COVID-19 cases in Florida increase slightly after Thanksgiving

Florida has seen a slight increase in COVID-19 cases during the week of Thanksgiving and the week after.

There were 30,932 new cases of COVID-19 reported over the past two weeks among Florida residents, up from 23,486 reported in the prior two weeks, bringing the cumulative total to 7,195,943.

Statewide, 11% of those tested for COVID tested positive, up from 8% in the last report.

The last time the state reported a double-digit positivity rate was in early September.

With 326 more deaths recorded, 83,201 Floridians have died, according to the biweekly report from the Florida Department of Health. The number of deaths decreased from 334.

Older people are being killed disproportionately. From January 1 to November 1, 18,300 deaths from COVID-19 have been reported in Florida, the report shows. The vast majority, 85%, were over 65 years of age.

Six out of 100 people 65 and older in the state who contract COVID-19 die from it, the report says.

Meanwhile, only 23% of Floridians 65 and older have the up-to-date bivalent booster dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which is crucial in providing protection against some of the recently circulating omicron variants, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1.

“The best way to save lives this holiday season is to ensure that all Americans, especially seniors, receive their up-to-date flu and COVID vaccine,” said Dr. Ashish K. Jha, coordinator of response to COVID-19 from the White House, at a conference earlier this month.

Statewide, 16,081,610 residents, or 72% of people 6 months and older, received at least one vaccine, including 7,771,584 who completed their vaccination regimens but did not receive an additional dose as of December 1. Meanwhile, 28,766 received an additional dose this week, bringing the total to 6,104,052.

Statewide, 1,451 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 from November 23-29, according to the latest White House report. By comparison, 1,231 were hospitalized two weeks ago. Four weeks ago, there were 1,220.

Central Florida added 5,586 resident infections in the last two weeks, based on the actual date the state opened the case, for a total of 1,418,514: 1,613 more in Orange for 458,227; 585 more in Osceola for 138,487; 1,065 more at Polk for 249,118; 429 more in Lago for 104,414; 158 more in Sumter for 28,454; 652 more in Volusia for 144,486; 610 more in Brevard for 168,055; and 474 more in Seminole for 127,273.

This story was published in the Orlando Sentinel and was translated by journalist José Javier Pérez.

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