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Florida adds 10,828 COVID cases, 384 deaths in past week

Kid vaccinations trickle in as cases, hospitalizations and deaths halted their downward trajectory.
Florida's weekly coronavirus numbers.
Florida's weekly coronavirus numbers. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and KINFAY MOROTI | Times ] ]
Published Nov. 20
Updated Nov. 20

Florida reported 10,828 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Nov. 12-18, an average of about 1,500 infections per day. That’s up just 82 cases from last week, but it’s the first weekly uptick since early August.

The latest tally brings the total number of COVID-19 cases up to 3,677,968 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported more than 20 months ago on March 1, 2020.

The state added 384 deaths since the previous report, slightly more than last week’s report. This brings the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 61,081.

Most of these occurred more than a week ago, and were recorded by the state in the past seven days. It can take officials two weeks or more to confirm COVID-related deaths. The report indicates that 37 deaths occurred between Nov 12-18, though that number likely will rise as more are confirmed.

Related: COVID boosters: U.S. advisers support expanding them to all adults

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 161,050 doses in the past week. About 109,000 doses went to first-time recipients. Nearly 6.6 million Floridians ages 5 and up remain unvaccinated.

This report has data from the second full week that children ages 5-11 were eligible for Pfizer’s pediatric-sized dose. Nearly 43,000 children received their first shots last week. In total, about 6 percent of children 5-11 had their first shot.

Related: A COVID shot for your little one? How these Tampa Bay parents decided

As of Thursday, 68 percent of Florida residents ages 5 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state. Nearly 11 percent of residents have had a booster shot in the week that U.S. health officials opened up eligibility to all residents over 18.

Still, 35 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. About 88 percent of those age 65 and over have been vaccinated, and 86 percent of those age 60-64 are vaccinated.

Related: Florida woman who sued for ivermectin dies from COVID

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 57 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 233,474 booster doses. As of Friday, booster shots are available to all residents over 18 who received either their first dose of the J&J vaccine or the second dose of their Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago.

Related: How will Ron DeSantis’ surgeon general craft COVID-19 mask rules?

POSITIVITY: Florida’s positivity rate held at 2.5 percent in the past week. Positivity rates were highest among ages 5-11 , with 3.5 percent of tests coming back positive.

Just over 430,000 residents were tested Nov. 12-18. 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 4.9 percent in Hillsborough, 2.1 percent in Pinellas, 2.7 percent in Pasco, 2.4 percent in Manatee, 3.1 percent in Polk, 2.2 percent in Hernando and 2.8 percent in Citrus.

HOSPITALIZATIONS: Florida had 1,093 confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals as of Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Tampa Bay area saw 478 hospital admissions from Nov. 9-14, the latest data available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hillsborough County hospitals had 168 admissions, Pinellas had 150, Pasco, 45, Manatee, 14, Polk, 85, Hernando, 14 and Citrus, 6.

Related: Florida Legislature sends COVID-19 vaccine bills to Gov. DeSantis. Now what?

LOCAL NUMBERS: Tampa Bay added 2,352 cases in the past week, bringing the area total up to 703,651 cases.

As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 1,156 new cases, Pinellas had 353, Pasco, 216, Manatee, 162, Polk, 360, Hernando, 51 and Citrus, 54.

The CDC reported that the Tampa Bay area counted 97 deaths from Nov. 8-14: Hillsborough saw 55, Pinellas, 17, Pasco, 6, Manatee, 0, Polk, 15, Hernando, 2 and Citrus 2.

• • •

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.

TTY: 888-720-7489

Disability Information and Access Line: Call 888-677-1199 or email DIAL@n4a.org.

• • •

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

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