Florida COVID-19 roundup: 5,101 new cases, 50+ vaccine eligible and J&J shots coming

Newly expanded age group begins Monday for Florida

An additional 3 million people in Florida learned Friday they would be able to get the coronavirus vaccine as soon as next week after Gov. Ron DeSantis opened up the eligibility pool to people 50 years and older.

ORLANDO, Fla. – An additional 3 million people in Florida learned Friday they would be able to get the coronavirus vaccine as soon as next week after Gov. Ron DeSantis opened up the eligibility pool to people 50 years and older.

There have been a slew of announcements and vaccine eligibility expansion in the past 24 hours. Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to know about coronavirus heading into the weekend.

  • New vaccine age groups: The vaccine eligibility expansion for 50 and older begins Monday across Florida at all locations. According to the most recent U.S. Census, there are about 3 million Florida residents between 50 and 60 years old.
  • 40+ for Orange County Convention Center site: Additionally, if you get a vaccine at the Orange County Convention Center site, that age requirement also drops on Monday but down to 40 years and older, per a new order from Mayor Jerry Demings. Those appointments will be available to book starting Monday. If you do choose to go to the OCCC site, here is a step-by-step guide to setting up your appointment and getting your vaccine there.
  • Johnson & Johnson vaccines are coming: It’s been more than two weeks since Florida’s first shipment of the single dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus vaccine. The governor said Friday Florida will get 42,000 more doses of the vaccine next week. This is much less than the state’s first shipment of 175,000 but it comes down to supply delays. There is currently no timeline when Florida will get it’s third shipment of J&J.
  • 3 feet apart for desks: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reduced the social distancing recommendations for students in school from 6 feet to 3 feet. The revised COVID-19 recommendations represent a turn away from the 6-foot standard that has forced some schools to remove desks, stagger scheduling and take other steps to keep children away from one another. The CDC said 6 feet of distance should still be maintained in common areas, such as school lobbies, and when masks can’t be worn, such as when eating. Here’s what else the new guidelines recommend.
  • Vaccine hunting: Across the state and country, vaccine hunters have been calling up pharmacies and other vaccination locations hoping to score shots that went unused so they don’t go to waste. When and if there are leftover COVID-19 vaccine shots at Publix stores come the end of the day, those doses are given to employees rather than being thrown out.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Gov. DeSantis knocks contact tracing as Florida reports 6,044 new COVID-19 case]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

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

Cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 5,101 new cases on Friday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,999,257 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.

Deaths

Florida reported 54 new virus-related deaths Friday, bringing the death toll to 33,273. This number includes the 622 non-residents who died in Florida.

Hospitalizations

As of Friday afternoon, there were currently 2,917 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since March 1, 2020, 83,189 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 192 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Friday.

Positivity rate

The percent of positive results was 5.02% Thursday out of 101,591 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.

FDOH reports 2,617,095 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.

As of Friday, 4,710,033 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

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

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths
Brevard36,0511262,11377892
Flagler6,383283471930
Lake25,895641,34265930
Marion28,564511,88839042
Orange119,5433192,51271,1591
Osceola38,476951,32674732
Polk59,5421424,605171,21910
Seminole28,8071141,17214490
Sumter8,4723053412420
Volusia36,4511231,88610696-1

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