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Saturday, June 15, 2024
COVID 19  |  UF

COVID-19 Update: UF quarantine numbers rise while county cases continue falling

Children 5-11 are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccines

The number of UF affiliates quarantined rose to 118 Monday — 20 more than Nov. 2.

For the first time since Oct. 15, UF weekly cases rose above 30, with at least 43 cases reported from Oct. 30 to Friday. The seven-day average rose above 4 on Nov. 1 for the first time since Oct. 16. The seven-day average was 6 as of Saturday.

Meanwhile, the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in Alachua County continued falling this week.

There were a total of 106 new cases in Alachua County this week — 54 fewer than the prior week. Weekly cases fell by about 93% since the week of Aug. 27, when there were 1,526 cases reported.

Shands hospitalizations also continue to fall. The number of hospitalized patients in Alachua County fell to 17 as of Nov. 9 — a decrease of about 46% since Nov. 2. Hospitalizations had fallen by about 17% during the previous week.

Of the eight COVID-19 patients at UF Health Shands Hospital Wednesday, four were in the ICU, UF Health spokesperson Ken Garcia wrote in an email. On Tuesday, 60% of patients were unvaccinated.

No children were hospitalized as of Wednesday, down from one child the previous week.

Forty-seven Alachua Public Schools students were quarantined as of Tuesday, down from 64 students Nov. 2.

In the last two weeks, 17 students and one adult tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Alachua County School District as of Tuesday.

The national weekly case average has remained stable this week with only a decrease of about 1% from the previous week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the Pfizer pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children 5 to 11 years on Nov. 2, according to its media statement. UF Health ordered doses for that age group this week, Garcia wrote, and plans to have them available for patients beginning the week of Nov. 15 or sooner. There will be walk-in availability at UF Health’s pharmacies and by appointment in its pediatric clinics.

The Biden administration set Jan. 4 as the deadline for large private companies to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations or begin weekly testing of their workers Thursday. The rule applies to businesses with 100 or more employees and is expected to cover 84 million workers.

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In a separate measure, health care facilities that receive Medicare and Medicaid funds, such as nursing homes, must ensure all workers are vaccinated by Jan. 4, with no option for testing. Vaccine requirements for companies with federal contracts also share the Jan. 4 deadline after an extension from early December.

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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