Florida’s COVID-19 positivity rate drops below 5% as state reports 4,600 new cases

Statewide mass vaccination efforts continue

A medical staff prepares Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination site in Paris, Saturday, March 6, 2021. The government plans to inoculate 10 million citizens by mid-April, 20 million by mid-May and a total of 30 million, or two-thirds of the adults by summer. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena) (Christophe Ena, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Mass vaccination efforts continue throughout Central Florida, with both federally and state-operated sites offering doses to thousands of Floridians daily.

While the number of those who are vaccinated against the novel coronavirus continues to rise, so does the total number of COVID-19 infections, with Florida nearing 2 million confirmed cases since the start of the pandemic.

Central Florida has new weapons in its arsenal to continue the fight against the coronavirus, including new vaccination sites and expanded vaccine eligibility requirements in some spots.

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Following an order from President Joe Biden to get education and child care workers inoculated by the end of the month, federal vaccine sites throughout Florida, including the FEMA-operated site in Orlando, are now offering the shots to members of those groups.

A recent executive order from Gov. Ron DeSantis limits the vaccine to classroom teachers 50 and older who work in kindergarten through 12th grade, but the federal guidelines allow day care workers, preschool teachers and educators in elementary, middle and high schools to be vaccinated with no age limit.

Because of those federal guidelines, CVS, Publix, Walgreens, Winn-Dixie and Walmart pharmacies have all expanded their eligibility, in addition to the federally operated site at Valencia College. K-12 educators and child care workers, regardless of their age, are now also able to get inoculated at the Orange County Convention Center, after the site expanded its criteria on Friday.

Click here for a full list of places offering the vaccine under expanded criteria.

Florida also received its first round of Johnson & Johnson shots late Thursday and by Friday morning, they were being administered at the FEMA site in Orlando and to law enforcement in Polk County.

Saturday marks the first weekend the new FEMA-run site is open in Central Florida, and it’s expected to be a busy one. As of 3:30 p.m. Saturday, the site had already reached 75% capacity, officials said. The vaccine site was prepared to administer 3,250 shots Saturday.

The state is also partnering with faith-based organizations to help bring vaccines into underserved communities.

A full list of vaccine sites throughout Central Florida can be found here.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports 5,900 new virus infections, state begins administering Johnson & Johnson vaccine]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on March 6.

Cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 4,684 new cases on Saturday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,940,897 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.

Deaths

Florida reported 107 new virus-related deaths Saturday, raising the death toll to 32,200. This number includes the 580 non-residents who died in Florida.

Hospitalizations

As of Saturday afternoon, there were currently 3,352 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March 1, 2020, 80,863 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 231 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Saturday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 4.91% Friday out of 95,409 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 Saturday afternoon, 3,462,520 people have received at least the first dose of a coronavirus vaccine. The FDOH also reports that 1,902,314 people have received their second shot.

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

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths
Brevard34,648992,04797643
Flagler6,119253372920
Lake25,083731,295105814
Marion28,026691,78158528
Orange116,1293112,43011,1258
Osceola37,4131221,29614530
Polk58,0081564,44581,17410
Seminole27,725851,14324424
Sumter8,1651851112430
Volusia35,1091161,79266772

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