Vaccine eligibility expands as Florida reports 6,144 new COVID-19 cases

FEMA vaccine sites see ‘tepid’ demand, governor says

Federal vaccination sites expand eligibility to more groups

ORLANDO, Fla. – Coronavirus vaccines are quickly becoming available to more people across the U.S. and here in Florida with new eligibility groups and federal vaccine sites opening up.

As of Thursday morning, nearly 1.78 million Floridians have had their vaccinations complete, according to the Florida Department of Health. However, the newest vaccine sites, four FEMA-run locations, saw a slow start on the first day.

The four FEMA COVID-19 vaccination sites opened Wednesday in Orlando at Valencia College as well as Tampa, Jacksonville and Miami, and reported a “tepid” demand on their first-day operation, according to Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“I think that they had the capacity to do about 12,000 shots. I think they did about 6,500. And so you know, that’s just the first day you’ll, we’ll see how that goes as we go forward,” DeSantis said. “But obviously, that’s additional vaccine to what we’re already getting. So we’re very much appreciative of having more vaccine here.”

Also on Wednesday, CVS has expanded its coronavirus vaccine eligibility guidelines to include all Pre-K through 12th-grade teachers, school employees and other child care personnel after a call from President Joe Biden to get those workers inoculated by the end of the month.

“Let’s treat in-person learning as the essential service that it is,” Biden said.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Federally backed vaccine site opens in Orlando as state reports 5,555 new COVID-19 cases]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on March 4.

Cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 6,144 new cases on Thursday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,930,232 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.

Deaths

Florida reported 126 new virus-related deaths Thursday, raising the death toll to 31,955. This number includes the 568 non-residents who died in Florida.

Hospitalizations

As of Thursday afternoon, there were currently 3,566 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March 1, 2020, 80,338 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 314 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Thursday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 5.37% Wednesday out of 114,491 tests performed. The numbers reported daily by the state reflect test results from the day prior. 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 began releasing a daily report in December on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.

As of Thursday afternoon, 3,258,997 people have received at least the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The FDOH also reports that 1,815,999 people have received their second shot.

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

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths
Brevard34,4341312,03337510
Flagler6,063303330920
Lake24,928871,27555747
Marion27,879601,7651082712
Orange115,4753902,426151,1169
Osceola37,1881431,29244492
Polk57,6551594,427181,16412
Seminole27,554901,13844373
Sumter8,1253050902432
Volusia34,8911001,779186715

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