Florida reports 15,314 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Oct. 15-21, an average of about 2,200 infections per day. The data released Friday shows a 22 percent drop in cases from the week before and the lowest weekly infection rate since late June.
The latest tally brings the total number of cases up to 3,635,126 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported nearly 20 months ago on March 1, 2020.Related: DeSantis plans to call a special legislative session on vaccine mandates
The state added 944 deaths since the previous week’s report. This brings the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 58,803. Most of these deaths occurred more than one weeks ago, as it can take officials two weeks or more to confirm COVID-related deaths. The report indicates that 106 deaths occurred between Oct. 15-21, though that number likely will rise as new deaths are confirmed.
The Florida Department of Health announced in June that it would no longer release daily COVID-19 data. Instead, it now is releasing a weekly report every Friday — but it withholds information that was publicly available before.
As of June 4, the state no longer reports non-resident vaccinations, coronavirus cases and fatalities. The state has declined repeated requests to provide non-resident data to the Tampa Bay Times.
Florida is the only state that updates its coronavirus caseloads and data once per week. Although weekly reports can be more reliable than daily updates, experts warn that infrequent data updates may delay the identification of emerging trends.Related: Hillsborough firefighter dies from coronavirus complications
Vaccinations: Florida administered 126,844 vaccine doses in the past week. Fewer than 55,000 doses went to first-time recipients. More than 5 million eligible Floridians remain unvaccinated.
As of Thursday, 73 percent of Florida residents age 12 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state. About 63 percent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated.
But 37 percent of Florida’s total population is unvaccinated, including children 11 and under who are not eligible to receive the vaccine.Related: Florida kids still lead all ages in positivity as COVID cases fall
Vaccination rates are highest among Florida’s older adults. It is 89 percent for Floridians 65 and older and 84 percent of those ages 60-64, according to state data.
Children and young adults remain the least-vaccinated age groups. Ages 12-19 are 56 percent vaccinated, ages 20-29 are 54 percent vaccinated, and ages 30-39 are 64 percent vaccinated.
In Hillsborough County, 68 percent of residents 12 and up have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 68 percent; in Pasco, 67 percent; in Manatee, 68 percent; in Polk, 65 percent; in Hernando, 60 percent; and in Citrus, 60 percent.
Booster shots: Florida administered 102,545 booster doses, administered to at-risk residents who received their second Pfizer dose at least six months ago. So far, nearly 875,991 Florida residents have received a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine.