TALLAHASSEE -- New cases of COVID-19 continued to decline last week, according to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH).
Florida’s new COVID-19 positivity rate dropped to 5.6%, for the seven-day period ending Feb. 24, compared to 8.2% the previous week, according the FDOH weekly report.
Health officials continue to encourage vaccinations for those over age 5 as the most effective protection against serious illness and death from any of the covid variants.
As of Feb. 17, COVID-19 has been responsible for 69,790 deaths in Florida, an increase of 889 deaths in the past week.
For most counties around the lake, new case positivity appears to be on the way down. New case positivity for the Feb. 24 report was:
New covid cases for the seven day period ending Feb. 24 were:
FDOH data does not include home tests.
According to the Florida Department of Health, fully vaccinated persons can still be infected with covid, but are more likely to have no symptoms or only mild symptoms and more likely to recover quickly.
According to the Centers for Disease Control data,
Statewide, as of Feb. 24, FDOH reported 74% of Floridians age 5 and older have been vaccinated with at least one dose. Nationwide 76.3% of the U.S. population over the age of 5 has been vaccinated with at least one dose and 64.8% is fully vaccinated.
In the counties around Lake Okeechobee, vaccination rates are:
New hospitalizations of covid-positive patients for the week ending Feb. 25, according to the Centers for Disease Control, were:
For COVID-19 testing sites, go online to https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/testing-sites/
Those who test positive are asked to stay home for at least five days to avoid spreading the virus to others.
COVID-19 vaccinations are free and available at most pharmacies. To find a vaccination site near you, go online to https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/
Recent data shows while those who contract the virus and recover have some immunity for a few months, COVID-19 survivors can get it a second, or even a third time.
Home tests are available at most pharmacies, with the cost reimbursable through health insurance. Home tests are also available free from the federal government. To request free home tests, go online to COVIDtests.gov or call 1-800-232-0233.
The federal government is distributing free N-95 masks. Winn-Dixie, Walgreens, Publix, and CVS are participating in the federal government’s mask distribution program. Three masks per person will be given out on a “first come” basis. The masks are not individually wrapped, so customers are advised to bring a bag to carry the masks home in.