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John McCabe shows off his bandage while his wife, Maria, looks on after the two received their COVID-19 vaccines in January at Twin Lakes Park in Sarasota. The couple, that live in Calusa Lakes in Nokomis. Sarasota County is near the top in the state for vaccinations.

VENICE — Sarasota County’s population is among the most vaccinated against COVID-19 in the state and it’s not because of the percentage of seniors who have been vaccinated.

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of 6 a.m. Tuesday, 77.5% of people 65 and older in the county were fully vaccinated.

As a group that’s higher than the 70% goal set by President Joe Biden for July 4, but 10 of the state’s 67 counties have a higher percentage, including 95.5% in Franklin County, in the Panhandle.

Only two counties — Sumter, in central Florida, and St. Johns, where St. Augustine is located — have a higher percentage of their 18-and-older population vaccinated, and only Sumter beats Sarasota for the percentage of the population 12 and older that is fully vaccinated.

Sumter is also the sole county with a higher overall vaccination percentage than Sarasota County — 14.6 percentage points, 62.4% versus 47.8%.

Seven Florida counties have yet to surpass 20% total population vaccination and two — Glades County, west of Lake Okeechobee, and Holmes County, in the Panhandle — are below 50% vaccination of their senior population.

By the numbers

The state reported 1,898 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday, an increase of about 300 cases from Monday but still the third straight day of fewer than 3,000 cases.

The number of new cases has been below 3,000 for nine out of the last 10 days.

At 3.75%, the positivity rate was below 4% for the fourth consecutive day. There were 93 new deaths reported, however.

Sarasota County reported 35 new COVID-19 cases and a positivity rate of 4.36% — the third straight increase and the highest rate in two weeks. There were no deaths reported.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital had 19 COVID-19 patients Tuesday, with four of them in the ICU.

Its seven-day positivity rate inched up to 2.8%, compared to 2.2% for the prior period. It reported one death.

Venice Regional Bayfront Health had six COVID-19 patients and no deaths.

Statewide, 2,117 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday, with 35 of them — seven more than Monday — in Sarasota County, according to a state database.

The Sarasota County School District reported three staff and 25 students isolated and six staff and 130 students quarantined Tuesday.

In the prior 48 hours, nine people had been directed to isolate and 64 to quarantine.


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