63ºF

Florida reports 5,600 new COVID-19 cases as state prepares to vaccinate teachers, law enforcement

Federally-run vaccine sites will open appointments to new priority group

FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 file photo, a sign is pasted into an upper window at Pfizer manufacturing center in Puurs, Belgium. EU leaders on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, during an EU summit video conference, will look at ways to improve the vaccine rollout, as they press pharmaceutical companies to respect the terms of their contracts with the 27-nation bloc. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida plans to soon vaccinate a new group of people as the state reports 5,600 new COVID-19 infections Tuesday.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the state is working on details to include sworn law enforcement officers and classroom teachers in its latest plans for federally-run vaccination sites.

FEMA will run operations at four mass-vaccination sites in Florida beginning March 3. There will be sites in Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville and Orlando, with Valencia College’s west campus selected for operations.

[TRENDING: Car flies off I-4 in Orlando | Meet bone cancer survivor who will be youngest American in space | United engine blows apart during flight]

The governor said these sites will receive doses from the federal government and are not included in the number of shots already allocated to Florida. With the sites boosting vaccination capacity, DeSantis said the state’s plan is to allow law enforcement officers, firefighters and teachers who are 50 years old or older to be eligible to receive a shot at these federally-supported sites.

“We want that to be open not just to seniors, but to sworn law enforcement and classroom teachers,” he said. “I think we’re going to have the ability to do that between these federally supported sites and some of the new vaccine that may be coming online, very, very soon.”

According to FEMA, these mass vaccination sites will have the ability to do 2,000 shots a day over a 7-day period and an additional 1,000 per day using two mobile units to go into communities that have a high poverty level and are hard to reach.

Continuing efforts to bring shots to underserved communities, DeSantis also announced Tuesday that select CVS and affiliate locations will offer vaccines in underserved areas as soon as this week, including a location in Flagler and Volusia counties.

The governor added that as Florida is close to vaccinating half of its senior population, and there’s more supply, the state is preparing to make sure the shots reach more people soon.

“We’re going to start for sure on these federally supported sites as new vaccine comes online, then we’ll see what happens,” he said.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports 4,000 new COVID-19 cases as delayed vaccine shipments arrive]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Feb. 22.

Cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 5,600 new cases on Tuesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,878,533 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1.

Deaths

Florida reported 154 new virus-related deaths Tuesday, raising the death toll to 30,749. This number includes the 536 non-residents who died in Florida.

Hospitalizations

As of Tuesday afternoon, there were currently 4,198 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March, 78,212 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.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 6.5% Monday of the 86,141 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.

Vaccinations

The Florida Department of Health recently began releasing a daily report on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 2,748,495 people have received at least the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The FDOH also reports that 1,440,393 people have received their second shot.

See COVID-19 data for the Central Florida region below:

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths
Brevard33,2381321,95837313
Flagler5,813183280870
Lake24,110801,2314541-3
Marion27,180961,7021777116
Orange112,5083472,352131,0742
Osceola36,2711031,2648431-1
Polk56,1531674,299211,1168
Seminole26,7811071,11114180
Sumter7,8103649912341
Volusia33,9641031,69286427

About the Author: