ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida is seeing a drop in new coronavirus infections as the state continues to detect cases of a COVID-19 variant. Yet, with a winter weather storm shutting down states, concern has shifted to vaccine shipments and supply.
In an effort to mitigate the spread of variants and the novel coronavirus, health officials are working to ramp up vaccination plans.
As of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had tracked nearly 380 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, the so-called U.K. mutation, in Florida. The state continues to lead the nation with the highest number of COVID-19 variant cases. The CDC is expected to update its report Thursday.
As the country grapples with the pandemic, a harsh winter storm spanning from coast to coast could put another dent in plans to get doses of a coronavirus vaccine to health departments.
Gov. Ron DeSantis took to Twitter on Tuesday saying weather conditions across the U.S. are impacting vaccine shipments to Florida but assured that the state health department are providing regular updates to our partners “to ensure the vaccine is distributed as efficiently as possible as it arrives.”
The brutal weather event has sparked advisories in several states and even emergency declarations in states like Alabama, Oklahoma and Texas. With slick roads, thick snow and icy conditions, some vaccine deliveries could be delayed.
Publix recently announced it will not reopen its vaccine portal for Florida counties Wednesday due to supply delays. The grocery store chain said appointments that were already scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday will not be impacted.
In Central Florida, officials in Orange, Osceola, Marion and Brevard counties said Tuesday that they aren’t expecting the snowstorm to affect their shipments or planned vaccination events.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida seeing less COVID-19 fatalities, hospital stays but still reporting thousands of new cases]
Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Feb. 16.
The Florida Department of Health reported 6,705 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,837,285 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1.
Florida reported 225 new virus-related deaths Tuesday, raising the death toll to 29,659. This number includes the 505 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Tuesday afternoon, there were currently 4,646 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since March, 76,525 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 306 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 6.61% Monday for the 101,412 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 afternoon, 2,430,637 people have received at least the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The FDOH also reports that 1,135,963 people have received their second shot.
See COVID-19 data for the Central Florida region below:
|County||Cases||New cases||Hospitalizations||New hospitalizations||Deaths||New deaths|
*News 6 has contacted health department officials for an explanation on the discrepancy in Volusia County.