COVID-19 cases high in Florida but wave may have peaked

Unvaccinated persons at highest risk of serious illness and death

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The highly contagious COVID-19 omicron variant continued to spread in Florida in last week, as evidenced by high percentages of new case positivity, but health officials say the recent wave may have spiked and started a decline.

Statewide the new case positivity rate for the seven-day period ending Jan. 20, 2022, was 26.8%

For the counties around the lake, new case positivity was higher than the state average:

  • Glades County – 45.1%;
  • Hendry County – 39.0%;
  • Martin County – 30.3%;
  • Okeechobee County – 42.2%;
  • Palm Beach County – 24.85.

New covid cases for the period ending Jan. 20 were:

  • Glades County – 92 (compared to 105 previous week);
  • Hendry County – 678 (compared to 842 pervious week);
  • Martin County – 1,479 (compared to 2,515 previous week);
  • Okeechobee County – 612 (compared to 839 previous week);
  • Palm Beach County – 15,059 (compared to 26,918 previous week).

According to the Florida Department of Health, vaccination is the most effective way to prevent severe illness and death from covid. (Vaccinated persons can still be infected with covid, but are more likely to have no symptoms or only mild symptoms.) Statewide, as of Jan. 20, 73% of Floridians age 5 and older have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

In the counties around Lake Okeechobee, vaccination rates are:

  • Glades County – 54%,
  • Hendry County – 59%,
  • Martin County – 68%,
  • Okeechobee County – 50%,
  • Palm Beach County – 75%.

As of Jan. 20, COVID-19 has been responsible for 63,763 deaths in Florida, and an increase of 605 deaths in the past week. Those who have not been vaccinated are at the highest risk, per FDOH.

Statewide deaths include:

  • Under age 16: 34;
  • Ages 16-29: 447;
  • Ages 30-39: 1,179;
  • Ages 40-49: 2,821;
  • Ages 50-59: 6,431;
  • Ages 60-64: 5,238;
  • Ages 65+: 47,613.

New COVID-19 hospitalizations for the week ending Jan. 22, according to the Centers for Disease Control, were:

  • Glades County: 0;
  • Hendry County: 8;
  • Martin County: 146;
  • Okeechobee County: 28;
  • Palm Beach County: 877.

For COVID-19 testing sites, go online to https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/testing-sites/ Americans can also go online to COVIDtests.gov to order free at home tests, which will be delivered by mail.

COVID-19 vaccinations are free and available at most pharmacies. To find a vaccination site near you, go online to https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/vaccines/vaccine-locator/

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