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Florida adds 19,519 COVID cases, 1,192 deaths in past week

COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue to fall. But more than 5 million Floridians remain unvaccinated.
Florida's weekly coronavirus numbers.
Florida's weekly coronavirus numbers. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and KINFAY MOROTI | Times ] ]
Published Oct. 15, 2021|Updated Oct. 15, 2021

Florida reports 19,519 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Oct. 8-14, an average of about 2,800 infections per day. The data released Friday shows a 24 percent drop in cases from the week before and the lowest weekly infection rate since late June.

The latest tally brings the total number of cases up to 3,620,562 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported 19 months ago on March 1, 2020.

Related: 2022 Medicare Guide: How Florida seniors can stay safe from COVID

The state added 1,192 deaths since the previous week’s report. This brings the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 57,859. The report indicates that 123 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 it 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 per week. Although weekly reports can be more reliable than daily updates, experts warn that infrequent data updates may delay the identification of emerging trends.

Related: Tampa Bay companies ‘under review’ for allegedly violating Florida vaccine passport law

Vaccinations: Florida administered 138,106 vaccine doses in the past week. Fewer than 56,000 doses went to first-time recipients. More than 5 million eligible Floridians remain unvaccinated.

As of Thursday, 72 percent of Florida residents age 12 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state. About 63 percent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated.

But 38 percent of Florida’s total population is unvaccinated, including children 11 and under who are not eligible to receive the vaccine.

Related: Hillsborough County lost 44,000 work hours to COVID-19 this year

Vaccination rates are highest among Florida’s older adults. It is 89 percent for Floridians 65 and older and 84 percent of those ages 60-64, according to state data.

Children and young adults remain the least-vaccinated age groups. Ages 12-19 are 55 percent vaccinated, ages 20-29 are 54 percent vaccinated, and ages 30-39 are 63 percent vaccinated.

In Hillsborough County, 67 percent of residents 12 and up have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 67 percent; in Pasco, 66 percent; in Manatee, 68 percent; in Polk, 65 percent; in Hernando, 60 percent; and in Citrus, 60 percent.

Booster shots: Florida administered 105,114 booster doses, administered to at-risk residents who received their second Pfizer dose at least six months ago. So far nearly 750,000 Florida residents have received a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.

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Related: FDA panel endorses lower-dose Moderna COVID shot for booster

Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate fell to 3.8 percent in the past week, down from 4.8 percent the prior week. Positivity rates were highest among ages 11 and under, with 5.3 percent of tests coming back positive.

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 fell around the Tampa Bay area, where the positivity rate was 5.3 percent in Hillsborough, 3.7 percent in Pinellas, 4.3 percent in Pasco, 4.3 percent in Manatee, 4.4 percent in Polk, 5.6 percent in Hernando and 4.2 percent in Citrus.

Related: Cities, police unions clash as vaccine mandates take effect

Hospitalizations: Florida had 2,938 confirmed COVID-19 patients in the hospital as of Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, down 24 percent from last week.

The Tampa Bay area saw 1,276 hospital admissions from Oct. 1-7, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hillsborough County hospitals had 376 admissions, Pinellas had 267 admissions, Pasco had 107 admissions, Manatee had 50 admissions, Polk had 193 admissions, Hernando had 50 admissions and Citrus had 31 admissions.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 4,076 cases in the past week, bringing the area total up to 691,753 cases.

As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 1,569 new cases, Pinellas had 790 cases, Pasco had 435 cases, Manatee had 332 cases, Polk had 672 cases, Hernando had 180 cases and Citrus had 98 cases.

The CDC reported that the Tampa Bay area had 359 deaths from Oct. 1-7: Hillsborough saw 96 deaths; Pinellas had 58 deaths; Pasco had 60 deaths; Manatee saw 15 deaths; Polk had 63 deaths; Hernando had 42 deaths; and Citrus saw 25 deaths.

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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

DELTA VARIANT: The contagious variant has changed what we know about staying safe from COVID-19. Here's what you need to know.

KIDS AND COVID: Kids are back in school, but COVID-19 is still a problem. Here’s what parents and kids need to know.

SENIORS AND COVID: Here’s how seniors can stay safe from the virus.

IT’S FLU SEASON: Get a flu shot and the COVID vaccine to avoid a ‘twindemic’

VACCINES Q&A: Have coronavirus vaccine questions? We have answers, Florida.

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A TRIBUTE TO FLORIDIANS TAKEN BY THE CORONAVIRUS: They were parents and retirees, police officer and doctors, imperfect but loved deeply.

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