Florida reports 120,018 new COVID cases as CDC drops quarantine, social distancing from guidelines

Worldwide virus-related deaths down 9%, WHO says

A man walks past a social distancing sign in the area of Covent Garden, in London, Tuesday, Oct. 19, 2021. Many scientists are pressing the British government to re-impose social restrictions and speed up booster vaccinations as coronavirus infection rates, already Europe's highest, rise once more. The U.K. recorded 49,156 new COVID-19 cases on Monday, Oct. 18, the largest number since mid-July. New infections averaged 43,000 a day over the past week, a 15% increase on the week before.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali) (Alberto Pezzali, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida on Friday reported 120,018 cases of COVID-19 over the past two weeks, according to state’s Department of Health.

A day prior to the release of these latest state numbers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention dropped quarantine and social distancing recommendations from its COVID-19 guidelines. Officials said the action was spurred by estimates that 95% of Americans 16 and up — whether from vaccinations or infections — now have some level of immunity to the virus. The agency no longer recommends that people quarantine for at least five days after coming into contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19, but it said those who catch the virus should still isolate themselves for the same five-day time period.

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New cases in the last week have remained stable worldwide, according to a report Wednesday by the World Health Organization. Among a 19% rise in new virus-related deaths in the Middle East and the same figures falling 15% in Europe, 10% in the Americas and more than 70% in Africa, the agency said global COVID-19 deaths are down by 9%.

The omicron sub-variant BA.5 comprises nearly 70% of reported cases, remaining the dominant strain, yet the WHO advised its ability to track COVID-19 data in general remains compromised as countries drop virus-related testing and surveillance efforts.

As U.S. health officials turn their attention to putting a cork in the monkeypox outbreak, President Joe Biden on Aug. 1 tapped Robert Fenton and Dr. Demetre Daskalakis to serve as White House coordinators to that effect. Fenton helped lead the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s mass vaccination effort for COVID-19 as the agency’s administrator, while Daskalakis — Fenton’s deputy in their new role — is director of the CDC’s HIV prevention division. According to the White House, Fenton and Daskalakis are responsible for developing the “strategy and operations to combat the current monkeypox outbreak, including equitably increasing the availability of tests, vaccinations and treatments.”

Closer to home, school is back in session for Central Florida students. News 6 has asked nine local school districts about their back-to-school COVID-19 protocols, hearing back about such things as changes to the time students must spend isolating after a positive test, districts embracing the CDC’s latest direction and those not monitoring the virus at all. See the responses we’ve received here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Below is a breakdown of Florida COVID-19 data reported by the CDC and the state on Aug. 12:

Cases

There were 120,018 new coronavirus cases over the last two weeks, broken down as 54,353 cases this week and 65,665 cases the week before. Numbers from both weeks are the first time new cases have dropped below 70,000 since the beginning of June.

Florida has seen 6,909,416 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.

Deaths

The Florida Department of Health reported a cumulative death toll in Florida of 78,559. There were 994 fatalities recorded over the past two weeks, which we get by subtracting the number of deaths reported by DOH two weeks ago (77,565) from the current cumulative death toll.

The state stopped reporting the number of non-residents who died in Florida when the new weekly reporting method began.

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 3,802 adult and 73 pediatric patients in Florida.

Positivity rate

The Florida Department of Health reported the percent of positive results from coronavirus tests was 18.4% for the week of Aug. 5 but did not provide how many people were tested during the past two weeks. 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.

Below is the Central Florida region breakdown of new cases and new vaccination numbers between Aug. 5 - Aug. 11.

CountyTotal cases as of Aug. 11New cases since Aug. 5Total people vaccinatedPercent of 6 mo+ population vaccinated
Brevard159,7791,332421,57668%
Flagler26,31523980,25367%
Lake99,481826256,52567%
Marion95,854876231,31961%
Orange441,0742,9111,105,87075%
Osceola132,958999328,58279%
Polk236,5662,146468,76663%
Seminole121,778909333,08269%
Sumter26,546234105,45066%
Volusia137,6831,103358,56963%

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


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Clarification:

In a review on September 9, 2022 of our bi-weekly COVID-19 articles, we have made clarifications to some of the data in this article.


About the Authors:

Brandon, a UCF grad, joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021. Before joining News 6, Brandon worked at WDBO.