Fewer hospitalizations but COVID cases and deaths are skyrocketing

The CDC reported 642 COVID-19 cases and 17 deaths in Brevard in its latest record.

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COVID-19 cases have risen by more than 450 on the Space Coast in the latest national health data, with deaths rising despite a drop in hospital admissions.

Between March 16 and March 22, the Centers for Disease Control reported 642 COVID cases in Brevard, with an estimated 106.65 cases per 100,000 population. In the previous week, between March 9 and March 15, the agency reported just 185 cases, with an estimated 30.73 cases per 100,000 population.

Deaths attributed to COVID-19 also increased, jumping from 10 between March 9 and 15 to 17 between March 16 and 22. The agency does not provide demographic information about the deceased patients, such as gender, age, or whether or not they suffered from comorbid health conditions.

The positivity rate rose slightly from 8.32% between March 7 and 13 to 8.58% between March 14 and 20, the CDC reported.

It’s important to note that not every case of COVID in the community is included in the CDC’s report because not everyone with symptoms will test and home testing is not reported to the CDC.

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Despite the increase in deaths, hospital admissions fell. There were 22 new admissions of confirmed COVID-19 patients between March 15 and March 21, while there were 28 admissions the previous week, the CDC reported.

Brevard is still considered a community with low COVID-19 scores, a status the CDC calculates based on hospitalizations and case counts.

70.2% of Brevard residents age 5 and older have received their first vaccination series against COVID, up 0% from the previous week, according to the CDC. 13.4% of this population received their bivalent booster dose, an increase of 0.1% from the previous week.

Nationwide, 73.4% of individuals age 5 and older received their primary vaccinations against COVID, although only 17.5% of the same age group received their updated bivalent booster shot.

The XBB.1.5 variant remained the dominant variant in the United States this week, accounting for approximately 90.2% of all reported COVID-19 cases between March 19-25, according to the CDC. That’s an increase of 0% from the previous week.

XBB.1.91 and BQ.1.1 were the second and third most common strains, each accounting for approximately 2.5% of cases. In the prior week, BQ.1.1 was the second most common strain, accounting for 3.5% of all reported cases, while XBB was the third most common strain, accounting for 2.5% of cases. XBB is now the fifth most common strain, accounting for 1.2% of cases.

According to the CDC, there have been 103,957,053 cases of COVID-19 and 1,123,613 deaths attributed to the virus reported nationwide since March 2020. Brevard has had 2,319 deaths attributed to COVID since the pandemic began.

Where can you get vaccinated

The Florida Department of Health has three vaccination centers in Brevard.

  • Viera Clinic, 2555 Judge Fran Jamieson Way.
  • Melbourne Clinic, 601 E. University Blvd.
  • Titusville Clinic, 611 N. Singleton Ave.

The Omni Healthcare offices also offer vaccines, as does the Walk-In Vaccine Clinic located in Suite 303 on the third floor at 1344 S. Apollo Blvd. in Melbourne on weekdays from 9am to 4pm. Vaccines are also available from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Suite 2C at Omni’s 1344 S. Apollo Blvd. Complex.

Local pharmacies such as Walgreens, CVS, and Publix also offer vaccines. Visit your pharmacy’s website to schedule a vaccination appointment.

Finch Walker is the education reporter for FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Walker at 321-290-4744 or [email protected]. Twitter: @_finch runner.

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