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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Marion County reports 92% drop in COVID-19 cases since mid-January spike

Marion County health officials are reporting a decline in new COVID-19 cases for the sixth consecutive week after seeing a record-high number of cases in mid-January.

During the week of Friday, February 18 to Thursday, February 24, the county reported 419 positive COVID-19 cases, an average of just under 60 cases each day. The updated statistics were released as part of the Florida Department of Health weekly COVID-19 situation report.

The number of positive cases has plummeted by 92% since the second week of January when the county experienced a record-high 5,536 cases.

Florida Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander said, “The numbers are trending in the correct direction. It’s a welcome change for the community.”

Lander encourages residents to continue to take steps to protect themselves and others. “Focus on your personal health. Build up your immune system, whether with diet or exercise. But also remember the message we’ve been pushing for two years: if you’re sick, stay home. Make sure you don’t put others at risk.”

Vaccines were administered to 128 residents, a decrease of 33 from the previous week. The report shows that 63% of eligible residents, or 224,682, 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.