Florida’s new COVID-19 cases continue to drop, but new deaths nearly double from previous week

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Jan 28, 2022 7:24 PM

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The number of COVID-19 cases across the state and in South Florida continue to decline, Florida’s weekly report shows. But as evidence shows the state is through the peak of the omicron surge, the death toll nearly doubled from a week ago.

On Friday, Florida reported 198,719 new cases for the past seven days, a drop from 289,204 a week ago and from 430,297 two weeks ago.

In another encouraging sign, the positivity rate declined this week, too, dropping to 23.5% from 26.8% last week.

With the omicron surge waning, vaccinations have slowed down significantly in Florida as well. One of the busiest weeks for vaccination in Florida was the one ending on Dec. 3, when 631,912 people got vaccinated. Now, 144,052 doses were given out for the week ending Jan. 27.

Floridians continue to succumb to the disease. The COVID death count rose again for the week ending Jan. 27. There were 1,192 new deaths, compared with 605 new deaths last week and 470 new deaths the week prior. That brings the state’s overall death toll to 64,955 people.

The weekly count reported Friday reflects all deaths over the past week or even weeks prior that are newly confirmed with COVID as the cause of death.

Throughout the pandemic, a total of 5,478,671 people in the state have had a confirmed case of COVID-19. That does not include Floridians who learn their positivity status using rapid at-home tests.

South Florida’s three counties reported fewer new cases for the week ending Jan. 27.

  • Palm Beach County on Friday reported 8,741 additional cases, a drop from 15,059 additional cases a week ago. The total number of confirmed cases in the county stands at 348,041.
  • Broward County on Friday reported 12,024 additional cases, down from 23,153 additional cases a week earlier. The total number of confirmed cases in the county stands at 573,312.
  • Miami-Dade County on Friday reported 23,596 additional cases, down from 47,414 a week earlier. The total number of confirmed cases in the county stands at 1,121,486.

Health officials reported a drop in the statewide positivity rate — 23.5%, which is down from 26.8% a week ago. At its worst during the delta wave, Florida’s test positivity climbed as high as 20.5% for the week ending Aug. 19, however, the positivity rate soared as high as 31.3% during the omicron surge.

In South Florida, the new case positivity rate declined in all three counties.

In Broward, it was 15.5%, down from 21.3% a week ago; in Palm Beach County, it was 19.7%, down from 24.8% a week ago; and in Miami-Dade, it was 14.8%, down from 20.2% a week ago.

Hospitalizations for COVID are stabilizing, and intensive care units have fewer patients than last week.

As of Friday, 9,868 people with COVID were hospitalized compared to 11,468 people a week ago. During the height of the delta wave this summer, more than 17,000 COVID patients were hospitalized in Florida.

Florida hospitals’ intensive-care units saw a decrease in COVID patients this week. On Friday, COVID patients occupied 22% of ICU beds compared to 25% a week ago.

In Broward County, the number of COVID-positive patients in hospitals has been trending downward. COVID patients now make up only about 19% of people in hospitals compared to 27% a week ago.

Floridians received 144,052 doses of a COVID vaccine for the week ending Jan. 27. Of those, 37,514 were first doses of a vaccine.

Of Floridians age 5 and older, 73% now have at least one dose.

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Floridians received another 71,674 booster shots this week. That brings the total number of Floridians boosted to 4.86 million.

More than 15 million people in Florida ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. Of those, 8.2 million have completed their two-shot series, 2.1 million people have received only a first dose, another 4.8 million have received an additional or booster dose.

The most heavily vaccinated age group in Florida is 65 and older, which is 92% vaccinated with at least one dose.

With the vaccine eligibility lowered, 20% of Florida’s 1.68 million children between ages 5 and 11 now have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

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