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Monday, December 11, 2023

Marion County reports fewest COVID-19 cases since June of 2021

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

During the week of Friday, March 4 to Thursday, March 10, the county reported 125 positive COVID-19 cases, an average of just under 18 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 June 25, 2021, and cases have declined by nearly 98% 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 continuation of this downward trend indicates the community is in good shape at the moment regarding the virus. We hope to keep this momentum going.”

Lander encourages residents to maintain good habits that can help slow the spread of the virus. “Practice good personal hygiene. Stay home if you don’t feel well. Consider what other measures you can take to protect yourself and others. Think about creating a healthier lifestyle.”

Vaccines were administered to 81 residents, a decrease of 38 from the previous week. The report shows that 64% of eligible residents, or 224,923, 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.

Curative, Inc., a mobile lab service, offers free COVID-19 testing Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Florida Horse Park located at 11008 S County Road 475 in Ocala. Curative uses a shallow nasal PCR test with results available via email or text message within 24 to 48 hours. Walk-ins are welcome, but the company encourages anyone seeking a test to visit the Curative webpage to register for an appointment.

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.