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Number of new COVID-19 cases in Marion County drops for third consecutive week

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

February 04, 2022

 

Ocala, Fla.—The number of new COVID-19 cases in Marion County fell for a third consecutive week, according to the most recent state report, released Friday. The local positivity rate also went down. 

Marion County reported 2,621 new cases for the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 3. That was 1,334 fewer new cases than were reported the previous week. With this report, the number of new infections has dropped by more than half since Jan. 13, when Marion County reported a record 5,536 new cases. 

The county’s cumulative total of COVID-19 cases was 79,585 as of Feb. 3. 

The positivity rate for the past week decreased to 24.6%. That was down from 32.3% the previous week. 

Overall, the daily positivity rate for all new COVID-19 cases throughout Florida during the previous week was 18%.

The state’s new report indicates 311 people in Marion County received vaccines between Jan. 28 and Feb. 3. That was a decrease of 199 vaccinations from the previous week. The ratio of Marion County residents aged 5 or older who have been vaccinated remained at 63% during the latest reporting period.

“We can breathe a little bit easier because the trend in new cases is certainly going in the right direction,” said Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander. “But our community still must remain vigilant about using good protective practices to try to reduce the spread, because the virus remains highly transmissible. Wash your hands frequently, stay home if you get sick, and consider a COVID vaccine if you have not received one already, or a booster, if you are eligible. Vaccines continue to be an effective tool against serious illness or hospitalization from COVID.”

Marion County’s community transmission rating, as determined by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, remained “high.” That means the county had more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people during the most recent seven-day reporting period and had a positivity rate of 10% or higher.

From COVID-19 cases reported during the week of Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, Marion County saw:

  • An average of 374.4 new cases per day
  • 24.6% positivity rate
  • A total of 311 people vaccinated

For the week of Jan. 21 to Jan. 27, Marion saw:

  • An average of 565 new cases per day
  • 32.3% positivity rate
  • A total of 510 people vaccinated

For the week of Jan. 14 to Jan. 20, Marion saw:

  • An average of 670.9 new cases per day
  • 33.3% positivity rate
  • A total of 644 people vaccinated

For the week of Jan. 7 to Jan. 13, Marion County saw:

  • An average of 790.9 new cases per day
  • 31.3% positivity rate.
  • A total of 990 people vaccinated

For the week of Dec. 31 to Jan. 6, Marion County saw:

  • An average of 447.1 new cases per day
  • 24.6% positivity rate.
  • A total of 1,042 people vaccinated

During the week of Dec. 24 to Dec. 30, Marion saw:

  • An average of 220.4 new cases per day
  • 17.4% positivity rate
  • A total of 961 people vaccinated

 

COVID-19 vaccine availability 

COVID-19 vaccines for anyone 5 or older are available at the Florida Department of Health in Marion County.

To make a vaccination appointment, go to tinyurl.com/MakeMarionFLVaxAppt. The vaccines are free.

The department provides vaccinations from 8:30–11:30 a.m. and 1–4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at its main office, 1801 SE 32nd Ave., Ocala.

The department encourages those with questions about vaccines, whether for themselves or their children, to consult with their health care provider.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for all age groups. People 18 and older may choose from the Pfizer, Moderna, or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pfizer vaccine for children under 12 has the same active ingredients as the vaccine given to adults and adolescents, but the dose for 5- to 11-year-olds is only one-third the amount in the adult vaccine. The vaccine also is administered with smaller needles designed specifically for children.

Under the CDC’s latest guidelines, children ages 5 to 11 with moderately or severely compromised immune systems may receive an additional primary dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine after waiting at least 28 days from receiving their second dose in the primary vaccination series. 

The CDC also has reduced the wait time for a booster dose for people 18 and older who have received either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines. 

Adults are now eligible for a booster shot five months after finishing their primary series instead of the previously recommended six months. 

The change also applies to children ages 12 to 17. But to reiterate, only the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is authorized for children under age 18.

Besides the Department of Health in Marion County, vaccines can be obtained throughout the county at many pharmacies, doctor’s offices, clinics and health centers.

Visit floridahealthcovid19.gov to learn more about vaccine locations. 

 

COVID-19 testing continues locally

Marion County residents now have multiple options for COVID-19 testing.

Testing remains available at the First Baptist Church of Ocala.

CovidTestFL.Org, a COVID-19 mobile clinical testing service, provides free drive-thru testing at the church, 2801 SE Maricamp Road, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

CovidTestFL.Org now tests on Saturdays. That occurs from 8 a.m. to noon at the church until further notice.

Call CovidTestFL.Org at 866-826-8430 for additional details about testing.

CovidTestFL.Org offers a diagnostic PCR COVID-19 test that provides results within three days via a text message or an email containing a link to results on a web portal. Expedited test results are available for an additional fee.

People who seek to be tested must enter the church parking lot entrance on SE 30th Ave. To be tested, individuals should bring a valid photo ID; minors under age 18 will only be tested if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. People should be prepared to stay in their vehicles while awaiting testing.

On Feb. 4, Statlab Mobile, a mobile clinical testing service, began offering free, drive-thru testing over weekends. That occurs at the campus of the former Evergreen Elementary School, 4000 W. Anthony Rd. in Ocala. 

Statlab Mobile conducts testing from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Fridays through Mondays, and will continue at the site until further notice. Testing will not be done at that location on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, or Thursdays. 

Statlab Mobile offers a diagnostic PCR test with results available within 24 to 48 hours. 

The company will notify test recipients of their results via a text message and email. 

For more information about Statlab Mobile and its services, visit statlabmobile.com or call 1-844-4MY-LABS. 

 

COVID-19 treatment options

Monoclonal antibody therapy is currently available in Florida. Monoclonal antibody treatments can prevent severe illness, hospitalization and death in high-risk patients. 

Anyone 12 and older who is considered at high risk for severe illness due to COVID-19 is eligible for this treatment. 

In addition to monoclonal antibody treatment, Florida has rolled out the newest therapeutics, AstraZeneca’s Evusheld, Pfizer’s Paxlovid and Merck’s molnupiravir, which can be administered with a physician’s prescription.

For more information about monoclonal antibody treatment and other therapeutics, visit floridahealthcovid19.gov and click the “Treatment Locator” tab at the top of the page.

 

Find out more 

For more information, call the Department of Health in Marion County at 352-644-2590.

Or visit marion.floridahealth.gov, marionflcovid.org and twitter.com/flhealthmarion for the latest information on COVID-19 and vaccinations. Visit floridahealthcovid19.gov and use the Vaccine Locator and Testing Sites tools to find vaccination and testing sites near you.