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Saturday, August 13, 2022

Marion County reports small increase in COVID-19 cases

Marion County health officials are reporting that the weekly COVID-19 cases slightly increased.

According to the Florida Department of Health, the COVID-19 weekly report for Friday, November 26, to Thursday, December 2 shows a slight increase in the number of cases, and vaccinations are also on the rise.

During the week, the county reported 165 positive COVID-19 cases, an average of nearly 24 new cases each day. The previous week (November 19 to November 25) saw 124 positive cases.

Mark Lander, Administrator for the Department of Health in Marion County, said, “The slight uptick in new cases is something we are keeping an eye on, especially since the omicron variant has now been reported in the U.S. Our hope is that this is a Thanksgiving-related anomaly, and not a signal that the recent trend of low transmission is reversing.”

To help avoid getting sick from COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone wash their hands frequently with soap and water, cover their mouth and nose with their elbow when coughing or sneezing, and stay home when not feeling well.

Vaccines were administered to 1,358 residents, an increase of 109 from the previous week. This is the fourth consecutive week that the total number of vaccinations has increased.

The report shows that around 60% of eligible residents, or 213,123, are currently vaccinated in Marion County. All residents ages 5 and older are considered eligible.

The CDC recommends for all adults (ages 18 and older) to get a booster shot either six months after the initial Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna series or two months after their initial Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Lander said, “We continue to encourage vaccinations for all age groups, including 5- to 11-year-olds, since they are the most effective way to avoid serious illness and hospitalization. And with the upcoming holiday, and the potential for more exposure to crowded gatherings, we also urge the community to maintain best practices for staying safe.”

The omicron variant was detected in the United States on Wednesday, December 1. According to Lander, the CDC remains the primary agency responsible for maintaining surveillance of omicron, and the Department of Health in Marion County will respond to the variant as needed with mitigation efforts that include both prevention and treatment.

For more information on last week’s COVID-19 figures, visit the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 website.