Florida reported 11,069 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Oct. 29 to Nov. 4, an average of about 1,580 infections per day. The data released Friday shows a 14 percent drop in cases from the week before and the lowest weekly infection rate since June.
The latest tally brings the total number of cases up to 3,657,775 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported more than 20 months ago on March 1, 2020.
The state added 664 deaths since the previous report. This brings the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 60,334. Most of these occurred more than a week ago, as it can take officials two weeks or more to confirm COVID-19-related deaths. The report indicates that 39 deaths occurred between Oct. 29 to Nov. 4, though that number likely will rise as more are confirmed.
The Florida Department of Health announced in June that it would no longer release daily COVID-19 data. Instead, it now releases one report every Friday — but it continues to withhold information that previously was publicly available.
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 just 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.
VACCINATIONS: Florida administered 100,268 doses in the past week. About 49,000 doses went to first-time recipients. More than 5 million Floridians age 12 and up remain unvaccinated.
More than 1.7 million additional residents became eligible for a reduced dose of the Pfizer vaccine after U.S. health officials approved the vaccine for kids ages 5 to 11 Tuesday.
As of Thursday, 73 percent of Florida residents ages 12 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state. More than 64 percent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated.
But 36 percent of Florida’s total population remains unvaccinated, including children 4 years old and under who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine but may be in the coming weeks.
Vaccination rates are highest among Florida’s older adults: 90 percent for Floridians 65 and older and 85 percent for those ages 60-64, according to state data.
Children and young adults remain the least vaccinated age groups. Ages 12-19 are 56 percent vaccinated, ages 20-29 are 55 percent vaccinated, and ages 30-39 are 65 percent vaccinated.
In Hillsborough County, 68 percent of residents 12 and up have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 68 percent; in Pasco, 67 percent; in Manatee, 69 percent; in Polk, 66 percent; in Hernando, 61 percent; and in Citrus, 61 percent.
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BOOSTER SHOTS: Florida administered 207,361 booster doses, doubling the number administered the previous week. Booster shots are available to at-risk residents who received their second Pfizer or Moderna dose or the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine at least six months ago. So far, 1,359,985 Florida residents have received a booster dose.
POSITIVITY: Florida’s positivity rate fell to 2.6 percent in the past week, down from 3.0 percent the prior week. Positivity rates were highest among ages 11 and under, with 3.7 percent of tests coming back positive.
Fewer than 425,000 residents were tested between Oct. 29 to Nov. 4. That’s down more than 50 percent from a peak of 872,000 tests the week of Aug. 20-26.
According to the World Health Organization, states should maintain a positivity rate of 5 percent or less for at least two weeks before fully reopening. A positivity rate of 5 percent or less indicates testing is widespread enough to capture mild, asymptomatic and negative cases.
Positivity rates around the Tampa Bay area were 3.5 percent in Hillsborough, 2.2 percent in Pinellas, 2.8 percent in Pasco, 2.3 percent in Manatee, 2.8 percent in Polk, 3.1 percent in Hernando and 3.8 percent in Citrus.
HOSPITALIZATIONS: Florida had 1,417 confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospital as of Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, down 23 percent from last week.
The Tampa Bay area saw 593 hospital admissions from Oct. 25-31, the latest data available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hillsborough County hospitals had 208 admissions, Pinellas had 201, Pasco, 56, Manatee, 15, Polk, 87, Hernando, 15 and Citrus, 11.
LOCAL NUMBERS: Tampa Bay added 2,091 cases in the past week, bringing the area total up to 699,226 cases.
As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 864 new cases, Pinellas had 361, Pasco, 229, Manatee, 155, Polk, 332, Hernando, 73 and Citrus, 77.
The CDC reported that the Tampa Bay area had 299 deaths from Oct. 25-31: Hillsborough counted 49, Pinellas, 20, Pasco, 16, Manatee, 161, Polk, 22, Hernando, 18 and Citrus 13.
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How to get vaccinated
The COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 and up are being administered at doctors’ offices, clinics, pharmacies, grocery stores and public vaccination sites. Many allow appointments to be booked online. Here’s how to find a site near you:
Find a site: Visit vaccines.gov to find vaccination sites in your zip code.
More help: Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Assistance Hotline.
Phone: 800-232-0233. Help is available in English, Spanish and other languages.
Disability Information and Access Line: Call 888-677-1199 or email DIAL@n4a.org.
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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
KIDS AND VACCINES: Got questions about vaccinating your kid? Here are some answers.
PROTECTING SENIORS: Here’s how seniors can stay safe from the virus.
THE FLU AND COVID: Get a flu shot and the COVID vaccine to avoid a ‘twindemic.’
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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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