizations reported earlier in the week. DHHS reported that 15,594 confirmed COVID-19 patients were admitted to Florida hospitals from Aug 12 to Aug 19.
The Tampa Bay area saw 3,299 hospital admissions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hillsborough county hospitals had 1,066 admissions, Pinellas had 793 admissions, Pasco had 383 admissions, Manatee had 176 admissions, Polk had 574 admissions, Hernando had 202 admissions, and Citrus had 105 admissions.
Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 34,730 cases in the past week, bringing the area total up to 550,739 cases.
As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 11,161 new cases, Pinellas had 6,271 cases, Pasco had 4,223 cases, Manatee had 3,445 cases, Polk had 6,983 cases, Hernando had 1,746 cases, and Citrus had 901 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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VACCINES: The best way to stay safe from COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. Here’s a primer on the coronavirus vaccines.
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