The coronavirus continued its surge in the Sunshine State on Saturday as the state reported 15,445 new cases and 139 new deaths.
The latest data brings Florida’s case total to 1,464,697 and the state has now logged 23,150 deaths, according to the Florida Department of Health. It can take officials up to two weeks to confirm and report a coronavirus-related death, meaning the number of deaths added does not necessarily reflect the number of people who died the previous day.
Saturday’s case total for one day was the fourth-highest to date. Still, it was slightly down from the single-day totals of Thursday and Friday, both of which eclipsed 19,000 cases. Thursday’s total of 19,816 cases was a single-day record during the pandemic.
Florida’s seven-day average of reported cases per day is now 17,195, which would have been a daily record at any point in 2020.
Vaccinations: Florida has reported vaccinating 514,300 people as of Saturday, including 35,857 people who have completed the series of two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
In Hillsborough County, 25,154 people have been vaccinated; in Pinellas it is 24,764; in Pasco, 10,189; in Manatee, 10,102; in Polk, 8,400; in Hernando, 4,439; and in Citrus, 3,964.
As Tampa Bay counties rolled out vaccines for seniors this week, many faced hurdles due to website crashes and overwhelming demand. Hillsborough, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties stopped taking reservations on Jan. 5, having filled all available slots. Hillsborough expects to have more vaccines available next week, while Pinellas said it will offer more appointments as new doses become available. Hernando officials will announce when appointments there become available.
Anyone with questions about the vaccine can call the state hotline at 869-779-6121 or email COVIDemail@example.com. The hotline cannot set vaccination appointments, however.
Hospitalizations: About 7,436 people are hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus statewide, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. That’s 735 more than the 6,701 people that occupied hospital beds last Saturday.
There were 1,518 combined hospitalizations in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, Citrus, Manatee and Hernando counties on Saturday.
Statewide, about 21 percent of hospital beds and 17 percent of intensive care unit beds were available. In Tampa Bay, about 19 percent of hospital beds and 12 percent of ICU beds were available.
Positivity: Florida’s weekly average positivity rate was 13.83 percent Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
States and regions should maintain a positivity rate of five percent or less for at least two weeks before loosening social distancing guidelines, according to the World Health Organization. Three states and the District of Columbia currently have a positivity rate below 5 percent.
Local numbers: Tampa Bay recorded 3,048 new coronavirus cases and 22 deaths on Saturday.
Hillsborough County reported three deaths, Pasco had one and Hernando had none. Citrus, Manatee and Pinellas counties had four deaths, while Polk County led the region with six.
Hernando County has the highest positivity rate in Tampa Bay at 22 percent, which is also the 12th highest tin the state. It is followed by Pasco’s 15.6 percent rate, then Polk County at 14.9 percent. Hillsborough County had a 14 percent positivity rate, while Manatee had 14.6 and Pinellas 13.7 — the lowest in the region.
As of the latest count, Hillsborough has 85,855 cases and 1,128 deaths; Pinellas has 50,491 cases and 1,129 deaths; Polk has 42,056 cases and 839 deaths; Manatee has 24,530 cases and 450 deaths; Pasco has 24,663 cases and 409 deaths; Hernando has 8,309 cases and 290 deaths; and Citrus has 7401 cases and 4 deaths.
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