Half of Florida at ‘high’ risk for COVID; Infections continue to rise

  • Florida’s average daily COVID-19 cases rose another 11% over the past week — the 10th straight week that infections have risen. Hospital admissions increased another 21% in the same seven-day period from May 21-27. That means 10 counties, home to nearly half of the state’s 22 million residents, have “high” community levels of COVID-19, according to federal guidelines. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends residents wear masks in indoor public spaces in Alachua, Broward, Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties.
  • The CDC on Thursday classified Tampa Bay and South Florida as a “high” risk area — a week after data showed those counties had already reached that level. Instead, due to a data error, eight Florida counties that should have been declared as having a “high” risk of COVID-19 under CDC guidelines were identified has been displayed as “medium” risk on the agency’s website since May 19. The CDC initially acknowledged that four South Florida counties were mislabeled in a footnote at the bottom of the website, the Miami Herald reported. The Tampa Bay Times reported May 23 that Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties were also misreported.
  • The White House announced Thursday that the antiviral drug Paxlovid could soon be available at COVID-19 testing sites across the United States. But there could be a bigger problem: The federal government can’t track how many doses have been shipped and how many people have been treated with the drug, according to Kaiser Health News. Paxlovid isn’t the only drug facing supply chain issues. The preventive antiviral Evusheld is so poorly rationed that it’s almost impossible to get hold of in some states, while doses languish on pharmacy shelves in others, Marketplace reported.
Related: How the CDC’s Tampa Bay and Florida COVID alert system is failing

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66,881: Number of cases reported in Florida over the past week, May 21-27.

9,544: Average cases per day during this seven-day period, up 11% from the previous week.

6.125.115: Total number of cases recorded in Florida.

137: Number of deaths reported in the past week.

74,466: Total pandemic deaths in Florida.

Related: Is This the End of Public COVID Testing Sites in Tampa Bay?

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48,433: Vaccinations (first or second dose) given in the past week, 15% more than in the previous week.

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

67%: Total Florida population that is fully vaccinated.

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

67%: Total US population that is fully vaccinated.

37,142: Booster doses administered in Florida in the last week are up 16% compared to the previous week.

27%: Total Florida Population Increased.

31%: Total US population that will be increased.

Related: Tampa Bay has ‘high’ COVID levels, masks recommended indoors

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positivity rates

18.3%: Florida, down from 16.9% the previous week.

18.2%: manatee

17.5%: citrus

17.3%: Hernando

16.5%: Pinella

15.9%: Hillsborough

14.8%: Pasko

13.3%: Polk

Related: Dominant coronavirus mutant contains ghosts of pandemic past

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2,027: Hospitalizations in Florida, up 21% from the previous week.

560: Tampa Bay admissions, up 24% from the previous week.

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Related: Long COVID Affects More Older Adults; Shots don’t stop it

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How to get tested

Tampa Bay: That Times can help you locate free, public COVID-19 testing sites in the Bay Area.

Florida: The Department of Health has a website that lists testing sites across the state. Some information may be out of date.

The USA: The Department of Health and Human Services has a website that can help you find a testing site.

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How to get vaccinated

The COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 years and older and booster shots for eligible recipients will be administered at doctor’s offices, clinics, pharmacies, grocery stores and public vaccination centers. Many allow appointments to be booked online. To find a location near you:

Find a site: Visit Vaccines.gov to find vaccination centers in your zip code.

More help: Call the National COVID-19 Vaccination Helpline.

Phone: 800-232-0233. Help is available in English, Spanish and other languages.

TTY: 888-720-7489

Information and access telephone for the disabled: Call 888-677-1199 or email [email protected]

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OMICRON VARIANT: Omicron has changed our knowledge of COVID. Here’s the latest on how the infectious variant of COVID-19 is affecting masks, vaccines, boosters and quarantine.

CHILDREN AND VACCINES: Do you have questions about your child’s vaccination? Here are some answers.

BOOSTER SHOTS: Confused About Which COVID Booster To Get? This guide will help you.

BOOSTER QUESTIONS: Are there any side effects? why do i need it Here are the answers to your questions.

PROTECTING SENIORS: This is how seniors can protect themselves from the virus.

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