COVID-19 infections decline in Florida, but not enough to lower high risk of infection

COVID-19 remains a high risk in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe counties. Epidemiologists encourage outdoor activities and the use of facemasks indoors when in public. (AP Photo/Nina Lyashonok) (Nina Lyashonok, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

MIAMI – As of Saturday morning, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that all of the counties in Florida were at high risk of COVID-19 infection except for Glades, Taylor, and Holmes counties, which were at medium risk.

Data shows the cases and hospitalizations are decreasing, but the pandemic isn’t over. Vaccinations, boosters, and treatments have tamed the threat but there is still a need for high-quality face masks and testing, according to CDC epidemiologists.

With 97 more deaths during the Aug. 5-11 period, Florida’s COVID death toll increased to 78,559, according to The Florida Department of Health’s Friday report. The case fatality rate is much lower than this period last year, but it remains highest among those aged 65 or older.

Florida’s new case positivity rate, the portion of positive test results, decreased from 21.3% on July 8 to 18.4% on Aug. 5. There was also an average of 7,765 confirmed cases daily — representing a near 25% decrease from the last two periods.

The positivity rate was highest among Floridians who are aged 20 to 49 and the age group makes up for nearly 40% of the state’s new cases, according to the DOH report. They represent 21,028 out of the state’s 54,353 new cases during the Aug. 5-11 period.

Broward County had 4,805 new cases and the new case positivity rate decreased from 18.5% on July 8 to 15.2% on Aug. 5. Miami-Dade County had 9,733 new cases and the new case positivity rate decreased from 17.6% to 14.9%. Monroe County had 137 new cases and a rate decrease from 20.4% to 17.5%.

Biobot Analytics laboratory data shows the genetic viral fragments in wastewater in Miami-Dade have decreased from July 17 to Aug. 10. The data also showed that 99.8% of the genetic fragments were BA.5, a subvariant of the Omicron variant.

There were fewer hospitalizations in Florida than the last week on record. Hospitals registered 3,855 COVID-19 patients on Friday, nearly 350 less than last week, according to the U.S. Health and Human Services Department data.

The most recent DOH count places the total number of COVID-19 infections in Florida during the pandemic at 6,909,415.

For more information about where to get tested for COVID-19, visit this page or this page. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, visit this page or call 1-800-232-0233.

Related story: CDC drops quarantine, distancing recommendations for COVID

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About the Author:

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.