Florida COVID cases climb as new variant arrives

Florida COVID cases climb as new variant arrives

  • Florida’s COVID-19 cases kept climbing last week as two new variants spread across the state. Average daily cases from June 4-10 hit 10,630 last week, up 4% from the prior week. COVID-19 hospitalizations are creeping up as well. As of Friday, Florida hospitals had nearly 3,000 confirmed COVID-19 patients, up 13% from the prior week.
  • Approximately 86% of Floridians live in counties with “high” levels of COVID-19, according to federal health data released Thursday. That includes residents of Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco and Hernando counties. The state had the second-highest number of cases per capita last week and the highest share of residents living in communities with “high” COVID-19 levels in the U.S., according to University of South Florida epidemiologist Jason Salemi. Federal guidelines recommend that residents in counties with “high” levels of the virus wear a well-fitting mask in public indoor spaces.
  • The omicron BA.4 variant has arrived in Florida. The state’s first three cases of the BA.4 variant were detected near Miami earlier this week. The new variant and its cousin, BA.5, were responsible for a recent surge of infections in South Africa. Early data indicates that the two omicron subvariants are more infectious and better able to evade existing immunity than previous versions of the virus. They may soon become the dominant strains in the U.S. The BA.4 variant accounts for 4% of infections in the southeast, and BA.5 accounts for 9%, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Related: Marathon hearings to decide fate of COVID shots for young children

• • •

Overall numbers

74,407: Number of cases reported in Florida over the most recent seven-day period from June 4-10.

10,630: Average cases a day during that time period last week, an 4% increase from the previous week.

6,271,284: Total number of cases recorded in Florida.

264: Number of deaths reported in the past week.

74,852: Total pandemic deaths in Florida.

Related: US lifts COVID-19 test requirement for international travel

• • •

Vaccinations

40,019: Vaccinations (first or second doses) administered in the past week, up 15% compared to the previous week.

80%: Total Florida population that is at least partially vaccinated.

67%: Total Florida population that is fully vaccinated.

78%: Total U.S. population that is at least partially vaccinated.

67%: Total U.S. population that is fully vaccinated.

29,015: Booster doses administered in Florida in the last week, up 2% compared to the prior week.

27%: Total Florida population that is boosted.

31%: Total U.S. population that is boosted.

Related: Pinellas County Jail extends COVID lockdown amid rising cases

• • •

Positivity rates

21.4%: Florida, compared to 19.8% the previous week.

23.1%: Citrus

22.9%: Hernando

22.8%: Manatee

20.7%: Pasco

19.6%: Pinellas

19.4%: Hillsborough

18.8%: Polk

Related: Florida’s health department undercounted COVID cases and deaths, state audit says

• • •

Hospitalizations

2,873: Florida hospitalizations, a 13% increase compared to the prior week.

775: Tampa Bay admissions, a 7% increase compared to the prior week.

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Related: COVID was deadly to working-class Americans in 2020, says USF researcher

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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.

• • •

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.

TTY: 888-720-7489

Disability Information and Access Line: Call 888-677-1199 or email DIAL@n4a.org.

• • •

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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