COVID cases in Marion County, MCPS decline, hospitals numbers still remain high


Taima Aviando wears her mask as she walks to her next class at the College of Central Florida in Ocala, Fla. on Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Students are back on campus this semester after no one was allowed on campus for the last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette] 2021.

Home » Health
Posted February 14, 2022 | By Matthew Cretul
matthew@ocalagazette.com

Marion County Update

COVID cases in Marion County continued their drop, as the county registered 1,564 new cases during the week of Feb.4 – Feb. 10, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health (FLDOH) Friday evening.

In previous reports, the county reported recording 2,621 new cases during the week of Jan. 28 – Feb. 3, 3,955 new cases two weeks ago, 4,696 new cases three weeks ago, 5,536 new cases during the week of Jan. 7-13, and 3,130 cases during the week of Dec. 31-Jan. 6.

In addition to the number of new cases dropping, the county’s cases per 100,000 and new case positivity both decreased as well.  The cases per 100,000 dropped from 703.7 to 419.9, and the positivity rate declined last week from 24.6% to 17.7%.

Despite the drop in the number of cases in the last three weeks, overall inpatient hospitalizations and ICU beds occupied remain high.

In Health and Human Services (HHS) hospitalization numbers last updated Feb. 11, county hospitals reported 96% of inpatient beds filled, with 22% being COVID patients. In addition, 94% of ICU beds were filled, with 20% being COVID patients.

In numbers from Feb. 4, county hospitals reported 97% of inpatient beds filled, with 23% being COVID patients. In addition, 93% of ICU beds were filled, with 20% being COVID patients.

For further reference, on Jan. 28, county hospitals reported 93% of inpatient beds filled, with 22% being COVID patients. In addition, 89% of ICU beds were filled, with 25% being COVID patients; and on Jan. 21, hospitals reported 90% of inpatient beds filled, with 18% being COVID patients. In addition, 86% of ICU beds were filled, with 22% being COVID patients.  Finally, on Jan. 7, HHS data showed 83% of inpatient beds filled, with 4% of those being COVID patients; and 84% of ICU beds filled, with 6% being COVID patients.

In Ocala, COVID Test FL is offering testing at the Ocala First Baptist Church located at 2801 S.E. Maricamp Road. COVID Test Express is offering testing in the Villages at 11714 N.E. 62nd Terrace. Both locations are open Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Additionally, FLDOH announced testing is also taking place on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

State Update

Not only did new COVID cases fall in Marion County for the fourth week in a row, but they also fell across the state as a whole, as Florida recorded 103,022 cases for the week of Feb. 4 – Feb. 10.

Comparatively, the state reported 130,890 cases cases two weeks ago, 197,084 three weeks ago, 286,857 cases for the week of Jan. 14-Jan. 22, 427,628 new cases for the week of Jan. 7-13, and 393,706 new cases of COVID during the week of Dec. 31-Jan. 6.

The state’s cases per 100,000 average and new case positivity both dropped along with the number of cases.  Cases per 100,000 fell from 603.5 to 468.8, and new case positivity from 18.0% to 14.3%.

The state’s overall vaccination rates continue to fall to their lowest number in more than 18 weeks, as Florida recorded administering 83,419 doses of the vaccine last week compared with 117,936 doses of the vaccine two weeks ago, 162,084 doses three weeks ago, 234,665 doses four weeks ago, 375,912 doses the first week in January, and 356,110 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine during the last week in December.

This brings the total state population of those ages 5 and up to 74%, the same percentage as the last report.

Specific to children ages 5-11, the state reported administering 6,235 doses of the vaccine last week, bringing the total number of children at least partly vaccinated to 358,248. The total population of children ages 5-11 in the state is just under 1.7 million, and figures released by the state showed 21% of them are now at least partly vaccinated against COVID-19, the same percentage as the last report.

MCPS Update

Marion County Public Schools (MCPS) reported 248 for the week of Feb. 5-Feb. 11, with 209 students and 39 employees confirmed COVID-19 positive by the Florida Department of Health in Marion County in figures released on Monday afternoon.

Additionally, MCPS reported 529 students and 20 employees had been identified as direct contacts to a COVID-positive case confirmed by DOH.

For comparison, MCPS reported 513 cases for the week of Jan. 29-Feb. 4, with 424 students and 89 employees confirmed COVID-19 positive by the Florida Department of Health in Marion County in figures released on Monday afternoon.  Further, MCPS reported 822 students and 38 employees had been identified as direct contacts to a COVID-positive case confirmed by DOH.

Moreover, MCPS reported 875 cases for the week of Jan. 22-Jan. 28, with 738 students and 137 employees confirmed COVID-19 positive by the Florida Department of Health in Marion County. Moreover, MCPS reported 1,699 students and 67 employees had been identified as direct contacts to a COVID-positive case confirmed by DOH.

MCPS reported 1,014 cases for the week of Jan. 15-Jan. 21, with 830 students and 184 employees confirmed COVID-19 positive by the Florida Department of Health in Marion County. Furthermore, MCPS reported 1,761 students and 82 employees had been identified as direct contacts to a COVID-positive case confirmed by DOH.

For the week of Jan. 8-14, MCPS reported 870 confirmed cases, with 698 students and 172 employees confirmed COVID-19 positive.  Further, 2,090 students and 129 employees were quarantined due to direct contact with someone testing positive for COVID-19 during that span.

While the numbers show a downtrend, the county continues to remain above the threshold set by FLDOH for MCPS to consider having students wear face coverings.

According to FLDOH guidance, the county must be below 99.9 cases per 100,000 (currently at 419.9) and the new case positivity must remain below 10% (currently at 17.7%) for two weeks in order for coverings not to be required.