ORLANDO, Fla. – Nearly 45% of Americans who are 65 and older are now fully vaccinated and for those who are it means they can begin moving forward doing activities that once were taken for granted like seeing family.
Visiting grandchildren is a top priority for many older adults.
Health officials everywhere worried about the emotional and physical toll of loneliness, posing an additional health concern on top of the virus but that’s changing, and more older people are reappearing in public after they were among the first group to get vaccinated.
Those who are fully vaccinated are ready to get out of Dodge without worrying they were endangering themselves amid a pandemic that has claimed more than 540,000 lives in the United States.
“Now there’s an extra level of confidence. I am feeling good about moving forward,” said Ken Hughes, a 79-year-old Florida resident who is flying with his wife for a pandemic-delayed annual trip to Arizona in April.
Plenty of older adults are eager to hop on a jet to travel. Others are looking forward to the simpler things like eating at a restaurant, going to a movie theater or playing bingo.
Florida plans to further expand vaccines Monday to people over 40 and within a month anyone old enough to drive will be eligible for the vaccine.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Young adults seeing higher infection rates as Florida reports 5,759 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 27.
The Florida Department of Health reported 5,688 new cases on Saturday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,039,062 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
Florida reported 27 new virus-related deaths Saturday, bringing the death toll to 33,783. This number includes the 641 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Saturday afternoon, there were currently 2,831 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since last March, 84,561 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 155 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Saturday.
The percent of positive results was 6.27% Friday out of 90,742 tests. 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.
The Florida Department of Health began releasing a daily report in December on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
FDOH reports 3,0075,333 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 Saturday, 5,604,283 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Below is the county-by-county breakdown of new cases as of Saturday.
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