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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.

Florida's COVID positivity rate and death toll are trending downward

The number of people testing positive for COVID-19 continues to drop, while deaths related to the disease declined for the first time since mid-December.

While the number of new COVID-19 cases statewide are about half of what they were two weeks ago, the number of deaths remains high.

The Florida Department of Health's weekly coronavirus report released on Friday showed 103,022 people in the state tested positive for the virus.

Statewide, 1,293 people died from complications of the virus for the week ending Thursday. That's down slightly from the 1,324 recorded the week before — and the first weekly decline since Dec. 17-23.

Overall, more than 67,500 Floridians have died with COVID. It is unclear when the deaths occurred because of lags in reporting.

The positivity rates for new cases continues a downward trend. It came in this week at 14.3 percent, down from 18 percent a week earlier. It's the fifth straight week of declines from a rate of 31.2 percent recorded the week of Dec. 31-Jan. 6.

The vaccination rates for people ages 5 and older remained practically unchanged from the week before.

The Tampa Bay Times reported this week that the Florida Department of Health said that a pair of companies failed to report more than 230,000 COVID-19 tests in December and January.

If added to the current data, that could add to the high totals reported during the recent omicron wave. Department of Health officials say the state is reviewing the information.

The following is a summary from Feb. 4-Feb. 10:

Cases: 5,732,798 positive cases, an increase of 103,022 from the previous week.

Vaccinations: 15,356,586 Florida residents have been vaccinated, a weekly increase of 21,557. 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 14.3%, down from 18% from the previous week.

Deaths: A total of 67,572 Florida residents have died from a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, an increase of 1,293 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.)

* - 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.

Copyright 2022 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.