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Ocala
Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Marion County’s latest bi-weekly report shows another increase in COVID-19 cases

Health officials are reporting that Marion County experienced another increase in newly reported COVID-19 cases.

During the week of Friday, May 13 to Thursday, May 19, the county reported 413 cases, which is an average of 59 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 highest number of COVID-19 cases in Marion County since the February 25 report when 419 new infections were recorded.

“We’ve seen enough of COVID-19 after more than two years to know that it tends to be seasonal. The upswing in our community as we approach summer is also happening in many other parts of Florida and across the country,” said Florida Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander.

“The new data also suggest that our community should continue to work on reducing the spread of the virus as much as possible. Residents can do that by staying home if they don’t feel well and ensuring they use good personal hygiene,” added Lander.

Vaccines were administered to 68 residents, a decrease of 21 from the previous reported week (April 29 to May 5). The latest report shows that 63% of eligible residents, or 224,635, 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.

Under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidelines, children ages 5 to 11 with moderately or severely compromised immune systems may receive an additional primary dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine after waiting at least 28 days from receiving their second dose in the primary vaccination series.

The CDC has also reduced the wait time for a booster dose for people 18 and older who have completed either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccination series.

Adults and children ages 12 to 17 are now eligible for a booster shot five months after their primary series is completed. To reiterate, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorized for children under the age of 18.

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.