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Florida adds 198,719 COVID cases, 1,192 deaths in past week

COVID-19 deaths nearly double in a single week while infections continue to decline.
Florida's weekly coronavirus numbers.
Florida's weekly coronavirus numbers. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and KINFAY MOROTI | Times ] ]
Published Jan. 29|Updated Jan. 29

Florida reported 198,719 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Jan. 21-27, an average of about 28,400 infections per day. That’s down over more than than 50 percent from Jan. 7-13 when the state hit a record 61,000 infections per day.

It’s the second consecutive week that cases have fallen, suggesting that the omicron wave may have crested. Still, the past week’s case count is greater than the peak of any previous wave.

The latest tally brings the total number of the state’s COVID-19 cases up to 5,478,671 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported nearly 23 months ago on March 1, 2020.

The state added 1,192 deaths since the previous report, nearly double the 605 deaths reported the week before. That brings the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 64,955.

Related: Florida’s omicron deaths nearly double as infections keep falling

Most of these occurred more than a week ago and were recorded by the state over the past seven days. It can take officials two weeks or more to confirm COVID-19-related deaths. Of those added deaths, 206 occurred between Jan. 21-27, though that number will increase as more are confirmed in the coming days.

The Florida Department of Health announced in June that it no longer would release daily COVID-19 data. Instead, it 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.

The state does not report the number of cases, hospitalizations and deaths by vaccination status.

Related: Omicron is fading. What does the future of COVID look like?

VACCINATIONS: Florida administered 72,378 first and second doses of the COVID-19 vaccine over the past week, down over 22 percent from the week before. It’s the lowest number of doses since the first weeks of the vaccine rollout in December 2020. The first vaccine shots went to 37,514 Floridians, while nearly 5.6 million eligible residents remain unvaccinated.

Vaccinations for children ages 5-11 numbered 10,084 in the past week, the lowest rate since pediatric doses were approved in November. Fewer than 20 percent of children in that age group have been vaccinated.

As of Thursday, 73 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.

In Manatee County, 69 percent of eligible residents age 5 and up are vaccinated. In Hillsborough and Pinellas, the figure is 68 percent; in Pasco, 67 percent; in Polk, 65 percent; in Citrus 61 percent; and Hernando 60 percent.

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Related: Want to keep omicron away? Wear a better mask, like the N95.

BOOSTER SHOTS: Florida administered 71,674 booster doses, the lowest weekly count since September. 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. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say studies show boosters stave off severe illness and death from omicron much better than do the first two doses.

POSITIVITY: Florida’s rate fell slightly to 23.5 percent in the past week, down from 26.8 percent. Children had the state’s highest infection rates, with those ages 12-19 testing positive 30.1 percent of the time. That number was 30 percent for those ages 5-11, and 26 percent for those ages 4 and under.

Positivity rates around the Tampa Bay area were 28.9 percent in Pasco; 28.5 percent in Hernando; 27.6 percent in Polk; 26.3 percent in Citrus; 25.6 percent in Hillsborough; 25.2 percent in Pinellas; and 23.8 percent in Manatee.

Related: Florida closes monoclonal antibody sites following Biden administration decision

HOSPITALIZATIONS: Florida had 9,409 confirmed COVID-19 patients in hospitals as of Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The Tampa Bay area saw 3,121 COVID-19-related hospital admissions between Jan. 20-26, the latest data available, according to the CDC. Hillsborough County hospitals had 1,308, Pinellas had 719, Polk had 502, Pasco had 283, Hernando had 142, Manatee had 113 and Citrus had 54.

Related: Florida appeals court says no ‘legal right’ to force use of ivermectin for COVID patient

LOCAL NUMBERS: Tampa Bay added 42,979 cases in the past week, bringing the area running total up to 991,133.

As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 13,514 cases; Pinellas added 8,984; Polk, 7,852; Pasco 5,569; Manatee, 3,751; Hernando, 1,837; and Citrus, 1,472.

The CDC reported that the Tampa Bay area counted 99 COVID-19-related deaths from Jan. 20-26. Pinellas had 37 deaths, Polk had 24, Hillsborough and Manatee both had 12, Pasco had 10 and Citrus had 4. Hernando reported no deaths last week.

Related: Omicron drives US deaths higher than in fall’s delta wave

• • •

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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