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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Marion County reports decline in COVID-19 cases for fifth consecutive week

Marion County health officials are reporting that the number of new COVID-19 cases has declined for a fifth consecutive week.

During the week of Friday, February 11 to Thursday, February 17, the county reported 708 positive COVID-19 cases, an average of just over 101 cases each day. The updated statistics were released as part of the Florida Department of Health weekly COVID-19 situation report.

Mark Lander, the Florida Department of Health in Marion County Administrator, stated that the latest report is “the best news we’ve had in a while.”

The previous week (February 4 to February 10) saw an average of around 223 cases each day. The number of positive cases has continued a downward trend in recent weeks following the record-high 5,536 cases that the county experienced during the second week of January.

“While we hope this trend continues, we encourage our community to not get complacent about taking necessary protective measures, including practicing good personal hygiene, staying home if you are sick, and considering getting a COVID-19 vaccine if you have not already gotten one, or a booster if you are eligible. These vaccines remain effective in preventing serious illness or hospitalization from COVID-19,” said Lander.

Vaccines were administered to 161 residents, a decrease of 103 from the previous week. The report shows that 63% of eligible residents, or 224,509, are currently vaccinated in Marion County. All residents ages 5 and older are considered eligible.

COVID-19 vaccines for anyone ages 5 and older are available for free at the Florida Department of Health in Marion County. Visit the Florida Department of Health in Marion County COVID-19 vaccines webpage to make an appointment.

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County provides vaccinations Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at its main office located at 1801 SE 32nd Avenue in Ocala.

Anyone who has questions about vaccines, whether for themselves or their children, should consult with their health care provider.

In addition to the Florida Department of Health in Marion County, vaccines are available throughout the county at many pharmacies, doctor’s offices, clinics, and health centers. For more information on vaccines, or to find a vaccine location, visit the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine locator webpage.

Monoclonal antibody therapy is available in Florida for anyone ages 12 and older who is considered at high risk for severe illness due to COVID-19. Monoclonal antibody treatments can prevent severe illness, hospitalization, and death in high-risk patients. Florida has also introduced AstraZeneca’s Evusheld, Pfizer’s Paxlovid, and Merck’s molnupiravir, which can be administered with a physician’s prescription.

For more information on last week’s COVID-19 figures, visit the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 webpage, and click on the “Treatment Locator” tab at the top of the webpage for more information about monoclonal antibody treatment and other therapeutics.