Florida reported 10,746 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Nov. 5-11, an average of about 1,500 infections per day — the lowest weekly infection rate since early June.
The latest tally brings the total number of COVID-19 cases up to 3,668,077 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported more than 20 months ago on March 1, 2020.
The state added 363 deaths since the previous report, just over half the number added in the prior week’s report. This brings the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 60,697.
Most of these occurred more than a week ago, as it can take officials two weeks or more to confirm COVID-related deaths. The report indicates that 33 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 165,266 doses in the past week. About 109,00 doses went to first-time recipients. Nearly 6.9 million Floridians age 5 and up remain unvaccinated.
This report has data from the first full week that children age 5 to 11 were eligible for Pfizer’s pediatric-sized dose. Just less than 45,000 children received their first shots, making up just 3 percent of the 1.7 million children in that age group in Florida.
As of Thursday, 67 percent of Florida residents ages 5 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state. Less than 54 percent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated. The share of eligible residents who have been vaccinated fell because the pool of Floridians who can get vaccinated grew by 1.7 million kids.
Still, 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. Those are the next age groups that may obtain approval in the coming weeks.
Vaccination rates are highest among Florida’s older adults. The state revised down the vaccination rate among those 65 and older from 90 percent last week to 88 percent this week. The vaccination rate for ages 60 to 64 stayed constant at 85 percent.
Children and young adults remain the least-vaccinated age groups. In Florida, ages 12 to 19 are 56 percent vaccinated, ages 20 to 29 are 56 percent vaccinated and ages 30 to 39 are 66 percent vaccinated.
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In Hillsborough County, 62 percent of eligible residents 5 and up have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 64 percent; in Pasco, 62 percent; in Manatee, 64 percent; in Polk, 60 percent; in Hernando, 56 percent; and in Citrus, 57 percent.
BOOSTER SHOTS: Florida administered 233,683 booster doses, up 13 percent from the week before. 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, nearly 2 million Florida residents have received a booster dose.
POSITIVITY: Florida’s positivity rate fell to 2.5 percent in the past week, down from 2.6 percent the prior week. Positivity rates were highest among ages 5-11 , with 3.8 percent of tests coming back positive.
Fewer than 430,000 residents were tested between Nov. 5 to 11. 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 percent in Pinellas, 2.6 percent in Pasco, 2.5 percent in Manatee, 3.2 percent in Polk, 2.1 percent in Hernando and 2.6 percent in Citrus.
HOSPITALIZATIONS: Florida had 1,175 confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospital as of Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, down 17 percent from last week.
The Tampa Bay area saw 519 hospital admissions from Nov. 3 to 9, the latest data available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hillsborough County hospitals had 177 admissions, Pinellas had 165, Pasco, 46, Manatee, 18, Polk, 88, Hernando, 14 and Citrus, 11.
LOCAL NUMBERS: Tampa Bay added 2,056 cases in the past week, bringing the area total up to 701,356 cases.
As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 868 new cases, Pinellas had 333, Pasco, 200, Manatee, 173, Polk, 382, Hernando, 48 and Citrus, 52.
The CDC reported that the Tampa Bay area counted 176 deaths from Nov. 3 to 9: Hillsborough saw 35, Pinellas, 15, Pasco, 15, Manatee, 96, Polk, 10, Hernando, 0 and Citrus 5.
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How to get vaccinated
The COVID-19 vaccine for ages 5 and up and booster shots for eligible recipients 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.
BOOSTER SHOTS: Confused about which COVID booster to get? This guide will help.
PROTECTING SENIORS: Here’s how seniors can stay safe from the virus.
COVID AND THE FLU: Get a flu shot and the COVID vaccine to avoid a ‘twindemic.’
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