Marion County health officials are reporting a rise in weekly COVID-19 cases.
According to the Florida Department of Health, the COVID-19 weekly report for Friday, December 10, to Thursday, December 16 shows that the number of positive cases has gone up while vaccinations decreased for the second consecutive week.
During the week, the county reported 179 positive COVID-19 cases, an average of nearly 26 new cases each day. The previous week (December 3 to December 9) saw 146 positive cases.
Mark Lander, the Department of Health in Marion County Administrator, said “The slight increase in this week’s report is a reminder to everyone that we still have work to do with regards to stopping the spread of this virus.”
Vaccines were administered to 969 residents, a decrease of 176 from the previous week. The report shows that around 61% of eligible residents, or 215,763, are currently vaccinated in Marion County. All residents ages 5 and older are considered eligible.
Lander stated that positive COVID-19 cases could rise even more over the holidays.
“We want to encourage the community to be aware of ways to reduce the spread, including frequent hand washing, staying home if you feel ill, and considering getting a vaccine or a booster. Vaccines remain the most effective way to prevent serious illness or hospitalization from COVID-19, including for children age 5 or older,” Lander said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is now recommending for everyone ages 16 and up 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.
On Friday, December 17, Governor Ron DeSantis visited Ocala Regional Medical Center to announce a preventative monoclonal antibody treatment that will soon be available in the state.
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.