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New COVID-19 cases and positivity rate are up slightly in Marion County

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

April 25, 2022

 

Ocala, Fla. — Newly reported COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate rose slightly in Marion County recently.

According to the state’s most recent COVID-19 summary, released Friday, the key points for Marion County from the week of April 15 to April 22 were:

  • New cases: 142. That was up from 97 cases recorded in the last state report released on April 8. Friday’s total was the highest number of new cases since March 4, when the county reported 235 new infections.
  • The county’s cumulative case total as of April 21: 83,604. 
  • Positivity rate: 3.5%. That is up from 2.4% as noted in the state’s April 8 report. That is also the highest-state-reported rate for Marion County since March 4.
  • Statewide positivity rate: 6.1%.
  • Vaccines: 58. That was down from the 94 vaccines noted in the state’s April 8 report. It also was the first decline in vaccinations since the March 4 report.
  • Overall ratio of county residents 5 or older who have been vaccinated: 64%.

“The recent increase is not a major cause for concern at this point, relative to what the community experienced earlier this year with omicron. But it is something the department will continue to monitor to prevent returning to those days,” said Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander.

“But with this uptick in both cases and the positivity rate, we encourage the community to be mindful of steps that can help reduce the spread. Those include frequent hand-washing and practicing good, overall personal hygiene, staying home if you don’t feel well, and adopting some changes to create a healthier lifestyle.”

The Department of Health also reminds county residents that COVID-19 vaccines help reduce serious illness and hospitalizations.

From COVID-19 cases reported during the week of April 15-21, Marion County saw:

  • An average of 20.3 new cases per day
  • 3.5% positivity rate
  • A total of 58 people vaccinated

For the week of April 1-7, Marion County saw:

  • An average of 13.9 new cases per day
  • 2.4% positivity rate
  • A total of 94 people vaccinated

For the week of March 18–24, Marion saw:

  • An average of 8 new cases per day
  • 1.2% positivity rate
  • A total of 87 vaccinated

For the week of March 4–10, Marion saw:

  • An average of 17.9 new cases per day
  • 2.4% positivity rate
  • A total of 81 people vaccinated

For the week of Feb. 25 to March 3, Marion saw:

  • An average of 33.6 new cases per day
  • 3.6% positivity rate
  • A total of 119 people vaccinated

For the week of Feb. 18–24, Marion 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. 11–17, Marion saw:

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

COVID-19 vaccine availability 

The department provides free COVID-19 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.

No appointment is necessary. Walk-ins are accepted.

The department encourages people with questions about vaccines 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 and children ages 12 to 17 are now eligible for a booster shot five months after their primary series is completed. 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, health clinics and health centers.

Visit floridahealthcovid19.gov to learn more about vaccine locations.

COVID-19 testing continues locally

Curative Inc., a mobile lab service, offers free COVID-19 testing from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, at the Florida Horse Park, 11008 S. County Rd. 475, Ocala. 

Curative uses a shallow nasal PCR test with results available via email or text within 24 to 48 hours. Tests are shipped out daily at the close of business. 

The tests are self-administered, but a site specialist provides customers guidance on how to best perform the test. 

Curative welcomes walk-ins. But the company says it is easier for patients to register for an appointment at Curative.com.

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 therapeutics such as 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.