Weekly COVID cases up 138% in Florida

Florida’s COVID-19 positivity rate was at 26.5%

Second Orange County COVID testing site reopens

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida continues to break its records as the number of daily COVID-19 cases continues to rise. The Centers for Disease Control reported 75,962 cases were reported on Dec. 30, marking the highest in one day in Florida.

The CDC also reported the new COVID-19 cases are putting children in the hospital in record numbers. During the week of Dec. 22-28, an average of 378 children 17 and under were admitted per day to hospitals with the coronavirus, a 66% increase from the week before, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday.

[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider (it’s free!)]

The federal agency also updated its travel health notice regarding COVID-19 and cruise ships Thursday, warning against cruise travel regardless of vaccination status. The CDC said the threat of contracting or spreading the virus on cruise ships is now at its highest level — level four — due to the onset of the omicron variant and the ease that COVID-19 is transmitted between people in close quarters, even if one is fully vaccinated.

Demand for testing has strained local sites, prompting counties to open new sites, including in Orange and Seminole counties. In Orange County, a third site was opened Thursday at the South Orange Youth Sports Complex. Seminole County officials are planning to open another testing site at the Sanford SunRail Station next week.

The testing sites are open seven days a week, but with high demand for tests, thousands of people are faced with long lines, long waits and early closure. To help combat that, at-home COVID-19 tests are being encouraged for people to utilize.

A “historic increase” of COVID-19 has been recorded in wastewater service areas in Orange County as cases continue to surge as a result of the omicron variant, according to county officials. New data released Thursday shows the levels from three areas are more than double than previous record highs.

Among many things being impacted by omicron, the airline industry is also taking a hit with many airports facing delays and cancellations.

JetBlue Airways announced it is slashing almost 1,300 flights. The cuts go through Jan. 13 and are due to a shortage of crew members getting sick from COVID-19.

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on Dec. 31:

Cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 298,455 new cases on Friday that occurred between Dec. 24 and Dec. 30, bringing the state’s overall total to 4,166,392 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020. That is an average of 42,636 new infections reported per day.

Even though the Florida DOH released numbers once a week, the state is still reporting daily infections to the CDC. Below is the CDC daily number, which is 24 hours behind.

Deaths

Florida reported 32 new virus-related deaths Friday from the past week but the cumulative death toll of 62,504 actually shows there have been 162 new deaths added to the state total. 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.

Hospitalizations

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. However, Florida is still required to report that information to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the CDC continues to release that information online. The most recent hospital numbers show 4,364 adult and 121 pediatric patients in Florida.

Positivity rate

The DOH reported the percent of positive results from coronavirus tests was 26.5% 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.

Vaccinations

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 14,868,902 have received at least one dose of the vaccine against COVID-19, this is about 70% of the state.

During the past week, 81,503 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 and new vaccination numbers between Dec. 24- Dec. 30, 2021.

CountyTotal cases as of Dec. 30New cases since Dec. 24Total people vaccinatedPercent of 5+ population vaccinated
Brevard88,6454,979394,97368
Flagler15,51956276,50168
Lake59,5742,831241,53067
Marion59,633961218,39362
Orange261,11221,0091,011,26874
Osceola81,1355,751297,48179
Polk140,4007,524432,67364
Seminole71,0095,274312,01468
Sumter15,405385101,469,75
Volusia82,9543,939339,49464

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter and go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.

Correction:

A previous version of this story incorrectly reported the average number of daily COVID-19 cases. The correct average number is 1,581 daily cases. We apologize for any confusion.


About the Author:

Brenda Argueta is a digital journalist who joined ClickOrlando.com in March 2021. She graduated from UCF and returned to Central Florida after working in Colorado.