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Health Department urges community to protect older adults from COVID-19

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

July 25, 2020


OCALA, Fla.—The Department of Health in Marion County is urging residents to help protect older adults from COVID-19 by actively helping to prevent the spread of the virus.

“Many of our older adults are at higher risk for severe illness due to COVID-19,” said Florida Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander. “While younger people may be able to weather a COVID-19 infection with few or no symptoms, an older adult may require intensive care to help fight off the disease.”

Of the 48 Marion County residents who have died after contracting COVID-19, 33 have been over age 65.

“These are our parents, grandparents of our children, friends and neighbors, who are too valuable to risk losing to a virus that can be prevented if precautions are taken,” said Lander. “Younger adults are becoming infected with the virus in our community and passing it on to older adults they contact at home, at work, at the store, or elsewhere in the community.”

Older adults must take steps to protect themselves from COVID-19

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid crowds and large gatherings, especially in venues with poor ventilation.
  • Don’t shake hands with people.
  • Keep at least six feet between you and other people.
  • Stay away from people who may be sick.
  • Wear cloth face coverings in public places.
  • Try shopping during off-hours—later on weeknights or earlier on weekends—when crowds at stores are lower.
  • Avoid touching “high-touch” surfaces: elevator buttons, door handles, handrails, etc.
  • Find out if family or friends have been sick in the past two weeks BEFORE they visit. If they have been sick, reschedule at least two weeks out.
  • If you depend on regular medical treatment like dialysis, wound care, etc., talk to your health care provider about special arrangements.
  • Create a contact list of family, friends, neighbors, health care providers, community assistance programs and drivers. Make sure phone numbers are up to date.
  • Stay in touch with the people on your list and let them know you may need them for help if you become sick.

Families, friends and caregivers must help prevent the spread of COVID-19

If you’re caring for someone at home, you may need to prepare a separate bedroom and bathroom for them. Learn more about this type of at-home care:

If the person you’re caring for lives in a facility:

  • Know the facility’s outbreak protocol.
  • Ask daily about the health of the other residents.
  • Monitor visitors. Ask if they’ve been ill over the past two weeks or if they currently have a fever. A “yes” answer means the visit needs to be postponed for at least two weeks.

Marion County COVID-19 case for July 25

Marion County is reporting 3,224 cumulative cases of COVID-19 as of this afternoon. This is: 

  • An increase of 119 cases since yesterday (July 24)
  • An increase of 2,497 cases since July 1

Of Marion COVID-19 tests from July 24, 8.6% were positive; the county’s cumulative positive test rate is 8.3%. The daily positivity rate for all new COVID-19 tests in Florida on July 24 was 11.43%; the state’s cumulative positive rate is 12.41%. Individuals who tested positive for the virus have ranged in age from 4 days old to 99 years old.

Five new COVID-19 related deaths

Five Marion County residents have passed away after contracting COVID-19. Each had underlying health conditions. Deaths included:

  • 72-year-old male from Ocklawaha
  • 47-year-old male from Ocala
  • 76-year-old male from Ocala
  • 79-year-old male from Dunnellon
  • 85-year-old male from Ocala

A total of 48 individuals have died in Marion County after becoming ill with the virus. They range in age from 32 to 98.

For more information

Visit DOH-Marion online at and follow the agency on Twitter (@FLHealthMarion) for the latest on COVID-19 in Marion.

For the most up-to-date information on COVID-19 in Florida, visit For general questions about COVID-19, call the state hotline (866-779-6121), local hotline (352-644-2590), or email