Florida DOH reports increase in COVID-19 cases, deaths

Florida Department of Health reported another uptick in COVID-19 cases in the weekly report released Dec. 10. New cases for the week of Dec. 3-9 totaled 13,530 (about 1,933 a day) compared to 10,892 (about 1,556 a day) for Nov. 26-Dec. 2.

The cumulative total since March 2020 is up to 3,710,507.

DOH reported 9,663 new cases (about 1,380 a day) for the week of Nov. 19-25. The report is normally released on Friday, but DOH didn’t release the report until Tuesday the following week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

DOH reported 10,828 new cases (about 1,547 a day) for the week of Nov. 12-18, the first increase in case numbers since August.

DOH reported 10,746 new cases of COVID-19 (about 1,535 a day) for the week of Nov. 5-11, 11,069 new cases (about 1,581 a day) for Oct. 29-Nov. 4, 12,280 (about 1,754 a day) new cases Oct. 22-28, 15,314 (about 2,187 a day) Oct. 15-21, 19,519 (2,788 a day) Oct. 8-14 and 25,792 (3,970 a day) Oct. 1-7.

The numbers had been much higher for the fall and late summer months. DOH reported 37,772 new cases (5,376 a day) for Sept. 24-30, 56,325 new cases (8,046 a day) for Sept. 17-23 and 75,906 (10,843 a day) from Sept. 10-16, 100,012 new cases for the week of Sept. 3-9 and 129,240 for Aug. 27-Sept. 2,

Previously DOH reported 151,749 for Aug. 20-26, 150,118 for Aug. 13-19, 151,415 for Aug. 6-12 and 134,506 for July 30-Aug. 5.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida’s transmission rate was substantial as of Dec. 11, up from moderate reported two weeks ago.

Death toll

DOH reported a statewide death count of 62,026 for the week of Dec. 3-9 — 325 more than the week of Nov. 26-Dec. 2, which was up 153 from the week of Nov. 19-25.

DOH reported 538 more deaths the week of Nov. 12-18, 384 more the week of Nov. 5-11.

DOH reported 60,697 deaths Nov. 5-11 — 363 more than the week of Oct. 29-Nov. 4. For Oct. 29-Nov. 4, DOH reported 60,334 — 664 more than the week of Oct. 22-28.

Death reports are often delayed so the date a person died could be days or weeks prior to when it is reported.

As of Dec. 9, 31deaths had been reported in children under age 16 (the same as the week before), 433 in the age group 16-29 (two more than the week before), 1,143 for ages 30-39 (six more than the week before), 2,754 for ages 40-49 (seven more than the week before), 6,289 for ages 50-59 (37 more than the week before), 5,104 for ages 60-64 (27 more than the week before) and 46,272 for ages 64 and up (345 more than the week before).

Positivity rate

The state’s new case positivity rate increased to 2.6% for the week of Dec. 3-9, up from 2.5% for Nov. 26-Dec. 2. It was 2.4% the week of Nov. 19-25 and 2.5% for Nov. 12-18 and Nov. 5-11.

The rate had been steadily decreasing. DOH reported a positivity rate of 2.6% for the week of Oct. 29-Nov. 4, 3.0% for Oct. 22-28, 3.4% for Oct. 15-21, 3.8% for 8-14, 4.8% for Oct. 1-7, 6.5% for Sept. 24-30, 8.6% for Sept. 17-23 and 11.2% for Sept. 10-16.

DOH reported a rate of 13.5% for the week of Sept. 3-9 and 15.2% for Aug. 27-Sept. 2, which was a decrease from 16.8% from Aug. 20-26 and the first decline in the positivity rate since July.

By age group, the highest new case positivity rate for Dec. 3-9 was 3.5% for ages 5-11, 3.2% for ages 12-29 and 20-29, and 2.8% for ages 30-39.

The lowest positivity rate, 1.9%, was reported in ages 65 and up, 2.3 for ages 60-64 and 2.6% for ages 50-59.

Pinellas County

In Pinellas County, the new case positivity rate Dec. 3-9 was 2.7%, an increase from 2.4% reported Nov. 26-Dec. 2, 2.3% for Nov. 19-25 and 2.1% for Nov. 12-18 and 2% on Nov. 5-11, 2.2% for Oct. 29-Nov. 4 and 2.1% for Oct. 22-28.

The last time the positivity rate was higher was Oct. 15-21 when it was 3%. It was 3.7% for Oct. 8-14, 5.2% for Oct. 1-7, 6.8% for Sept. 24-30, 7.9% for Sept. 17-23, 11.8% for Sept. 10-16 and 14.7% for Sept. 3-9.

Pinellas County’s new case count for Dec. 3-9 was 536 (about 77 a day) compared to 420 (about 60 a day) reported for Nov. 26-Dec. 2.

The cumulative case count rose to 136,664.

DOH reported 357 (about 51 a day) for Nov. 19-25 and 353 (about 50 a day) for Nov. 12-18, 383 new cases (about 55 a day) for Nov. 5-11, 361 (about 52 a day) for Oct. 29-Nov. 4 and 397 (about 57 a day) for Oct. 22-28.

The last time, the new case count was higher than the one reported Dec. 30 was Oct. 15-21 with 559 (about 80 a day). DOH reported 790 (113 a day) for Oct. 8-14 and 1,078 (154 a day) for Oct. 1-7.

The CDC reports that the transmission rate in Pinellas is back up to substantial. It had decreased to moderate for about a month. CDC reported a 25% increase in new cases over the past seven days. New hospital admissions totaled 107. The rate of new admissions increased by 11%. CDC reported less than seven deaths in the past seven days and the death rate decreased by 56%.

Information about COVID in Pinellas is available at https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/.

Vaccination rate

CDC has approved a lower dose Pfizer vaccine for children age 5 and up.

Booster shots have now been approved for all ages 18 and older who received a Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine at least six months ago and those that have taken the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. As of Dec. 9, 3,377,192 booster shots had been administered, compared to 2,957,193 last week.

An increased emphasis has been placed on getting more people vaccinated with the discovery of the Omicron variant. The first case in Florida was reported Dec. 7 by a hospital in Tampa.

DOH reported that the state’s vaccination rate increased to 70% for Dec. 3-9, up from 69% for Nov. 26-Dec. 2 and Nov. 19-25. As of Dec. 9, 14,540,602 Floridians had received a COVID-19 shot with 1,906,610 receiving a first-dose only and 9,256,800 completing the one- or two-shot series.

According to DOH, 90% of those 65 and older had received at least one shot, 87% of ages 60-64, 81% of ages 50-59, 76% of ages 40-49, 68% of ages 30-39, 58% of ages 20-29, 57% of ages 12-19 and 11% for ages 5-11.

In Pinellas County, 626,363 had received at least one dose of vaccine out of a population of 992,298, or 66%, an increase from 85% last week. According to the county’ dashboard, as of Dec. 10, 69% have received at least one shot, and 61.1% of residents are fully vaccinated, meaning they have received either one or two-shots as required.

United States and global numbers

According to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of 2:22 p.m. Dec. 11, 49.85 million cases and 796,997deaths had been reported in the United States, and 269.60 million cases had been reported worldwide with 5.30 million deaths.

Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at sporter@tbnweekly.com.