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Monday, September 26, 2022

Marion County reports 876 new COVID-19 cases in latest bi-weekly report

For the second consecutive bi-weekly report, Marion County health officials are reporting a decline in new COVID-19 cases.

During the week of Friday, August 5 to Thursday, August 11, Marion County reported 876 new cases, which is an average of approximately 125 cases per day. The updated statistics were released as part of the Florida Department of Health bi-weekly COVID-19 situation report.

This is a decrease of nearly 26% from the previous reported week (July 22 to July 28), which saw over 1,180 new cases.

The state’s data does not include at-home tests in Marion County that were not reported.

As of August 11, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rates Marion County’s community transmission risk as ‘high.’

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County (DOH-Marion) encourages members of the community to take steps to reduce the spread of the virus as much as possible, including staying at home if you feel ill and practicing good personal hygiene.

DOH-Marion is also reminding county residents that vaccines may help reduce serious illness and hospitalizations from COVID-19.

A total of 141 residents were vaccinated during the week of August 5 to August 11, which is a decrease of 70 from the previous reported week (July 22 to July 28). The latest report shows that 61% of eligible residents are currently vaccinated in Marion County. All residents ages 6 months or older are considered eligible.

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County provides free COVID-19 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. No appointment is necessary, and walk-ins are welcome.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines for all age groups. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available for anyone ages 18 and older.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults who have received either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine obtain a booster shot at least five months after their primary series is completed. Adults who are 50 or older, or those who are moderately or severely immunocompromised, are encouraged to get a second booster at least four months after the initial booster vaccine.

The Pfizer or Moderna vaccines are recommended as boosters for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. A booster can be administered at least two months after the original Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Most children and teenagers can receive a Pfizer booster at least five months after their primary series is complete. Children and teens who are moderately or severely immunocompromised may receive a Pfizer booster at least three months after the final dose in the primary series.

The CDC further recommends a second Pfizer booster at least four months after the initial booster for children and teens who are moderately or severely immunocompromised. The CDC has not recommended Moderna boosters for children at this time.

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 still 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 continues to provide therapeutics such as 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.

For more information about COVID-19 locally, call the Florida Department of Health in Marion County at 352-644-2590.