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Friday, September 17, 2021



Subway in southeast Ocala temporarily closed after health inspection failure

A Subway located in the Walmart Supercenter in southeast Ocala was temporarily closed last week after a health inspector cited multiple health code violations.

Marion County Public Schools report decrease in COVID-19 cases, quarantines

Marion County Public Schools reported 367 positive cases of COVID-19 and 1,161 students quarantines during the last week of school (September 4 to September 10).

Silver Springs Pizza temporarily closed after health inspection failure

Silver Springs Pizza was temporarily closed last week after a health inspection failure revealed nearly 30 violations, including the presence of roach activity and insects.

Ocala recognizing Hispanic Heritage Month with Hispanic Senior Wellness Fair

The City of Ocala Recreation and Parks department will host a Hispanic Senior Wellness Fair at Citizens’ Circle, 151 SE Osceola Ave., Saturday, Oct. 2, from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month.

Marion County reports 3,000 new COVID-19 cases, 2,700 vaccinations in past week

Marion County saw over 3,000 new positive COVID-19 cases and 2,700 vaccinations in the past week. It is the third week in a row in which the county averaged over 400 new cases each day. In the past 18 months, 50,296 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported in Marion County and 196,292 residents have been vaccinated, or 60% of all those eligible.

Marion health officials urging residents to get vaccinated, keep sick kids at home

"I encourage residents to get vaccinated, and I urge everyone to stay home when they are sick. It is critical that parents do not send children who are sick to school or day care" - Florida Department of Health in Marion County officials are urging residents to get vaccines, booster shots, and monoclonal antibody treatments to fight COVID-19.

Marion County officials hosting COVID-19 question, answer session

Marion County officials will host a COVID-19 question and answer session for the public this week. The online session will feature Florida Medical Association President Dr. Douglas Murphy, Jr., Todd R. Panzer, APNR-C, FNP-C, and Marion County Commissioner Kathy Bryant. 

Marion County averages over 460 new COVID-19 cases each day as vaccinations dip

Marion County averaged over 460 new COVID-19 cases each day last week as vaccinations dipped for the second week in a row. During the week, 3,197 residents sought vaccinations, down from 3,756 the previous week and 4,470 the week before that.

Marion County FHP trooper, investigator lose battle with COVID-19

Thoughts and prayers with the families of Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Sean Hryc and Compliance Investigator Ernest "Ernie" Brown, who served more than 17 and 30 years, respectively, before losing their fights with COVID-19 on Saturday.

Heart of Florida Health Center opening new drive-thru pharmacy on Monday

The Heart of Florida Health Center will open a new drive-thru pharmacy on Monday at a location formerly occupied by a fast food restaurant. 

Marion County health officials announce opening of first booster shot site

The Department of Health in Marion County and Marion County Public Schools are working together to schedule appointments to give third Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 shots to immunocompromised Marion County residents. The department says that "booster shot" appointments will be scheduled for the next four Saturdays starting Saturday, August 28, at Liberty Middle School.

Marion Schools: 15% of students have mask opt-outs; over 40 schools report positive COVID-19 cases

About 15% of Marion County students have face covering opt-outs on file and over 40 elementary, middle, and high schools reported positive COVID-19 cases last week.

Marion County opens second free COVID-19 testing site

Marion County health officials say another COVID-19 testing site will open this week in response to a growing demand among residents.

Marion county health officials hosting diabetes self-management classes

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County is holding diabetes self-management classes starting September 13, at the Belleview Public Library.

Marion County averaged over 405 new COVID-19 cases a day, saw 20% reduction in vaccines last week

Marion County health officials say the county is averaging a record high 405 new COVID-19 cases a day. During the first week of August, 4,507 people were vaccinated. That number increased during the second week of August (4,740), before taking a 20% dive last week to 3,756.

Marion County health officials recommend booster shots, monoclonal therapy treatment

According to Marion County Sheriff's Office Director of Emergency Management Preston Bowlin, the county has 184,920 residents who have received at least one dose of the vaccination as of this week. Bowlin says 90% of all patients at local hospitals are unvaccinated and recommends vaccination shots, booster shots and monoclonal therapy treatment to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

AdventHealth Ocala says average age of hospitalized COVID-19 patients is 59; more than 90% unvaccinated

“The increased patient volume has been emotionally, physically and mentally taxing on our dedicated and impassioned team members" - the Chief Medical Officer of AdventHealth Ocala says the organization continues to “see a surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations,” that the average age of patients hospitalized is 59, and that 90% of cases are from unvaccinated patients. 

Liberty Health Sciences opens new medical marijuana dispensary, Ocala’s sixth

Liberty Health Sciences has opened a new medical marijuana dispensary in Ocala, bringing the total number of dispensaries within city limits to six. 

COVID-19 positivity rate, overall cases rise in Marion County for sixth straight week as more residents seek vaccine

The COVID-19 positivity rate and overall number of cases increased in Marion County for the sixth straight week despite nearly 5,000 more residents receiving the vaccine last week.

AdventHealth answers common questions, concerns about COVID-19 vaccine

"The COVID-19 vaccine has been determined to be safe according to federal guidelines and review by our internal Scientific Committee. Some people have reported mild side effects like arm soreness, headaches, fever and chills. However, these symptoms usually go away on their own within a week” - AdventHealth continues to recommend Marion County residents get vaccinated.

Marion County still in midst of highest COVID-19 spike as thousands more seek vaccine

According to this week’s COVID-19 update from the Florida Department of Health,  4,507 people received the vaccine in Marion County last week. That’s over 20% higher than the previous week (3,720) and over 120% higher than the week before that (2,025). Health officials say the positivity rate continues to rise to its highest levels and sits at 27%, with the county averaging 343 new cases per day.

COVID-19 vaccination opportunities available across Marion County this month

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County is providing COVID-19 vaccinations at its main office and at sites across the community this month.  Find out where and when.

Marion County Commissioner in quarantine as husband fights COVID-19, says 90% of COVID-19 patients at hospitals are unvaccinated

"This is no longer a serious illness just targeting older adults, but now, people of all ages. We should all listen to the many, many healthcare providers who will tell you to get vaccinated. Stop relying on social media and the news for medical advice. The numbers don’t lie when it comes to the protection of the vaccine. This is not, nor should it have ever been made a political issue" - Marion County Commissioner Kathy Bryant says Marion County hospitals currently have 210 COVID patients, 90 percent of which are unvaccinated, including all 28 people in the intensive care unit at Ocala Health with COVID-related cases.

City official says new VA hospital targeting November opening

The new Department of Veterans' Affairs hospital in southwest Ocala is targeting a fall opening, with one city official suggesting it will open in November.