Daily COVID-19 numbers available, if you know where to look

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Posted August 4, 2021 | By Matthew Cretul, Special to the Ocala Gazette

A nurse draws a COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe in this December file photo. [Bruce Ackerman/Ocala Gazette]

Looking for the daily COVID-19 positivity rates in Marion County? You may have to look a bit harder than you did this time last year, or even a few months ago.  That’s because the State of Florida scaled back its public COVID-related reporting from daily reports to weekly reports in early June of this year.

Previously, the state of Florida released daily reports showing viral positivity, death rates, and other COVID-related statistics for all 67 counties.  But as cases began to drop and the vaccine became more widely available, the state decided to forego daily reports and move to a weekly reporting format, releasing the weekly data on Fridays.

Despite the Florida Department of Health moving to weekly reports, which can be found at https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/#latest-stats, that doesn’t mean, however, daily reports aren’t available, as the state still tracks and reports daily numbers to the federal government, you just have to know where to look.

Daily rates for the entire United States, the state of Florida, and Marion County can all still be found on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website (https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view).  Additionally, state-level hospitalization statistics can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services website at https://protect-public.hhs.gov/pages/hospital-reporting.

Locally, Marion County aggregated county-level DOH numbers and posted the statistics on their Facebook page until the beginning of February 2021, when the website https://www.marionflcovid.org was launched.  While they may not post regular COVID statistics on their Facebook page any longer, those are now posted on the website, Marion County does post updated testing locations and times on their Facebook page.

Trinity Clinic, another local source for COVID-related data, has resumed their weekly postings of Marion County’s COVID-related statistics on their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/TrinityClinicFL) as cases have again begun to rise.

Some news reports have noted epidemiologists are still able to use the weekly data to understand trends and make predictive forecasts, but the lag in reporting does hinder their ability somewhat. The weekly reports can be more useful for the public since it gives a broader look at the numbers.

Even as cases begin to rise again with the emergence and prevalence of the Delta variant, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office has previously said they have no plans on resuming the daily reports.

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