The omicron wave is nearly gone: Florida’s weekly COVID cases plunge by nearly 40%

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Feb 25, 2022 6:28 PM

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The omicron wave has nearly subsided in Florida with new cases plunging this week to 25,640.

The number of new COVID-19 cases declined by nearly 40% for the past seven days, dropping from 42,473 new cases the prior week.

The state’s positivity rate for the week ending Feb. 24 fell to 5.6% from 8.2% a week ago.

With the case count and positivity rates falling, vaccinations have dropped off as well. One of the busiest weeks for vaccination in Florida was the week ending Dec. 3, when 631,912 people got vaccinated. This week, Florida gave out a notably low number of shots: 49,023, including boosters.

Additional deaths from omicron appear to be on a downward trend: Health officials reported 888 new deaths, a drop from 1,330 new COVID deaths a week ago. That brings the state’s overall death toll to 69,790.

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 5,800,561 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.

All three South Florida counties reported a significant decline in new cases for the week ending Feb. 24.

  • Palm Beach County reported 1,202 additional cases, a drop from 1,840 additional cases a week ago. The total number of confirmed cases in the county stands at 362,530.
  • Broward County reported 1,765 additional cases, a drop from 2,800 additional cases a week earlier. The total number of confirmed cases in the county stands at 595,601.
  • Miami-Dade County reported 3,176 additional cases, a drop from 4,655 additional cases a week earlier. The total number of confirmed cases in the county stands at 1,169,782.

Health officials reported a drop in the statewide positivity rate — 5.6%, a decline from 8.2% a week ago. Florida’s test positivity climbed as high as 20.5% during the delta surge during the week ending Aug. 19 and 31.3% during the omicron surge in the first week of January.

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

In Broward, it was 3.5%, down from 5.2% a week ago; in Palm Beach County, it was 4.5%, down from 6.1% a week ago; and in Miami-Dade, it was 2.8%, down from 3.7% a week ago.

Hospitalizations for COVID are declining and intensive-care units have fewer patients than last week.

On Friday, 3,358 people with COVID were hospitalized compared to 4,646 people a week ago and 6,301 people two weeks ago. COVID patients now occupy only 5.6% of Florida’s hospital beds. 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 8.9% of ICU beds, compared to 15.4% only two weeks ago.

In Broward County, COVID patients occupy 5% of hospital beds in the county, with 196 patients admitted.

Floridians received 49,023 doses of a COVID vaccine for the week ending Feb. 24, even fewer than the 58,603 doses given out a week earlier. Of those, 13,116 were first doses of a vaccine.

Of Floridians ages 5 and older, 74% now have at least one dose.

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Floridians received another 20,494 booster shots this week. That brings the total number of Floridians boosted to 5 million.

More than 15.4 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 5 million have received an additional or booster dose.

The most heavily vaccinated age group in Florida is 65 and older, which is 95% vaccinated with at least one dose.

With the vaccine eligibility lowered, 22% of Florida’s 1.68 million children between ages 5 and 11 now have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine.

Sun Sentinel health reporter Cindy Goodman can be reached at or Twitter @cindykgoodman.

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