The rising rates of COVID-19 infections already showed concerning trends. But new data released Friday, covering the previous week, suggest there may be a new surge coming in Central Florida.
The six counties making up greater Orlando saw a 58% rise in confirmed new COVID-19 cases for the week ending July 8, compared with the week that ended July 1, according to the latest weekly report from the Florida Department of Health.
The week before, the six Central Florida counties — Brevard, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, and Volusia — combined for a 33% increase in new cases. The week before they showed a 21% increase.
In every Central Florida county, health officials tracked more than 110 new cases per 100,000 residents during the latest reported week. That compared with about 70-90 new cases per 100,0000 people the week before, and 50-75 during the several weeks before that.
The rate of COVID-19 test results that came back positive also surged across Central Florida last week.
The positive-test rate last week was 13% in Volusia County, 12% in Seminole County, 11% in Brevard and Lake counties, and 9% in Orange and Osceola counties. Those low-teens levels are about what was seen last December when the last major surge first emerged.
In early June, all the counties’ positive test rates were in the range of 3-5%. Public health officials say a 5% positive-test rate is the standard that makes them confident the virus spread is under control.
In Orange County, health officials confirmed 1,897 new cases of COVID-19 for the seven-day period ending July 8, according to the state report. That’s up from 1,202 the week before in Orange, which was up from 819 the week before that.
Volusia County reported 709 new cases in the most recent week, up from 400 the week before.
Brevard County reported 693 new cases, up from 495 the week before.
Seminole County reported 653 new cases, up from 420 the week before.
Osceola County reported 578 new cases, up from 356 the week before.
Lake County reported 434 new cases, up from 265 the week before.
The previous week’s rise in cases, as well as increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations, led Orange County officials on Wednesday to add urgency to their calls for people to get vaccinated.
“Please, please, please, do it for you, for your family, and your friends,” said Dr. Raul Pino the Florida Department of Health director for Orange County.
However, the numbers of people getting at least their first vaccination shot declined in every county last week, according to the Department of Health report. That number has been going down steadily since the first week in June.
For the week that ended June 3, 33,865 Central Florida residents received at least their first shot. For the week ending July 8, 19,716 Central Floridians got their first shot.