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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.

Florida adds the lowest weekly number of new COVID-19 cases since December

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The state reported 888 new deaths from COVID-19 in the week ending Thursday. That comes after four straight weeks where new deaths surpassed 1,100.

Florida added the fewest new cases of COVID-19 this week since early December.

According to the weekly report from the Florida Department of Health, 25,640 new positive tests were reported in the week ending Thursday, bringing the total to 5,800,561.

That's down from 42,473 a week earlier, and the lowest weekly number since 29,568 new cases were reported Dec. 10-16, 2021.

In the greater Tampa Bay region, 7,320 more people tested positive, down from 11,448 a week earlier.

The positivity rate for new cases continues declining, coming in at 5.6%, down from 8.2% a week earlier, and compared to a peak of 31.2% Dec. 31-Jan. 6.

While the positivity rates across Tampa area counties remain above the state number, all counties saw declines of between 2.2 and 4.6% from a week ago.

The state reported 69,790 people have died from COVID-19, an increase of 888 for the week. That comes after four straight weeks where new deaths surpassed 1,100.

As of Friday, 3,358 people are hospitalized statewide with the coronavirus. That's down more than 27% from a week earlier.

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

The following is a summary from Feb. 18-Feb. 24:

Cases: 5,800,561 positive cases, an increase of 25,640 from the previous week.

Vaccinations: 15,401,184 Florida residents have been vaccinated, a weekly increase of 13,116. 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 5.6%, down from 8.2% the previous week.

Deaths: A total of 69,790 Florida residents have died from a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, an increase of 888 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. 18-Feb. 24)


County

Cases (Increase)

Positivity (prv.)

# Vaccinations

% Vaccinated (prv.) *

Hillsborough

371,068 (3,009)

9.7% (11.9%)

978,958

69% (69%)

Pinellas

206,159 (1,318)

7.1% (9.3%)

655,463

69% (69%)

Polk

198,368 (980)

7.1% (9.7%)

449,539

66% (66%)

Sarasota

88,296 (660)

7.3% (11.9%)

329,113

77% (77%)

Manatee

94,336 (464)

7.1% (11.1%)

268,677

69% (69%)

Pasco

120,768 (652)

7.3% (10.6%)

352,446

68% (68%)

Hernando

41,568 (237)

7.6% (11.7%)

114,108

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.

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