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After a seven-week lull, Florida reported its highest number of new weekly COVID-19 cases, indicating the state is still grappling with delta, even as omicron has surfaced.
For the week ending Dec. 9, Florida reported 13,530 new cases, a rise from 10,892 new cases reported on Dec. 3, according to a report released Friday by the Florida Department of Health.
The positivity rate nudged up as well to 2.6% from 2.5% a week earlier.
While the weekly case counts mark a big improvement from August when new cases reached as high as 151,675, the uptick may be a sign that Florida no longer is seeing new cases trend downward as it had in November.
The COVID death count rose significantly from the previous week. There were 325 additional deaths, compared to 153 additional deaths reported a week ago. That brings the state’s overall death toll to 62,026 people, which includes 464 Floridians under age 30 — two more than last week.
The weekly count reported Friday reflects all deaths over the last week or even weeks prior that are newly confirmed with COVID as the cause of death.
With the vaccine eligibility lowered, 11% of Florida’s 1.6 million children between ages 5 and 11 now have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. In addition, 57% of 12-year-olds to 19-year-olds in Florida are vaccinated.
The number of people newly vaccinated, which includes children, was 104,995, compared to 101,032 the week prior. About 70% of people 5 and older in Florida are vaccinated with at least one dose.
Throughout the pandemic, a total of 3,710,507 people in the state have had COVID.
- Palm Beach County on Friday reported 942 additional cases, from 721 additional cases a week prior. The total number of confirmed cases in the county stands at 229,254.
- Broward County on Friday reported 1,524 additional cases, from 1,072 additional cases a week ago. The total number of confirmed cases in the county stands at 363,001.
- Miami-Dade County on Friday reported 2,771 additional cases, from 2,030 additional cases a week earlier. The total number of confirmed cases in the county stands at 683,842.
Health officials reported a statewide positivity rate of 2.6% on Friday, compared to 2.5% a week ago. At its worst, Florida’s test positivity climbed as high as 20.5% for the week ending Aug. 19.
Public health experts say the virus is considered under control when the COVID-19 test positivity rate is under 5%. Florida had exceeded 5% in its widely publicized calculation for assessing the rate for testing of residents for the last three months but the rate has been below 3% for several weeks.
In South Florida, the new case positivity rate rose in all three counties.
In Broward, it was 2.6%, up from 2.1% a week ago; in Palm Beach County, it was 2.6%, up from 2.3% a week ago; and in Miami-Dade, it was 2%, up from 1.8% a week ago.
Florida has seen a major improvement in COVID hospitalizations but the COVID patient count has held steady for several weeks.
As of Friday, 1,383 COVID patients were admitted, slightly more than a week ago when 1,343 COVID patients were admitted. During the height of the delta wave, more than 17,000 COVID patients were hospitalized.
Health care workers are seeing some relief in their overcrowded COVID wards. On Friday, COVID patients occupied only 2.38% of beds.
There also is improvement in COVID patients needing intensive care. Of those ICU beds that are full, only 4.33% were occupied by COVID patients.
More Floridians were vaccinated this week, including a jump in the number of people receiving boosters.
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The number of total COVID doses given out in the last week was 528,287, an increase from 497,854 doses for the week prior, about two thirds were booster shots.
Floridians received another 333,086 booster shots this week. That brings the total number of Floridians boosted to 3.3 million.
More than 11.4 million people in Florida ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. Of those, 9.2 million have completed their two-dose series and 1.9 million people have received one shot.
The most heavily vaccinated age group in Florida is 65 and older, which is 90% vaccinated with at least one dose, followed by the 60-to-64 age group, which is 87% vaccinated. The 20-to-29 age group is 58% vaccinated. Florida’s teens 12 to 19 are 57% vaccinated.
Sun Sentinel health reporter Cindy Goodman can be reached at email@example.com or Twitter @cindykgoodman.