ORLANDO, Fla. – Two years ago Friday, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 to be a pandemic.
The milestone comes as COVID-19 cases wane across the United States and in Florida.
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The announcement sent shockwaves around the world. Cases were surging in China and in other countries, and the WHO called on countries to take stronger action to contain the virus.
“We should double down,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We should be more aggressive.”
Stocks instantly plummeted, events canceled or banned public attendance, President Trump addressed the country from the Oval Office. He announced new restrictions in passenger travel from 26 European nations.
By that evening, 38 people had died of COVID-19 in the U.S., and more than 1,300 had tested positive.
Since then, some 79.4 million people have tested positive for COVID across the country, with 965,000 deaths.
Worldwide, there have been 453 million cases of COVID-19, and 6.03 million deaths.
Since then the world has spent two years battling several variants and no symptoms, discovering new treatments and most crucially, vaccines.
According to the latest data from March 10, the U.S. now averages around 36,500 new cases a day, significantly down from a 7-day average of more than 762,000 new cases a day in January at the height of the omicron variant surge.
Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the state on March 11:
The Florida Department of Health reported10,288 new cases on Friday that occurred between March 4 and March 10, bringing the state’s overall total to 5,824,728 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
Florida reported 87 new virus-related deaths Friday from the past week but the cumulative death toll of 71,860 actually shows there have been 863 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.
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 from March 10 show 1,412 adult and 32 pediatric patients in Florida.
The DOH reported the percent of positive results from coronavirus tests was 2.4% 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.
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 15,430,167 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine against COVID-19, this is about 74% of the state.
During the past week, 8,398 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 March 4 - March 10.
|County||Total cases as of Mar. 10||New cases since Mar. 4||Total people vaccinated||Percent of 5+ population vaccinated|