Health official: 'Don't hesitate - vaccinate!'

Okeechobee County has seen 39 breakthrough cases of COVID-19, with 3 vaccinated persons hospitalized and no deaths of the vaccinated


OKEECHOBEE – One bright spot in the news about the COVID-19 pandemic shared at the Aug. 26, 2021 Okeechobee County Commission meeting, “Number of deaths of the vaccinated - zero,” said Bret Smith of the Florida Department of Health in Okeechobee.

Smith said Okeechobee County has seen 39 breakthrough cases, in which a fully-vaccinated person tests positive for COVID-19. He said only three of those residents had to seek medical care in a hospital. Zero have died, he repeated.

That means of the 1,442 positive cases in Okeechobee County July 23 - Aug. 26, only 0.027% had been vaccinated.

“That’s pretty good odds,” said Smith. “It’s very wise to vaccinate. Don’t hesitate – vaccinate!”

More good news: Nursing homes in the county have only had two positive cases since the spread of the delta variant started. Both were employees.

He said for the week of Aug. 6-12, 644 people were tested in Okeechobee County and 212 were positive for COVID-19. For the week of Aug. 13-19, 1,900 people were tested and 385 were positive.

The county’s covid cases continue to grow each week.
• July 23-29, there were 156 cases including three school age children.
• July 30-Aug. 5, there were 200 cases including 24 school age children.
• Aug. 6-12, there were 252 cases including 32 school age children.
• Aug. 13-19, there were 385 cases including 94 school age children.

Smith said across the nation, the Hispanic population is at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. For the week of Aug. 13-19, 38.4% of the positive cases in Okeechobee County were persons who identified themselves as Hispanic. The census population indicates the Hispanic population is about 25% of the total county population.