ORLANDO, Fla. – As the country is seeing an increase in COVID-19 delta variant cases, Florida is seeing a jump in overall coronavirus cases and a higher positivity rate.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s projected data shows the delta variant now accounts for more than half of all the cases in the U.S. for the week ending on July 3. The delta variant, first identified in India, is considered highly transmissible and has raised concerns that the country will not be able to continue easing COVID-19 restrictions as quickly as planned.
The state saw a positivity rate above 5% last week for the first time since May 10 and Orange County reported a positivity rate this week of nearly 6%. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said the data shows “the numbers are not trending in the right direction.”
Health officials in Orange County are concerned as the county has 40 confirmed cases of the delta variant, though Dr. Raul Pino, of the Florida Department of Health, says the number could be higher. He, like many other officials, are urging vaccinations to help reduce the spread of the variant and said about 40% of the county’s population remains unvaccinated.
“We are going to have a pandemic brewing in unvaccinated people and then we’re going to have about 60% of our population protected,” he said during a weekly update.
In an effort to bring vaccinations to people, especially younger populations, the city of Orlando is working through August to bring mobile vaccination sites offering Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson doses to neighborhoods ahead of the school year.
Pfizer also announced Thursday it would be seeking U.S. authorization for a third dose of the vaccine, saying another shot within a year could boost immunity and help against the delta variant, according to the Associated Press.
Amidst the continued push for vaccinations as overall cases are increasing, the CDC is asking a federal appeals court to put a hold a judge’s ruling that backed Florida’s fight about the cruise industry. The judge ruled the CDC overstepped its legal authority to place restrictions on the cruise industry, but attorneys for the CDC say this would “exacerbate the spread of COVID-19.″
[READ THE LAST COVID-19 REPORT: US vaccinations expected to fall short of Biden’s July 4 goal as Florida averages 2,280+ new cases per day ]
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on July 9.
The Florida Department of Health reported 23,697 new cases on Friday that occurred during the past week, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,361,360 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020. That is an average of 3,385 new infections reported per day.
Florida reported 32 new virus-related deaths Friday from the past week. The state reported the cumulative death toll as 38,157. However, when the 32 new deaths are added to the cumulative death total from last week’s report, 37,985, the numbers come out to 38,017. 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 7.8% 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 9,627,930 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, 96,089 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 July 2-July 8, 2021.
|County||Total cases as of July 8||New cases since July 2||Total people vaccinated||Percent of 12+ population vaccinated|