Florida’s COVID-19 case counts keep on climbing

Florida Department of Health reported yet another week of record-breaking numbers of new COVID-19 numbers, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that the state’s transmission rate remains high.

For the week of Aug. 6-12, DOH reported 151,415 new COVID-19 cases, or 21,631 a day, bringing the cumulative count since March 2020 to 2,877,214. That’s up from the week of July 30-Aug. 5 when DOH reported 134,506 new cases, or 19,215 a day.

Case counts have been rising for weeks. In the weekly report for July 23-29, DOH reported 110,477 new COVID-19 cases and DOH added 73,199 more cases to the tally for July 16-22.

For the week of July 9-15, DOH reported 45,603 new cases, nearly twice as many as the 23,747 reported July 2-8. For the week of June 25-July 1, 15,978 new cases were reported and 11,873 for June 18-24.

According to the CDC, the rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 was up 28% compared to the week before when it increased by 53%. Florida added the nation’s third highest number of cumulative cases per 100,000 in the last seven days at 697, with Louisiana at No. 1 with 848 and Arkansas at No. 2 with 773.

According to the CDC, the rate of deaths per 100,000 increased by 146% compared to a decrease of 28% last week. DOH reported a death toll of 40,766 — 1,071 more than the week of July 30-Aug. 5. DOH reported 616 new deaths last week and 409 new deaths the week of July 16-22. DOH reported 231 deaths for July 9-15, 172 for July 2-8 and 213 for June 25-July 1.

The state’s positivity rate also continues to rise. DOH reported a rate of 19.1% statewide for the week of Aug. 6-12, 18.9% for July 30-Aug. 5, 18.1% for July 23-29, 15.1% for July 16-22, 11.5% for July 9-15 and 7.8% for July 2-8.

DOH reported a positivity rate for new cases at 5.2% for June 25-July 1, 3.8% for the week of June 18-24, 3.3% for June 11-17 and 3.4% for June 4-10.

In Pinellas County, the new case positivity rate increased to 19.2% compared to 18% for July 30-Aug. 5 and 16.7% for July 16-22, 14.2% for July 16-22, 9.2% for July 9-15 and 6.1% for July 2-8.

DOH reported a positivity rate for new cases in Pinellas at 3.7% for June 25-July 1, 3% for June 18-24, 2.7% for June 11-17 and 2.3% for June 4-10.

Pinellas County’s new case count increased by 6,434, or 919 cases a day, for the week of Aug. 6-12 compared to 5,125, for July 30-Aug. 5. The cumulative count went up to 101,233.

DOH reported 4,164 new cases the week of July 23-29 and 2,679 for July 16-22. DOH reported 1,365 new cases July 9-15, more than twice the 569 new cases for July 2-8.

DOH reported 393 new cases for June 25-July 1, 347 new cases June 18-24, 323 new cases for June 11-17 and 301 new cases for June 4-10.

The CDC reports that the transmission rate in Pinellas is high with a 23% increase in new cases over the past seven days the same as last week. New hospital admissions were up by 26% the same as last week.

DOH ended its daily reports of COVID-19 activity on June 2 and removed the dashboard that provided a detailed account of cases, deaths, testing and other information since March 2020.

DOH no longer provides the number of new deaths by county. As of June 2, deaths in Pinellas totaled 1,671.

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

Vaccination rate up to 65%

Health and government officials continue to urge the unvaccinated to get a shot as soon as possible to try to combat the highly contagious delta variant.

CDC says the highest rate of transmission with more serious cases is occurring in areas with low vaccination rates. The vaccine remains the most effective preventive measure available.

The vaccine not only prevents people from getting COVID-19, it also helps keep them from getting as sick. Officials are urging unvaccinated people to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

DOH reports that the state’s vaccination rate for the week increased to 65% for ages 12 and older receiving at least one dose, up from 63% last week.

As of Aug. 12, DOH reported that 12,420,704 Floridians had received a COVID-19 vaccination with 2,100,860 receiving a first-dose only and 10,319,844 completing the one- or two-shot series.

According to the DOH, 86% of those 65 and older had completed the one- or two-shot series, 79% of ages 60-64, 71% of ages 50-59, 63% of ages 40-49, 54% of ages 30-39, 45% of ages 20-29 and 44% of ages 12-19.

In Pinellas County, 541,133 had received at least one dose of vaccine out of a population of 992,298, or 62%, up 1% from last week.

United States and global numbers

Johns Hopkins University of Medicine still maintains a COVID-19 dashboard providing information on national and worldwide cases and deaths. As of 3:21 p.m. Aug. 14, 36.6 million cases and 621,199 deaths had been reported in the United States, and 206.58 million cases had been reported worldwide with 4.35 million deaths. In addition, more than 4.6 billion vaccine doses had been administered.

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