Florida reported 10,892 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, an average of about 1,560 infections per day. That’s up 1,229 cases from last week, when weekly cases hit their lowest point since June 2020.
The latest tally brings the total number of COVID-19 cases up to 3,686,860 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported 21 months ago on March 1, 2020.
The state added 153 deaths since the previous report. This brings the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 61,701.
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 35 deaths occurred between Nov. 26 and Dec. 2, though that number likely will rise as more are confirmed.
This report comes as the first cases of the new omicron variant were reported in at least nine U.S. states, including California, Hawaii and New York. As of Friday, no cases of the omicron variant have been reported in Florida.
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 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 189,637 doses in the past week, the highest vaccination rate in over two months. About 101,000 doses went to first-time recipients. Nearly 6.4 million Floridians ages 5 and up remain unvaccinated.
This report has data from the fourth full week that children ages 5-11 were eligible for Pfizer’s pediatric-sized dose. However, child vaccination rates have fallen to just 20,314 in the past week, less than half the rate from two weeks ago. In total, 9 percent of children age 5-11 have had their first vaccine shot.
As of Thursday, 69 percent of Florida residents ages 5 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state.
Still, 34 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 89 percent of those age 65 and over have been vaccinated, and 87 percent of those ages 60-64 are vaccinated.
Children and young adults remain the least-vaccinated age groups. In Florida, ages 12 to 19 are 57 percent vaccinated, ages 20 to 29 are 58 percent vaccinated and ages 30 to 39 are 67 percent vaccinated.
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In Hillsborough County, 64 percent of eligible residents 5 and up have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 65 percent; in Pasco, 63 percent; in Manatee, 66 percent; in Polk, 62 percent; in Hernando, 58 percent; and in Citrus, 58 percent.
BOOSTER SHOTS: Florida administered 308,217 booster doses. Booster shots are available to all residents over 18 who received either their first dose of the J&J vaccine two months ago or their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago.
POSITIVITY: Florida’s positivity rate held at 2.5 percent in the past week. Positivity rates were highest among ages 5-11 , with 3.4 percent of tests coming back positive.
Nearly 436,000 residents were tested from Nov. 26 to Dec. 2. That’s down 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 3.2 percent in Hillsborough, 2.4 percent in Pinellas, 2.7 percent in Pasco, 2.3 percent in Manatee, 2.7 percent in Polk, 2.5 percent in Hernando and 3.3 percent in Citrus.
HOSPITALIZATIONS: Florida had 987 confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals as of Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
The Tampa Bay area saw 408 hospital admissions from Nov. 26 to Dec. 2, the latest data available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hillsborough County hospitals had 159 admissions, Pinellas had 109, Pasco, 44, Manatee, 7, Polk, 63, Hernando, 12, and Citrus, 14.
LOCAL NUMBERS: Tampa Bay added 2,043 cases in the past week, bringing the area total up to 707,549 cases.
As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 736 new cases, Pinellas had 420, Pasco, 239, Manatee, 168, Polk, 339, Hernando, 65, and Citrus, 76.
The CDC reported that the Tampa Bay area counted 95 deaths from from Nov. 26 to Dec. 2: Hillsborough saw 27, Pinellas, 24, Pasco,15, Manatee, 9, Polk, 11, Hernando, 0, and Citrus, 9.
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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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