ORLANDO, Fla. – As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, the deadline for President Joe Biden’s goal of vaccinating 70% of Americans, U.S. vaccinations are expected to fall short of the aimed milestone.
The president set the goal on May 4 and White House officials acknowledge toward the end of June that he would fall shy of the 70% goal, with officials pointing to a combination of factors that have kept the U.S. from reaching it.
Despite the missed milestone, vaccination efforts continue and a new study is showing mRNA vaccines could provide protection from COVID-19 for years.
The study published in Nature, a scientific journal, suggests the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines may provide long-term protection though it is not yet known whether or not booster shots will be required. The main concern is how much the coronavirus could mutate and create new variations, such as the highly infectious delta variant.
The delta variant has been a cause of concern for the last couple of weeks and the World Health Organization has advised vaccinated individuals to wear a mask once again. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has not updated its guidance for face coverings on vaccinated people.
On Monday, the Florida Department of Health said there are 23 confirmed cases of the delta variant in Orange County, but Dr. Raul Pino with the FDOH in Orange County said the number is likely much higher.
As concern over the delta variant continues, many aspects of the state’s tourism industry are seeing its return to normalcy. The first cruise ship to board passengers from a U.S. port in over one year set sail last weekend. The Celebrity Edge set sail from Fort Lauderdale, marking the first cruise with paying customers since the pandemic began.
Despite the Celebrity Edge taking off, Disney Cruise Lines postponed its first test cruise that was scheduled just a few days after. Disney officials said that during routine surveillance testing of crew members on the Disney Dream last week, five out of 600 crew members tested positive for COVID-19. Those who tested positive were asymptomatic, officials said. Disney officials also said all of the infected crew members were recently vaccinated and had tested negative several times before.
[READ THE LAST COVID-19 REPORT: As Florida averages 1,696 new cases per day, Orange County sees first cases of delta variant ]
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on July 2.
The Florida Department of Health reported 15,978 new cases on Friday that occurred during the past week, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,337,613 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020. That is an average of 2,280+ new infections reported per day.
Florida reported 48 new virus-related deaths Friday from the past week. The state reported the cumulative death toll as 37,985. However, when the 48 new deaths are added to the cumulative death total from last week’s report, 37,772, the numbers come out to 37,820. The state has not provided any information as to when these deaths occurred.
The state stopped reporting the number of non-residents who died in Florida with its new weekly reporting method.
The state Agency for Health Care Administration deleted its current COVID-19 hospitalization database and the state is no longer reporting how many patients have been hospitalized with the virus.
In the last daily report in early June, since March 2020, 95,607 people had been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19.
The DOH reported the percent of positive results from coronavirus tests was 5.2% but did not provide how many people were tested during the past week. 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.
This marks the first time the state’s positivity rate has been over 5% since May 10.
The Florida Department of Health began releasing a daily report in December 2020 on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state. In the new weekly reports, the state is combining the vaccination data with the COVID-19 infection numbers.
FDOH reports 9,489,046 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.
During the past week, 111,220 new people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Central Florida region
The state is no longer providing a breakdown of county-by-county deaths or hospitalizations as of June 3. The Florida DOH is also no longer providing county numbers for non-residents who have tested positive, causing the total case numbers to drop significantly, in some counties by more than 1,000 cases.
For example, with non-resident positive cases as of June 3, Orange County had reported a total of 143,198 but with the state’s new reporting method, the county has 141,941 total cases, a difference of 1,257 positive cases.
Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases, the positivity rate and new vaccination numbers between June 25-July 1, 2021.
|County||Total cases as of July 1||New cases since June 25||Total people vaccinated||Percent of 12+ population vaccinated|