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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 can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

Coronavirus Weekly Report: Florida Cases Nearly Double; 15.1% Positivity Rate

The positivity rate for new cases in the week ending July 22 was nearly five times as high as rates from last month as new cases surge and the pace of vaccination stalls.

Florida is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases and deaths as it deals with the delta variant and lagging vaccination rates. Meantime, hospital officials across the state say beds are filling up with COVID-19 patients.

On Friday, the Florida Department of Health reported almost twice as many new cases this week than it did the week before. For the previous seven days ending Thursday, Florida had a daily average of more than 10,400 cases.

The positivity rate for new cases shot up to 15.1%, more than five times higher than rates from last month. The 73,199 positive tests recorded this week puts the state's total case count at nearly 2.5 million.

Florida’s numbers had been falling since mid-January, when 100,000 new cases per week were reported and 8,200 were hospitalized as vaccinations began to be distributed.

Now, Florida is one of 14 states nationwide deemed to have a “high” level of community transmission of the virus. Federal officials say about 20 percent of the nation's cases were reported in Florida.

Hospitalizations jumped significantly as the vaccination rate in rural counties, where some of the worst outbreaks are occurring, remains well below the state and national average.

The state hospital association says about 5,300 Floridians were hospitalized with COVID, a 65% jump since the previous week and nearly a tripling since June 14.

Officials have said more than 95% of those hospitalized were not vaccinated.

The number of vaccinations administered has also stalled, with 58% of the state’s adults fully inoculated, up only slightly from the previous week. The state remains just below the national rate of 60%.

Gov. Ron DeSantis encouraged unvaccinated Floridians to get the shot.

Each week, the Florida Department of Health will provide updates on the number of coronavirus cases, changes in positivity rate, vaccinations, and other statewide and county-by-county data. The following is a summary from July 16-22, 2021.

UPDATE: Weekly Situation Report From The Florida Department Of Health

Cases: 2,479,975 positive cases, an increase of 73,166 from the previous week.

Vaccinations: 11,469,755 Florida residents have been vaccinated, a weekly increase of 177,420. In all, 60% of Florida’s population has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Positivity Rate: The positivity rate for new cases was 15.1%, up from 11.5 the previous week.

Deaths: A total of 38,670 Florida residents have died from a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, an increase of 282 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:

(July 16-22, 2021)

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.
Information from the Associated Press and News Service of Florida was used in this report.

Copyright 2021 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Daylina Miller is a multimedia reporter for WUSF and Health News Florida, covering health in the Tampa Bay area and across the state.