Florida expands vaccine eligibility as state sees 5,311 new COVID-19 cases

Non-residents providing goods and services now eligible

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health announced the state’s surgeon general expanded vaccine eligibility to non-residents providing goods and services in the state.

And with this expansion, many Central Florida counties are shifting game plans to vaccinate people in the community who want it.

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Orange County officials announced earlier this week they would move toward sending mobile vaccination clinics directly into neighborhoods in an effort to ramp up inoculations. As more people get vaccinated, health officials with the county are saying many residents are overdue on their second shots, with up to 40,000 people skipping out on their second dose.

“Please complete your series,” Dr. Raul Pino with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said. “Although you acquire some level of protection when you have just one dose, we are not sure how long that will last, or how high. Your best chances to get full immunity, it is by having your second dose of Moderna or Pfizer.”

A new form in Orange County will allow businesses and members of the community to apply and have crews bring a mobile COVID-19 unit to them, arriving at a time when first doses are wrapping up at the Orange County Convention Center.

“The key is to make it as convenient as possible for people so that they do not have to travel long distances to be able to get access. We now know that when we make it convenient for them, and it’s right on their street, perhaps right in their households, they will take the opportunity to do so,” Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said.

Pfizer and BioNTech submitted a request Friday to the European Union’s drug agency for approval of their vaccines to be extended to children between 12 and 15 years old. The companies said their submission for approval is based on a study “in more than 2,000 adolescents that showed their vaccine to be safe and effective,” according to the Associated Press.

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports 5,700 new COVID-19 cases as CDC says cruises in US could soon resume ]

Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on April 30.

Cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 5,311 new cases on Friday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,233,518 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.

Deaths

Florida reported 81 new virus-related deaths Friday, bringing the death toll to 35,858. This number includes the 697 non-residents who died in Florida.

Hospitalizations

As of Friday afternoon, there were currently 3,156 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Since last March, 90,489 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 227 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 5.66% Thursday out of 93,888 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.

Vaccinations

The Florida Department of Health began releasing a daily report in December 2020 on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.

FDOH reports 6,183,101 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, 8,808,680 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases, deaths and hospitalizations for Friday.

CountyCasesNew CasesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths
Brevard40,9041242,32988612
Flagler7,197640011100
Lake29,290621,48146283
Marion30,759822,130169470
Orange136,3273952,73631,2460
Osceola44,0501261,44055001
Polk67,6072525,157311,3095
Seminole33,6891061,24214880
Sumter9,2631457512750
Volusia42,709922,19587880

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