Alachua County’s COVID-19 cases reached their third consecutive weekly drop in cases as of Friday.
Despite the county reaching a 70% vaccination rate last week, Traci d’Auguste, UF Health Shands Hospital chief operating officer, said areas in the community still have low rates.
New positive cases decreased from 3,596 to 2,330 cases. The positivity rate dropped from 27.3% in the week of Jan. 28 to 24% last week, according to the county COVID-19 dashboard.
Adult hospitalizations fell from 314 to 276 on Monday, according to the county dashboard. There were 50 adults in the Intensive Care Unit Monday compared to 96 on Jan. 31. There are 15 patients on ventilators as of Monday. About 90% of patients on ventilators are unvaccinated, according to the county’s Facebook page.
Last week, 179 people were vaccinated, according to the county dashboard.
Shands had 146 COVID-positive patients Tuesday, d’Auguste said. Of those, 41 are being treated in the ICU or Intermediate Care Unit. Seven patients are under 18 years old, and of those, two are in the ICU.
Sixty-three patients are no longer infectious but continue to receive care, d’Auguste said. Of the hospitalized patients, 74% are unvaccinated.
Vaccinations among Shands staff continues to increase. Shands has until March 28 to ensure that all employees are vaccinated, d’Auguste said.
“We’re fortunate we already have a very high number that are vaccinated and that continues to improve really on a daily basis,” she said. “So I have no concerns with our ability to comply and get everyone into the right spot.”
While positive cases have dropped since last week, d’Auguste said she is hesitant to say Shands has reached the other side of the surge’s peak.
“I hope there’s not another strain, but there very well could be,” she said. “So there continues to be a need for folks to consider vaccination and certainly consider boosting.”
Contact Lucille Lannigan firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact her on Twitter @lucillelannigan.
Lucy is a senior journalism major and the metro editor for The Alligator. She has previously served as a news assistant and the East Gainesville reporter for the metro desk as well as the health and environment reporter on the university desk. When she’s not doing journalism you can find her painting or spending time outside.