COVID-19 infections rising again in Central Florida

CORONAVIRUS ORLANDO (3) (Large)
More cases, higher positive test rates seen throughout.

COVID-19 infections are going in the wrong directions throughout Central Florida, while vaccination rates slow down.

The latest reports from the Florida Department of Health show the number of COVID-19 cases for last week were the highest seen for each of greater Orlando’s six counties for the week ending last Thursday since the department switched from daily reports to weekly at the start of June.

Positive test rates were also the highest seen in all six counties — Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Lake, Volusia and Brevard — in that same period.

At the same time, the number of people receiving at least their first vaccination also was down across the region, compared with previous weeks’ tallies.

The weekly reports show a steady rise in new cases and positive test rates across Central Florida from the week ending June 3 to June 10, to June 17, and to June 24, then a sharper rise for the week ending July 1.

In Orange County last week, 1,202 new cases were reported, or about 83 newly sickened people among every 100,000 residents. The county’s positive test rate rose to 5.3%, back above the 5% level that public health officials set as a bar for concern. By comparison, four weeks ago Orange County recorded 814 new cases, or 56 out of 100,000 residents. The positive test rate had fallen to 3.2%

Orange County saw 10,145 people receive at least their first vaccination shot last week, a number that has declined weekly since 15,653 newly vaccinated people were tallied in the state’s first weekly report, for the week ending June 3. Orange’s overall rate of eligible residents, those age 12 or older, who have received at least one vaccination shot, now is at 58%.

In Brevard County last week, 495 new cases were reported, for a rate of 81 per 100,000 residents. Brevard’s positive test rate hit 7.7% for the week. Brevard saw 2,592 people receive at least their first vaccine shot last week, compared with 3,899 in the week ending June 3. In Brevard, 55% of eligible people now have received at least one shot.

In Lake County last week, 265 new cases were reported, or 70 per 100,000 residents. The positive test rate was 7.1%. In Lake, 1,500 people were newly vaccinated, with 56% of those eligible now having received at least one shot.

In Osceola County last week, 356 new cases were reported, for a rate of 83 new cases per 100,000 residents. The positive test rate in Osceola was 6%. Osceola recorded 3,893 people getting vaccinated last week, with 59% of eligible residents now at least partially vaccinated.

In Seminole County last week, 420 new cases were reported, or 86 per 100,000 residents. The county’s positive test rate last week was 8.1%. Meanwhile, 2,215 people got at least their first shot last week, bringing the county’s vaccination rate to 57% of eligible residents.

In Volusia County, 400 new cases were reported last week, or 72 per 100,000 residents. Volusia’s positive test rate was 7.9%. Another 2,148 people received a vaccination. The county now has recorded 52% of eligible residents who have received at least one shot.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]



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