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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida and WUSF can help. Our responsibility at WUSF News is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

COVID-19 cases hit the highest daily and weekly levels since September

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The positivity rate for the week more than doubled from 2.6% last week to 5.4% this week.

With concerns over the omicron COVID-19 variant growing as the holidays approach, Florida reported its highest daily and weekly case numbers since September.

The Florida Department of Health added 29,568 new cases of coronavirus in the week ending Thursday, bringing the state's total to 3,739,348.

That's more than double the 13,530 reported a week earlier, and the highest total since the week ending Sept. 30 (37,772).

The positivity rate for the week also more than doubled from 2.6% last week to 5.4% this week.

In addition, the department of health reported 8,785 people tested positive for the coronavirus Thursday. It's the highest daily number since Sept. 21 (10,073).

The state's COVID-19 death toll now stands at 62,220, up 194 from a week earlier. That's compared to 325 new deaths recorded last week.

The health department reported 91,841 more Floridians were vaccinated this week, down from 104,995 a week ago.

More than 3.7 million of the almost 14.7 million Floridians who have received a COVID-19 vaccine have also received a booster dose.

More than 208,000 Florida children — about 12 percent of the almost 1.7 million 5-11 year old's in the state — have received a shot since the Pfizer vaccine was approved for them in November.

The following is a summary from Dec. 9 - Dec. 16, 2021.

Cases: 3,739,348 positive cases, an increase of 29,568 from the previous week.

Vaccinations: 14,647,710 Florida residents have been vaccinated, a weekly increase of 91,841. In all, 70% of Florida’s population over the age of five has received at least one dose of vaccine — unchanged from last week.

Positivity Rate: The positivity rate for new cases was 5.4%, up from 2.6% the previous week.

Deaths: A total of 62,220 Florida residents have died from a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, an increase of 194 from the previous week.

(NOTE: Cases and deaths in the report may have happened days or weeks earlier, according to state officials. The state is also now only counting deaths involving Florida residents.)

County Breakdown:

(Dec. 9-Dec. 16, 2021)


County

Cases (Increase)

Positivity (prv.)

# Vaccinations

% Vaccinated (prv.) *

Hillsborough

248,113 (1,363)

4.3% (3%)

925,875

65% (65%)

Pinellas

137,219 (573)

2.8% (2.7%)

630,343

66% (66%)

Polk

131,019 (495)

3.2% (2.7%)

425,693

63% (62%)

Sarasota

56,730 (291)

3.2% (2.5%)

317,806

75% (74%)

Manatee

66,042 (239)

2.8% (2.6%)

257,592

67% (66%)

Pasco

80,859 (412)

4.1% (3.3%)

335,683

64% (64%)

Hernando

28,970 (98)

3.5% (3.1%)

109,501

59% (58%)

* - Vaccination rate now includes children ages 5-11 years old.

ABOUT THE DATA: As of June 4, 2021, the Florida Department of Health no longer offers daily updates on coronavirus data, and instead issues a county-by-county and statewide weekly breakdown on about COVID-19 cases, deaths, and other information. Cases and deaths in the report may have happened days or weeks earlier, according to state officials. The state is also now only counting deaths involving Florida residents.

Mark Schreiner is the assistant news director and intern coordinator for WUSF News.