Highlands County new covid positivity rate at 7.1%


TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s new covid positivity rate is on the rise, according to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH). However, according to health officials, the actual number of positive cases is more difficult to determine since many people now take home tests which are not reported to FDOH.

For April 29 – May 5, Florida’s new covid positivity rate was 9.0%.

In South Central Florida:

• Glades County had three new cases and new positivity rate of 5.8%.

• Hendry County had 35 new cases and a new positivity rate of 7.7%.

• Highlands County had 91 new cases and a new positivity rate of 7.1%.

Martin County had 220 new cases and a new positivity rate of 8.7%

• Okeechobee County had six new cases and a new positivity rate of 1.0%.

• Palm Beach County had 2,485 new cases and a new positivity rate of 7.8%.

According to the CDC about 3 out of every 1,000 persons alive in the United States on Jan. 1, 2020, have died related to COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, Florida has documented 74,060 covid-related deaths.

According to the CDC data collected by the New York Times as of May 7 covid-related deaths in South Central Florida total:

• Collier County – 998,

• Glades County – 36,

• Okeechobee County – 183,

• Hendry County – 160,

• Highlands County – 685,

• Martin County – 614,

• Palm Beach County – 5,052.

In her April 28 telebriefing, Centers for Disease Control Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky explained: “We are aware that many are using rapid antigen tests that may not be reflected in the total daily case counts. Our data show that we are still doing over 650,000 PCR tests daily,” she said.

The CDC recommends Americans keep up with the recommended vaccinations and boosters, wash their hands frequently and thoroughly and make decisions about masking and social distancing based on their own health risks and the level of covid cases in their communities.

Statewide, 74% of Floridians over the age of 5 have been vaccinated against COVID-19 with a least one dose, according to FDOH. According to the CDC, nationwide, 82.6% of those over age 5 have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

As of May 9, the CDC considered most of Florida at low risk of covid. However DeSoto,  Charlotte, Sarasota and Miami-Dade counties are in the medium risk range.