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Florida reports 605 new COVID-19 deaths as new weekly cases and positivity rate drop

Falling numbers may signal that the state has reached the peak of the omicron variant.

Deaths from COVID-19 in Florida continued surging last week as cases and hospitalizations showed some signs that the highly contagious omicron variant may be running its course.

The state on Friday reported 605 new deaths from COVID-19, up from 470 the previous week and the most in one week since the deadly delta variant surge.

But the increase came as new cases fell for the first time in more than a month from 430,297 the previous week to 289,204 for the week ending Thursday, according to the Florida Department of Health. The statewide positivity rate for new infections also fell from 29.3% to 26.8%.

The greater Tampa Bay region added 60,416 cases, down from 75,924 new cases a week earlier.

Florida has now had a total of 5,280,903 coronavirus cases.

The state's COVID-19 death toll now stands at 63,763.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 decreased by 107 on Friday to 11,468. That number has been fluctuating over the past week, which has led some experts to speculate that Florida may have reached it's peak in the omicron surge.

A surge in new hospitalizations and deaths typically lags a couple weeks behind a surge in cases.

The following is a summary from Jan. 14-Jan. 20.

Cases: 5,280,903 positive cases, an increase of 289,204 from the previous week.

Vaccinations: 15,141,101 Florida residents have been vaccinated, a weekly increase of 55,287. In all, 73% of Florida’s population over the age of five has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Positivity Rate: The positivity rate for new cases was 26.8% ,down from 29.3% the previous week.

Deaths: A total of 63,763 Florida residents have died from a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, an increase of 605 from the previous week.

(NOTE: Cases and deaths in the report may have happened days or weeks earlier, according to state officials. The state is also now only counting deaths involving Florida residents.)

County Breakdown:
(Jan. 14-Jan. 20)

CountyCases (Increase)Positivity (prv.)# Vaccinations% Vaccinated (prv.) *
28.1% (30.1%)961,37568% (67%)
Pinellas183,159 (11,779)26.8% (27.5%)648,15168% (68%)
Polk178,586 (10,837)30.7% (32.6%)441,76465% (65%)
Sarasota77,008 (5,447)24.9% (25.9%)325,86277% (76%)
Manatee84,181 (4,526)26.2% (27.2%)265,10369% (68%)
Pasco106,816 (7,093)30.1% (30.8%)346,86367% (66%)
Hernando36,834 (2,515)31.8% (28.9%)112,65860% (60%)

* - Vaccination rate now includes children ages 5-11 years old.

ABOUT THE DATA: As of June 4, 2021, the Florida Department of Health no longer offers daily updates on coronavirus data, and instead issues a county-by-county and statewide weekly breakdown on about COVID-19 cases, deaths, and other information. Cases and deaths in the report may have happened days or weeks earlier, according to state officials. The state is also now only counting deaths involving Florida residents.

As a reporter, my goal is to tell a story that moves you in some way. To me, the best way to do that begins with listening. Talking to people about their lives and the issues they care about is my favorite part of the job.
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