Covid cases continue to drop

Free masks available at Publix, Walgreens, CVS and Walmart


Florida Department of Health data indicates COVID-19 new case positivity rates continued to drop last week.

Florida’s new COVID-19 positivity dropped to 14.3% for the seven day period ending Feb. 10, according the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) weekly report. Statewide, new case positivity was 18% the previous week.

Health officials advise, however, the data does not include individuals who test positive or negative in home tests. 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 or call 1-800-232-0233.

The federal government is also 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.

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. 10, COVID-19 has been responsible for 67,572 deaths in Florida and an increase of 1,293 deaths in the past week. Those who have not been vaccinated are at the highest risk, per FDOH.

New hospitalizations of covid-positive patients for the week ending Feb. 11, according to the Centers for Disease Control, were:

Glades County:  0 (same as previous week);
Hendry County: 3 (compared to 7 previous week0;
Martin County: 95 (compared to 139 previous week);
Okeechobee County: 20 (compared to 30 previous week);
Palm Beach County: 284 (compared to 374 previous week).

For the counties around the lake, new case positivity appears to be on the way down. New case positivity for the Feb. 10 report was:

Glades County – 19%, compared to 28.5% the previous week;
Hendry County – 18.8% compared to 24.6% the previous week;
Martin County – 12.7% compared to 16.5% the previous week;
Okeechobee County – 14.6% compared to 26.2% the previous week;
Palm Beach County – 11.1% compared to 15.1%  the previous week.

New covid cases for the seven day period ending Feb. 10 were:

Glades County – 21 (compared to 34 previous week);
Hendry County – 183 (compared to 267 previous week);
Martin County – 396 (compared to 615 previous week);
Okeechobee County – 95 (compared to 233 previous week);
Palm Beach County – 4,874 (compared to 5,793 previous week).

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. 

Statewide, as of Feb. 10, FDOH reported 74% 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 – 61%,
Martin County – 69%,
Okeechobee County – 51%,
Palm Beach County – 76%.

For COVID-19 testing sites, go online to
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://florida