FDA authorizes 1st COVID-19 shots for kids under 5
U.S. regulators on Friday authorized the first COVID-19 shots for infants and preschoolers, paving the way for vaccinations to begin next week. (June 17)
The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Marion County, with 1,573 new cases reported for the two-week period ending June 16, according to the Florida Department of Health’s latest report, which was released on Friday.
That number, a total accumulated from June 3-16, is up from 1,146 reported for May 20-June 2 and 713 reported for May 6-May 19.
That means the number of new cases climbed by 37.3% from the June 2 report to the June 16 report. Marion’s one-week record was 5,336 cases, registered Jan. 7-13.
Thirteen new deaths were reported in the past two weeks. Reported deaths were 1.06 per day for 30 days from March 26 to April 25, 0.65 per day for 43 days from April 26 through June 7, and 0.93 deaths per day for the past two weeks.
In all, Marion County now has recorded 87,552 COVID-19 infections since the pandemic began in March 2020. There have been 2,132 deaths.
Another indicator that the latest COVID-19 variant, called Omicron subvariant BA.2, is spreading rapidly, is hospitalizations.
47 people were hospitalized in Marion in 1 week, up from 44 early this month
On Tuesday, 47 people had been hospitalized with COVID-19 in the past week, compared with 44 weekly hospitalizations on June 7 and 29 reported on June 1. The record was 350 weekly hospitalizations recorded during last fall’s Delta variant.
As of June 16, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports Marion County’s community transmission risk as high, up from medium two weeks ago.
“The increases reflected in the new report indicate the virus is far from done,” said Mark Lander, Florida Department of Health in Marion County’s administrator.
“We encourage the community to take the steps we know will help reduce the spread of the virus,” Lander noted. “To reiterate, stay home if you are ill, practice good personal hygiene, especially with hand-washing, and take any other precautions you think will protect your health.”
Meanwhile, the seven-day positivity rate is also increasing. The seven-day positivity rate for Marion County was listed on Tuesday at 19.6%, up from 16.9% on June 8, 14.3% on June 1, and 6.3% on May 2, according to the CDC.
Local vaccine statistics
As of June 21, 237,528 Marion County residents have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, up 417 when compared to June 8. Of those, 99,320 had both shots and a booster, 672 more than on June 8, according to state data.
The CDC report shows that on June 21, 74.6% of Marion residents ages 18 and older have had at least one dose of the vaccine, while 72.7% of Marion residents ages 12 and older, and 68.3% of residents ages 5 and older have had at least one dose.
Meanwhile, 92.1% of residents ages 65 and older have had at least one dose as of June 21. The data shows that 65% of Marion’s entire population has had at least one dose.
— Contact Joe Callahan at (352) 817-1750 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @JoeOcalaNews.