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Saturday, May 18, 2024

COVID-19 Update: Local cases, Shands hospitalizations continue falling as Florida surpasses one million booster shots

Florida ranked second in total COVID-19 deaths in October

UF cases continue to drop, with a current three-case seven-day average as of Tuesday.

The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Alachua County followed a similar decrease this week, yet Florida ended October with the second-highest COVID-19 death toll.  

There were 160 new cases in Alachua County this week — 35 fewer than the prior week. Weekly cases fell by nearly 90% since the week of Aug. 27, when there were 1,526 cases reported.

UF affiliate cases and Shands hospitalizations also continue to fall. The number of hospitalized patients in Alachua County fell to 38 as of Nov. 1, a decrease of about 17% since Oct. 25. Hospitalizations had fallen by about a third during the previous week.

On Tuesday, 98 UF affiliates were quarantined, 30 fewer than the previous week.

Of the 15 COVID-19 patients at UF Health Shands Hospital Wednesday, 5 were in the ICU, UF Health spokesperson Ken Garcia wrote in an email. On Tuesday, 85% of patients were unvaccinated.

One child was hospitalized as of Wednesday, up from no children the previous week.

Alachua County Public Schools experienced about an 18% increase in quarantined students last week, with 82 students quarantined Oct. 29.

In the last two weeks, 20 students, but no adults, tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Alachua County School District as of Nov. 1.

Last week’s national weekly case average decreased by about 7% from the previous week.

Florida ranked seventeenth in the nation for COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 on Nov. 2, averaging about 105 daily deaths. The state moved down in ranking by two places compared to last week.

More than a million Floridians vaccinated against COVID-19 have gotten booster shots as of Friday, according to the state health department. Last week’s increase in those who received third doses was the biggest rise in boosters statewide since reporting began Sept. 10.

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But Florida ranked second in total COVID-19 deaths in October as of Saturday, behind Texas, according to a Palm Beach Post analysis of data from the state and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The virus had killed at least 4,371 residents since Oct. 1. About 20 of every 100,000 Floridians had died from the illness in October as of Saturday, a death rate higher than 44 states. Florida has the third highest population of the states.

UF is offering COVID-19 testing at the UF Cultural Plaza Parking Garage and Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. UF Health is offering walk-up vaccinations on the first floor of Shands, the first floor of Medical Plaza and the first floor of Springhill. Alachua County is offering walk-up vaccinations at various local pharmacies.

Contact J.P. Oprison at Follow him on Twitter @JOprison

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J.P. Oprison

JP is a fourth-year journalism major with a minor in history. He is currently the health reporter for The Alligator, focusing on how the pandemic is affecting Alachua County and the thousands of students in Gainesville. In his free time, JP likes to exercise at the gym and relax on the beach.

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