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Saturday, May 21, 2022

Marion County reports fewest COVID-19 cases since mid-December

Marion County health officials are reporting a decline in new COVID-19 cases for the seventh consecutive week.

During the week of Friday, February 25 to Thursday, March 3, the county reported 235 positive COVID-19 cases, an average of nearly 34 cases each day. The updated statistics were released as part of the Florida Department of Health weekly COVID-19 situation report.

This is the fewest number of positive COVID-19 cases since mid-December, and cases have plummeted by nearly 96% since the January spike that saw a daily average of over 790 cases.

Florida Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander said, “The community got some very good news in this week’s report.”

Lander encourages residents to continue to take measures to protect themselves and others. “Our hope is that we are on the downward slope with the virus. But we encourage the community to maintain the practices that helped us reach this point. Practice good personal hygiene, stay home if you are sick, take steps to safeguard others, and consider healthier lifestyle habits.”

Vaccines were administered to 119 residents, a decrease of 9 from the previous week. The report shows that 63% of eligible residents, or 224,819, 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.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for all age groups. Anyone ages 18 and older may choose from the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

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.