COVID-19 vaccines

COVID-19 vaccines are available in South Sarasota County at the health department in North Port, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, 6950 Outreach Way, off of Pan American Boulevard. There’s no appointment necessary.

VENICE — When the state’s COVID-19 Weekly Situation Report, due out on Friday afternoons, is late, it’s usually a sign of bad news.

The July 23 report hadn’t been released by deadline, but the state had already reported daily data for the week to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

They show that COVID-19 cases are up for the fifth week in a row, significantly.

The CDC website shows that Florida had 67,413 new cases this week — about a 48% increase over the previous week, which was nearly a 100% increase over the previous one.

The 13,256 cases reported for Thursday were more than the state had reported for the weeks starting May 28, June 4, June 11 and June 18.

It was also the most cases reported for a single day since Jan. 30 and the eighth consecutive day of 8,000 cases or more, which hadn’t happened since the end of January.

The number of deaths was up as well, with 358 reported through Thursday compared to 224 for last week. There were 148 reported for Thursday, the most in more than a month.

The seven-day testing positivity rate continued to climb as well. It has gone up every day since June 14, rising to 15.29% Wednesday, the last day the CDC had data for.

The state’s cumulative positivity rate since the pandemic began is 17%.


The CDC’s numbers for Sarasota County are a little further behind.

They show 502 cases for the seven days ending July 20 — about the same number for the Weekly Situation Report for July 9-15.

Sarasota County and 64 other counties are experiencing a high level of community transmission, according to the CDC. Only DeSoto and Glades counties are at the “substantial” transmission level.

The agency also shows a testing positivity rate for the county of 14.4%, well above the 8.6% rate in the previous state report.

It shows a 20.83% increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations as well, though only a 1.69% increase in ICU bed occupancy, with mortalities fewer than 10.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital had 54 COVID-19 patients Friday for the second straight day, the most since the surge earlier this year.

Its seven-day positivity rate rose to 11.5% compared to 7.7% for the prior period, but ICU occupancy remained in single digits at seven patients.

It reported two deaths for the week.

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