Marion County health officials are reporting that weekly COVID-19 cases have doubled following the previous week’s small uptick.
According to the Florida Department of Health, the COVID-19 weekly report for Friday, December 17, to Thursday, December 23 shows that the number of positive cases doubled while vaccinations also increased.
During the week, the county reported 363 positive COVID-19 cases, an average of nearly 52 new cases each day. The previous week (December 10 to December 16) saw 179 positive cases.
Vaccines were administered to 1,276 residents, an increase of a little over 300 from the previous week. The report shows that around 61% of eligible residents, or 217,244, are currently vaccinated in Marion County. All residents ages 5 and older are considered eligible.
Mark Lander, the Department of Health in Marion County, stated last week 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.