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Marion County reports continued decline in new COVID-19 cases and positivity rate

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

February 25, 2022

 

Ocala, Fla. —  The number of new COVID-19 cases in Marion County and the local positivity rate both continue to drop.

According to the most recent state report, released Friday, here are the key points for Marion County for the week of Feb. 18-24:

  • New cases: 419. That was down from 708 the prior week. New cases have plunged 92% since Jan. 13, when a record 5,536 new cases were reported. 
  • The county’s cumulative total as of Feb. 24: 82,669. 
  • Positivity rate: 6.9%. That was down from 10.3% the prior week. The rate is at its lowest level since Dec. 23.
  • Statewide positivity rate: 5.6%.
  • Vaccines: 128. That was down from 161 the prior week. Percentage of county residents 5 or older who have been vaccinated: 63%.

“The numbers are trending in the correct direction. It’s a welcome change for the community,” said Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander.

Lander encouraged county residents to continue steps to protect themselves and others.

“Focus on your personal health. Build up your immune system, whether with diet or exercise. But also remember the message we’ve been pushing for two years: If you’re sick stay home. Make sure you don’t put others at risk.”

The department also reminds the public that vaccines help reduce serious illness and hospitalizations.

From COVID-19 cases reported during the week of Feb. 18 to Feb. 24, Marion County saw:

  • An average of 59.9 new cases per day
  • 6.9% positivity rate
  • A total of 128 people vaccinated

For the week of Feb. 11 to Feb. 17, Marion 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 

COVID-19 vaccine availability 

The department provides free 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, go to 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 completed either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccination series. 

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.

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.