New COVID cases in Marion County down again, hospitals see yet another increase in numbers

COVID cases in Marion County declined for the second week in a row


Home » Community
Posted February 1, 2022 | By Matthew Cretul
matthew@ocalagazette.com

Marion County Update

COVID cases in Marion County declined for the second week in a row as the county registered
3,955 new cases during the week of Jan. 21-Jan. 27, according to figures released by the Florida Department of Health (FLDOH) Friday evening. In previous reports, the county reported recording 4,696 new cases two 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.

As with the number of new cases, the county’s cases per 100,000 fell as well, from 1,260.8 to 1,061.8.
While the county’s positivity rate rose slightly two weeks ago, it declined last week from 33.3% to 32.3%.
Despite the drop in the number of cases in the last two weeks, local hospitalizations have continued to rise during that time.

In Health and Human Services (HHS) hospitalization numbers last updated 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.

For reference, on Jan. 21, county 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; and 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 would also take place on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

Currently, wait times average about 30 minutes for testing at the Ocala location, where they are administering more than 400 tests a day.

State Update

Not only did new COVID cases fall in Marion County for the second straight week, but they also fell across the state altogether. Florida recorded 198,719 cases for the week of Jan. 21-Jan. 27, the lowest number of reported cases since the week of Dec. 17, 2021.

Comparatively, the state reported 288,793 cases for the week of Jan. 14-Jan. 22, 430,015 new cases for the week of Jan. 7-13, and 396,057 new cases of COVID during the week of Dec. 31-Jan. 06.

In addition to the decrease in cases, the state’s cases per 100,000 average and new case positivity both dropped as well. Cases per 100,000 fell from 1,316.1 to 904.3, and new case positivity from 26.8% to 23.5%.

The state’s overall vaccination rates also fell to their lowest number in more than 10 weeks, as the state recorded administering 144,052 doses of the vaccine last week compared with 230,966 doses of the vaccine two weeks ago, 373,193 doses three weeks ago and 353,172 doses the last week in December.
This brings the total state population of those ages 5 and up to 73%.

Specific to children ages 5-11, the state reported administering 10,084 doses of the vaccine last week, bringing the total number of children at least partly vaccinated to 335,097. The total population of children ages 5-11 in the state is just under 1.7 million, and figures released by the state showed 20% of them are now at least partly vaccinated against COVID-19.

MCPS Update

Marion County Public Schools (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 in figures released on Monday afternoon.

Additionally, MCPS reported 1699 students and 67 employees had been identified as direct contacts to a COVID-positive case confirmed by DOH.

For comparison, 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. Additionally, 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.

The county’s COVID numbers continue 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 1,061.8) and the new case positivity must remain below 10% (currently at 32.3%) for two weeks in order for coverings not to be required.