ORLANDO, Fla. – With COVID-19 cases increasing by the thousands each day in Florida, there’s also talks of a new U.K. variant spreading in the Sunshine State.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 46 cases in Florida of the more contagious coronavirus variant that originated in the United Kingdom last year. Earlier this month, that number was 22.
With that rise, Florida now has more cases than any other state in the country. California is next with 40 cases followed by Colorado with six.
While the variant is more contagious, the CDC said there’s no evidence to suggest it’s more lethal or causes more severe illnesses.
Scientists have also said there is no indication the U.K. variant reacts any differently to coronavirus vaccines.
Gov. Ron DeSantis spoke Tuesday morning saying that with the latest expansion of Publix’s vaccination program, every county across Florida now has at least one vaccination site.
“We initially just focused on some counties that had high senior populations, but maybe not as robust health systems as you would see in like a Miami-Dade or like in Orlando,” the governor said. “But even the rural counties have at least one place where you can get the vaccine.”
Even still, appointments for the shots have been hard to snag as seniors report that they fill up within minutes of opening. Public officials have asked for patience with the process.
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Jan. 19.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports 7,884 new COVID-19 cases on Martin Luther King Jr. Day]
The Florida Department of Health reported 9,659 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,589,097 cases since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.
Florida reported 163 new virus-related deaths Tuesday, raising the death toll to 24,820. This number includes the 384 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there were currently 7,363 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since March, 68,478 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 308 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Tuesday.
The percent of positive results was 8.97% Monday out of 107,647 total tests reported to the state.
Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.
The Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
As of Tuesday, 1,066,107 people have been vaccinated in Florida. The FDOH also reports that 100,351 people have received their second shot. However, 44,470 people are overdue for their second vaccination.
See COVID-19 data for the Central Florida region below:
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