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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Marion County bi-weekly report shows slight rise in COVID-19 cases

Health officials are reporting that Marion County experienced a slight uptick in COVID-19 cases during the previous week.

During the week of Friday, April 1 to Thursday, April 7, the county reported 97 positive COVID-19 cases, an average of nearly 14 cases each day. The updated statistics were released as part of the Florida Department of Health bi-weekly COVID-19 situation report.

This is the first reported increase in new COVID-19 infections since Marion County peaked with a record-high 5,536 cases on January 13.

“Our community’s numbers mirror what happened statewide, as new cases and the positivity rate for Florida as a whole slightly increased since the last report,” said Florida Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander.

Lander continued by stating, “While our numbers overall remain good, this is something we will continue to monitor. This increase also provides a reminder that the community should maintain the practices that helped reduce the number of new cases in the last three months: practice good personal hygiene, stay home if you are sick, and consider some changes to create a healthier lifestyle.”

Vaccines were administered to 94 residents, an increase of seven from the previous report for the week of March 18 to March 24. The latest report shows that 64% of eligible residents, or 225,415, 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 11:30 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 4 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 the latest 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.