Central Florida COVID-19 infection rate skyrockets

New data suggest an emerging surge.

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.

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].


  • Donald Nelson

    July 10, 2021 at 8:25 am

    Desantis has mis managed the covid from the start. He lied about the danger, trying to punish mask wearers, going along with Dr Scott Atlas’s heard immunity scam, and now shutting down the daily covid dashboard so we can’t follow the science.
    He claims that he done things right, but to me, closing in on 3 million Floridians infected isn’t the right thing to do.

    • Sherry

      July 10, 2021 at 9:45 am

      Punish mask wearers? I think you’ve got that backwards there pal. The only people who have been punished are those without masks. How quickly we forget about those being hauled away and arrested without masks. Thank God DeSantis is my governor.

    • Mark

      July 11, 2021 at 2:07 pm

      Wearing a mask is a choice. Regardless of anyone’s opinion. And as far as DeSantis goes, he did pretty good from where I’m sitting. Up north people were treated like it was a concentration camp. I spent Covid in Massachusetts. Businesses shut down for no reason. One bar could serve drinks and another couldn’t because they didn’t serve food? Because covid is allergic to food. You have absolutely no argument. Stay home if your nervous. Get vaccinated. Life is full of important choices. Make a few chief

    • Tom

      July 11, 2021 at 5:14 pm

      Hardly Donald Nelson.
      Your freedom derives from his good decisions. Don’t be an ingrate.
      America’s Governor is the best example. Unlike grabbing Cuomo and Fraulein Whitmer. DeSantis is the best!

  • Kathleen Stringer

    July 10, 2021 at 8:44 am

    And my name is Goldie Locks more fear mongering

  • Jimminy Cricket

    July 10, 2021 at 4:58 pm

    We’re all going to die! Obey or face shaming and ostacization! There will be no joy until everyone bends a knee!

  • Paul

    July 10, 2021 at 6:19 pm

    And all this time they felt that by keeping their heads up their arses they would be protected.

  • Mary

    July 11, 2021 at 1:35 am

    Imagine the mess Florida would be in if Andrew “passed out naked in an meth hotel room” Gillum was Governor. The state would still be locked down while they follow the latest purchased scientific theory.

  • Tsunami John

    July 11, 2021 at 11:04 am

    Oh No ,
    Unless you get vaccinated now will die .
    Funny Dr Fauci , Biden , His Administration and the Liberal News Media have no problem with thousand of illegal immigrants flooding into the Country. Many are not vaccinated and COVID19 positive.

    Stop the Fear Mongering !

  • Claudia

    July 11, 2021 at 11:31 am

    How many of those positive cases are people who actually developed symptoms and got sick? And how many of those positive cases were vaccinated people? And how many of those who got sick recovered? How about reporting all the numbers and not just the convenient ones?

  • JoJo

    July 11, 2021 at 4:32 pm

    The right wing nut jobs are out in force!

  • Tom Palmer

    July 11, 2021 at 4:49 pm

    Probably need more analysis if the makeup of the people who are still getting sick from this. In other parts of Florida it’s clear the conservative don’t make me wear a mask, don’t make me get a shot group predominates. In this part of Florida it is more mixed.

  • Edward Lyle

    July 11, 2021 at 5:11 pm

    Perhaps it’s the hundreds of thousands of un-vetted, un-tested, criminal, disease carrying illegal aliens invading our sovereign land and being surreptitiously dispersed throughout the nation… that is causing the uptick.

    Thanks Joe!

    • Aardvark Bean

      July 23, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      The “disease carriers” are the fools that won’t wear masks or be vaccinated. Eventually they will die out, sadly it won’t be fast enough. Each time these folks who believe being intubated is preferable to getting a vaccine or wearing a mask, they have infected dozens of people and risked further mutation of the virus. Blaming people you don’t know is ignorance. Look in the mirror. If You are unvaccinated, at some point you will be infected and many of you hospitalized and buried. Sadly, taxpayers will end up footing the bill for fools who get very sick and incur huge hospital expenses.

  • judi

    July 11, 2021 at 6:34 pm

    The ignoramuses that listen to the likes of MT Greene are putting the whole economic recovery at risk. Go ahead and kill your own kind by discarding the scientific PROOF of the vaccine’s effectiveness- a life-saving gift the rest of the world is begging for- It was only science that saved your weakling hero’s life , even as he proactively spread the virus thru scores of mask-less rallies, knowingly Killing His Own Supporters !. Shame on all of you that take such pride in your ignorance & ‘lambs to slaughter’ behavior to please your idiot idols . Your hero left the WH shortly after he was secretly vaccinated even after he was infected but he never encouraged you to get vaccinated- What is wrong with that picture ?? By failing to get vaccinated You put others at grave risk and threaten to derail our nation’s economic recovery. GROW UP ! BE RESPONSIBLE ! My loathing of these people gives me pleasure to see them contract the disease, unfortunately they even give it to their young family members that are subjected to their actionable ignorance– truly disgusting morons

    • Tom

      July 14, 2021 at 7:12 pm

      Wearing a mask or getting a shot is not a political decision. It’s offensive to suggest that. If you don’t believe in either that’s on you. No need to be so offensive Judi. Be an adult. DeSantis has encouraged all to do so. This isn’t about a Trump. consult uir doctor not pols. Do what’s right. Searby’s followed the science, he actually read it cause he’s intelligently. Your elitism and arrogance is clear.

  • daniel rourke

    July 13, 2021 at 10:29 am

    My wife and I both Seminole county residents got vaccinated solely not to not have to wear these awful masks in the Florida heat. I am a republican and she a democrat but we both agree that fully vaccinated people should not be forced to wear them! It is everyone’s choice to get vaccinated or take the risk? We don’t need local government contradicting our governor and taking away our individual freedom!

Comments are closed.


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