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Ocala

COVID-19 cases slow but Florida death toll still increasing at rapid rate

Florida reported its lowest total of new COVID-19 cases in months on Monday but the death toll from the virus across the tri-county area and the Sunshine State continued to climb at an alarming rate.

Sixteen more local fatalities were reported Monday – 11 in Lake County, four in Sumter County where the majority of Villages households are located and one in Marion County. They are among the 1,423 victims in the tri-county area, the 29,434 in Florida and the 486,111 across the country.

All told, Florida is reporting 1,830,988 cases – an increase of 3,615 from Sunday to Monday. Of those, 1,797,728 are residents. A total of 79,635 COVID-19 cases have been reported in long-term care centers and 30,377 in correctional facilities. Across the state, 76,219 people have been hospitalized.

Locally, Marion County is reporting 26,391 COVID-19 cases – an increase of 58 in a 24-hour period. There have been 677 deaths and 1,624 people have been hospitalized.

Ocala continues to lead Marion County with 19,455 cases – an overnight increase of 44. Others have been identified in Summerfield (1,661), Dunnellon (1,198), Belleview (1,120), Silver Springs (522), Citra (444), Ocklawaha (404), Reddick (271), Fort McCoy (258), Anthony (246), Weirsdale (205), The Villages (176), Salt Springs (47), Flemington (34), McIntosh (27), Sparr (21), Orange Lake (21), Lowell (18), Candler (17), Fairfield (8), East Lake (8), Orange Springs (7) and Morriston (5).

Below is a breakdown of other COVID-19 activity in the local area:

TRI-COUNTY AREA

  • Cases: 57,497 – increase of 125
  • Deaths: 1,423
  • Hospitalizations: 3,323

LAKE COUNTY

  • Cases: 23,498 – increase of 56
  • Deaths: 527
  • Hospitalizations: 1,227
  • Cities with most cases: Clermont (6,135), Leesburg (3,680), Eustis (2,089), Mount Dora (1,799) and Tavares (1,731).

SUMTER COUNTY

  • Cases: 7,608 – increase of 11
  • Deaths: 219
  • Hospitalizations: 472
  • Areas/cities with most cases: The Villages (3,553), Wildwood (911), Bushnell (835), Coleman (822) and Oxford (438).

Photos in Ocala, Florida

Crime

Ocala man behind bars for shooting near elementary school with classes in session

An 18-year-old Ocala man was jailed Thursday night in connection with a shooting that took place last year near an Ocala elementary school – while classes were in session.

Marion sheriff searching for thieves connected to car burglaries and recent shooting

Marion County sheriff’s detectives are seeking help in identifying vehicle burglars involved in a recent shooting.

Umatilla woman charged with DUI after drinking at Big Scrub

An Umatilla woman was arrested on a DUI charge Monday night after drinking at a bar near the Big Scrub Campground in the Ocala National Forest.

Ocala woman jailed after “whopping” man who had her phone

An Ocala woman was arrested after admitting she “whopped” a man in the back of the head while retrieving the cell phone he took away from her during a domestic spat.

Business

Craft Cuisine falls victim to pandemic, forced to close doors

Craft Cuisine was forced to close its doors last month amidst the global pandemic that has forced the closures of a multitude of businesses in Ocala.

Ocala police chief: ‘Marijuana legalization will produce more violent crime in Ocala’

The chief of the Ocala Police Department believes the legalization of marijuana will produce more violent crime in the city of Ocala.

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion offering live workshops via Zoom platform

CareerSource Citrus Levy Marion will resume live employability workshops beginning Monday, Jan. 11 with Job Specific Resume Development.

World Equestrian Center coined ‘Disney World of Horse Industry’ by Marion County Chairman

The Marion County Commission Chairman coined the new World Equestrian Center as the "Disney World of the horse industry" recently.

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Headlines

6 more local COVID-19-related deaths as virus continues to slam Florida

Six more local residents have lost their battle with COVID-19 as Florida reported 95 more fatalities and more than 5,000 new cases of the fast-spreading virus.

United Way of Marion County receives $30,000 gift from Ocala company to support those in need

United Way of Marion County announced recently that it has received a $30,000 corporate gift from Custom Window Systems to assist Marion County residents with their health, education, financial stability and basic needs.

Health inspector shuts Ocala fast-food eatery over roach and food temperature issues

A popular Ocala fast-food eatery was shut down recently after a health inspector cited 11 violations – the most egregious of which involved roach excrement and food temperature issues.

Ocala man behind bars for shooting near elementary school with classes in session

An 18-year-old Ocala man was jailed Thursday night in connection with a shooting that took place last year near an Ocala elementary school – while classes were in session.

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