- Florida’s respite from the pandemic may be ending. The state’s COVID-19 infection rate has doubled in the past two weeks and the positivity rates are up to 8 percent — the highest level seen since February. Even hospitalizations, which tend to lag behind infections, are ticking back up across the state.
- A new strain of COVID-19 may be partially to blame. The variant, called BA.2.12.1 is part of the omicron family. It may be 23-to-27 percent more infectious than BA.2, according to the New York Department of Health, and is likely behind the recent spike in infections in that state. The Florida Department of Health would not comment on whether the new variant was a concern here.
- Florida’s infection rate may be worse than the numbers show. At-home tests are not reported to state health officials, and public testing facilities are harder to come by these days. That means many infections will go unreported. Testing rates recovered slightly since last week, but are still at a level not seen since June 2020.
20,860: Number of cases reported in Florida in the past week.
2,980: Average cases a day, a 34 percent increase compared to the previous week.
5,899,186: Total number of cases recorded in Florida.
73,822: Total pandemic deaths in Florida.
133: Number of deaths reported in the past week.
56,553: Vaccinations (first or second doses) administered in the past week, a 6 percent drop compared to the previous week.
83 percent: Florida residents 5 and up who are at least partially vaccinated.
79 percent: Total Florida population that is at least partially vaccinated.
82 percent: U.S. residents 5 and up who are at least partially vaccinated.
77 percent: Total U.S. population that is at least partially vaccinated.
41,335: Booster doses administered in Florida in the last week, a 10 percent drop compared to the prior week.
26 percent: Total Florida population that is boosted.
30 percent: Total U.S. population that is boosted.
8 percent: Florida, compared to 6.2 percent the previous week.
746: Florida hospitalizations, a 7 percent increase compared to the prior week.
Editor’s note: The Tampa Bay Times’ weekly COVID-19 summary now reports data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Previous reports relied on the Florida Department of Health. However, the state no longer releases COVID-19 data on a weekly basis. The change allows us to bring readers the most up-to-date COVID-19 data each week. Some CDC data for the Tampa Bay area was not available to be included in this report.
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How to get tested
Tampa Bay: The Times can help you find the free, public COVID-19 testing sites around the bay area.
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.
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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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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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