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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.

The death toll from COVID-19 in Florida nears 69,000

an image of spiky globes which represent coronavirus

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases in the greater Tampa Bay region fell by about half compared to a week earlier as the omicron surge continued its steep decline.

The death toll from COVID-19 in Florida rose above 68,000 this week — to 68,902 — as the state reported 1,330 more fatalities due to complications from the coronavirus.

It's the highest number of weekly deaths since early October.

Across Florida, the number of new cases dropped by more than half. The weekly report from the Florida Department of Health, released Friday, showed 42,473 new positive tests for the week of February 11-17, down from 103,022 last week.

In the greater Tampa Bay area, 11,448 people tested positive, down from 22,501 a week earlier.

The positivity rates for new cases continues a downward trend, coming in at 8.2%, down from 14.3% a week earlier.

As of Friday, 4,637 people are hospitalized statewide with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19. That's down more than 26% from a week earlier.

The vaccination rates for people ages five and up remained practically unchanged from the week before.

The following is a summary from Feb. 11-Feb. 17:

Cases: 5,775,171 positive cases, an increase of 42,473 from the previous week.

Vaccinations: 15,379,508 Florida residents have been vaccinated, a weekly increase of 16,036. In all, 74% of Florida’s population over the age of five has received at least one dose of vaccine, basically the same rate as a week ago.

Positivity Rate: The positivity rate for new cases statewide was 8.2%, down from 14.3% the previous week.

Deaths: A total of 68,902 Florida residents have died from a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, an increase of 1,330 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:(Feb. 11-Feb.17)


County

Cases (Increase)

Positivity (prv.)

# Vaccinations

% Vaccinated (prv.) *

Hillsborough

368,092 (4,324)

11.9% (15.9%)

977,637

69% (69%)

Pinellas

204,837 (2,086)

9.3% (14.1%)

654,959

69% (69%)

Polk

197,390 (1,514)

9.7% (16.4%)

448,937

66% (66%)

Sarasota

87,634 (1,237)

11.9% (16.7%)

328,929

77% (77%)

Manatee

93,876 (818)

11.1% (16.1%)

268,455

69% (69%)

Pasco

120,110 (1,095)

10.6% (17.7%)

352,103

68% (67%)

Hernando

41,326 (374)

11.7% (19.7%)

113,981

61% (61%)

* - 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.

I cover health and K-12 education – two topics that have overlapped a lot since the pandemic began.
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