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The weekly number of new cases of COVID-19 in Florida have dropped to the lowest levels in a year.
The state reported 10,629 new COVID cases for the week ending June 17. The last time the weekly COVID case count was near that number was on June 11 when the seven-day average was 9,363 new cases.
So far, vaccinations appear to be effective in suppressing COVID-19. However, as of Friday only 56% of Floridians are vaccinated with at least one dose.
In recent weeks, vaccines have become a hard sell in Florida. The number of doses given out during the week ending June 17 dropped 22.5% from the prior week, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The number of newly vaccinated persons — those seeking first doses — declined by 13% to 123,414 doses. The drop-off is an indication Florida providers and health officials will need to work harder to use up the more than 8.4 million doses allocated but not used.
The 10,629 new COVID cases reported this week represent a drop from the 12,157 new cases in the previous week.
In total, 2,310,881 people in Florida have tested positive for COVID.
- Palm Beach County reported 660 additional cases for the last seven days. The county now has a total of 147,443 confirmed cases among residents during the pandemic.
- Broward County reported 1,044 additional cases. Broward has a known total of 244,741 cases among residents with COVID since the beginning of the pandemic.
- Miami-Dade County reported 1,971 additional cases. The county now has 499,504 confirmed cases among residents with COVID since the beginning of the pandemic.
Public health experts say the virus is considered under control when the COVID-19 test positivity rate is under 5%. Florida often has exceeded 5% in its widely publicized calculation for assessing the rate for testing of residents.
The state reported a positivity rate of 3.3% on Friday, down from 3.4% the week before. This method of calculating positivity counts new infections only but also counts repeat negative tests, which skews the figure downward.
In South Florida, the positivity rate was 2.5% in Broward, 3.1% in Palm Beach and 2.4% in Miami-Dade for the week ending June 17.
In Florida, hospitalizations for COVID are declining: 1,754 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 for the seven-day period ending June 14, according to the latest White House COVID report. The week prior, 1,820 people were hospitalized for COVID, and 2,090 the week previous to that.
On Friday, the state reported 290 additional deaths over the last week from COVID-19.
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It’s the second week with higher reported death totals, up from last week’s reported 280 and the 211 reported the previous week. Florida had 29 weeks straight of more than 300 weekly reported deaths in early November.
The state’s pandemic data report shows a total of 37,555 Floridians have died from COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.
More than 10.65 million Floridians have had one or more doses of a COVID vaccine as of Friday.
In Florida, 1,679,648 people have received their first dose of the vaccine only, and 8,979,816 people have completed the series of two doses required to be fully vaccinated.
The 65-and-older age group represents the highest percentage of people vaccinated. As of Friday, about 83% of seniors have been vaccinated.
Sun Sentinel health reporter Cindy Goodman can be reached at email@example.com.