Skip Global navigation and goto content

Marion County reports lowest COVID-19 positivity rate, number of new cases for 2022 to date

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

February 18, 2022

 

Ocala, Fla. — Marion County recorded its lowest weekly COVID-19 positivity rate of the year so far, according to the most recent state report, released Friday.

The number new cases also dropped to the lowest level of 2022, decreasing for the fifth consecutive week.

Marion County reported 708 new cases for the week of Feb. 11 through Feb. 17. That was 856 fewer new cases than were reported the previous week. With this report, the number of new infections has dropped 87% since Jan. 13, when Marion County reported a record 5,536 new cases. 

The county’s cumulative total of COVID-19 cases was 82,253 as of Feb. 17. 

The positivity rate for the past week decreased to 10.3%. The rate has not been that low since Dec. 23, when it was reported at 5%.

Overall, the daily positivity rate for all new COVID-19 cases throughout Florida during the previous week was 8.2%.

The state’s new report indicates 161 people in Marion County received vaccines between Jan. Feb. 4 and Feb. 10. That was a decrease of 103 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.

“The reduced positivity rate and the drop in new cases are the best news we’ve had in a while. While we hope this trend continues, we encourage our community to not get complacent about taking necessary protective measures, including practicing good personal hygiene, staying home if you are sick, and considering getting a COVID-19 vaccine if you have not already gotten one, or a booster if you are eligible. These vaccines remain effective in preventing serious illness or hospitalization from COVID,” said Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander. 

Marion County’s community transmission rating remains “high,” according to the guidelines of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 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 Feb. 11 to Feb. 17, Marion County saw:

  • An average of 101.1 new cases per day
  • 10.3% positivity rate
  • A total of 161 people vaccinated

For the week of Feb. 4 to Feb. 10, Marion saw:

  • An average of 223.4 new cases per day
  • 17.7% positivity rate              
  • A total of 264 people vaccinated  

For 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

COVID-19 vaccine availability 

The Florida Department of Health in Marion County provides COVID-19 vaccines for anyone 5 or older. The vaccines are free.

The department offers 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.

To make a vaccination appointment, visit tinyurl.com/MakeMarionFLVaxAppt. 

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

CovidTestFL.Org, a COVID-19 mobile clinical testing service, offers free drive-thru testing from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the First Baptist Church of Ocala, 2801 SE Maricamp Rd, Ocala.

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.

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 introduced 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.

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.