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Florida adds 430,297 COVID cases, 470 deaths in past week

The state breaks infection records for the third week in a row as hospitalizations and deaths mount.
Florida's weekly coronavirus numbers.
Florida's weekly coronavirus numbers. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and KINFAY MOROTI | Times ] ]
Published Jan. 15

Florida reported 430,297 new coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Jan. 7-13, an average of about 61,471 infections per day. That’s over 2 percent of Florida’s total population infected in the past week.

It’s the third week in a row the state has shattered previous infection records. The seven-day average of omicron variant infections is more than double the 25,000 daily average the delta wave hit this past summer. Florida’s first omicron case was detected on Dec. 6, when daily cases were less than 2,000 infections per day on average.

The latest tally brings the total number of the state’s COVID-19 cases up to 4,992,265 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported 22 months ago on March 1, 2020.

Related: Contagious omicron variant is straining Florida hospitals

The state added 470 deaths since the previous report. That’s 150 percent higher than the week before and brings the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 63,158.

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-19 related deaths, and the holidays may delay reporting.

The Florida Department of Health announced in June that it no longer would release daily COVID-19 data. Instead, it now releases one report every Friday — but it continues to withhold other 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 repeatedly declined requests to provide non-resident data to the Tampa Bay Times.

Despite repeated requests from the Times, the state does not report the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status.

Related: Florida won’t enforce federal health care worker vaccine mandate

VACCINATIONS: Florida administered 172,766 doses of vaccine in the past week, up from 125,196 doses the week before. That includes 86,383 first-time vaccinations. Over 5.7 million Floridians ages 5 and up who are eligible remain unvaccinated.

Vaccinations for children ages 5-11 numbered 21,382 in the past week, up from 18,465 the week before. In all, 18 percent of children in the 5-11 age group have had at least one vaccine shot.

As of Thursday, 72 percent of Florida residents ages 5 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state.

Still, 31 percent of Florida’s total population remains unvaccinated, including children 4 and under, who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine.

Vaccination rates are highest among Florida’s older adults. About 91 percent of those age 65 and up have been vaccinated, and 90 percent of those ages 60-64 are vaccinated.

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Children and young adults remain the least-vaccinated age groups. In Florida, ages 5 to 11 are 18 percent vaccinated, 12 to 19 are at 59 percent , ages 20 to 29 are at 61 percent and ages 30 to 39 are 70 percent vaccinated.

In Manatee and Pinellas counties, 68 percent of eligible residents 5 and up have been vaccinated; that number is 67 percent in Hillsborough; in Pasco, 66 percent; in Polk, 65 percent; and 60 percent in Citrus and Hernando.

Related: Omicron changed what we know about COVID. Here’s how to stay safe.

BOOSTER SHOTS: Florida administered 194,631 booster doses, down more than 25,000 shots from the prior week. Booster shots are available to all those age 12 and up who received either their first dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine two months ago or their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines at least five months ago.

POSITIVITY: Florida’s positivity rate fell slightly to 29.3 percent in the past week, down from 31.2 percent the week before. Positivity rates were highest among children and young adults, with those age 12-19 testing positive 32.5 percent of the time . Positivity was 32 percent for those age 20-29 and 31.2 percent for children age 5-11 and adults age 30-39.

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 32.6 percent in Polk, 30.8 percent in Pasco, 30.1 percent in Hillsborough, 28.9 in Hernando, 27.5 percent in Pinellas, 27.2 percent in Manatee and 24.3 percent in Citrus.

Related: Amid omicron surge, hospitals are stretched thin. What can lawmakers do?

HOSPITALIZATIONS: Florida had 11,160 confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals as of Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. That’s up over 30 percent from the week before.

The Tampa Bay area saw 2,898 COVID-19-related hospital admissions between Jan. 6-12, the latest data available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hillsborough County hospitals had 1,153 admissions, Pinellas had 685; Polk had 554; Pasco had 215; Manatee had 137; Hernando had 106, and Citrus had 48.

LOCAL NUMBERS: Tampa Bay added 71.295 cases in the past week, bringing the area total up to 891,556 cases.

As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 24,400 cases, Polk added 14,852, Pinellas added 14,316, Pasco added 8,230, Manatee added 5,423, Hernando added 2,614 and Citrus added 1,460.

The CDC reported that the Tampa Bay area counted 50 deaths from Jan. 6-12, up from 15 deaths the week before. Pinellas and Polk counties had 13 deaths each; Pasco had 11 deaths; Citrus had 6 deaths; Hillsborough had 5 deaths, and Manatee and Hernando counties each had 1.

Related: Pinellas jail in lockdown to quell coronavirus spread

• • •

How to get tested

Tampa Bay: The Times can help you find the free, public COVID-19 testing sites in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties.

Florida: The Department of Health has a website that lists testing sites in the state. Some information may be out of date.

The U.S.: The Department of Health and Human Services has a website that can help you find a testing site.

• • •

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.

• • •

More coronavirus coverage

OMICRON VARIANT: Omicron changed what we know about COVID. Here’s the latest on how the infectious COVID-19 variant affects masks, vaccines, boosters and quarantining.

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.

BOOSTER QUESTIONS: Are there side effects? Why do I need it? Here’s the answers to your questions.

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

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