- COVID-19 is making a steady comeback in the Sunshine State. Florida’s weekly infections have increased for 6 weeks straight and the positivity rate surpassed 10 percent for the first time since February. Still, infections are spreading more slowly than during the omicron wave last winter. Hospitalizations are also going up slowly, and health experts are hopeful that many Floridians are protected by some form of immunity, whether vaccines or prior infection.
- Traditional testing methods are missing a lot of infections. A study released last week found that nearly 60 percent of Americans had been infected with COVID-19 at some point in the past two years. That’s nearly double the number of infections detected by health authorities, and the problem will only get worse as public testing efforts shrink.
- The same study, released by federal health experts, found that nearly 75 percent of U.S. children have been infected — higher than any other age group. Health experts stress that vaccines are critical for preventing serious illness, but less than a quarter of Florida children ages 5-11 have been vaccinated. Children ages 4 and under are still not eligible for the vaccine. But children ages 12 and up are eligible for booster shots, which provides even greater protection against severe infection.
26,574: Number of cases reported in Florida in the past week from April 23-29.
3,796: Average cases a day during that seven-day period, a 28-percent increase compared to the previous week.
5,925,668: Total number of cases recorded in Florida.
126: Number of deaths reported in the past week.
73,948: Total pandemic deaths in Florida.
57,029: Vaccinations (first or second doses) administered in the past week, a 1 percent increase compared to the previous week.
83 percent: Total Florida population that is at least partially vaccinated.
67 percent: Total Florida population that is fully vaccinated.
77 percent: Total U.S. population that is at least partially vaccinated.
66 percent: Total U.S. population that is fully vaccinated.
37,702: Booster doses administered in Florida in the last week, a 9-percent drop compared to the prior week.
26 percent: Total Florida population that is boosted.
30 percent: Total U.S. population that is boosted.
10.1 percent: Florida, compared to 8 percent the previous week.
10.5 percent: Manatee
9.8 percent: Citrus
7.5 percent: Pasco
7.3 percent: Pinellas
7.1 percent: Polk
6.9 percent: Hernando
6.6 percent: Hillsborough
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899: Florida hospitalizations, a 21-percent increase compared to the prior week.
209: Tampa Bay admissions, 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 in 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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