SARASOTA — People registered for a COVID-19 vaccine can see where they are in line.

Chances are it’s pretty far down the list.

As of Friday, the next number to be served was 4,073 — out of more than 106,000 accounts registered. About 40% of the accounts are for two people, county Director of Emergency Management Rich Collins said.

With so many signed up and supplies limited, county officials are urging patience.

How fast the number moves depends on vaccine distribution and invalid accounts being weeded out, Collins said.

The state is expecting 307,000 more doses next week, Gov. Ron DeSantis said at a vaccination “pod” held at Sun City Center on Wednesday. That’s up from the 265,000 doses delivered the past three weeks.

But a supply for second shots started to be collected about 10 days ago, he said, as the state elected not to disburse all available vaccine for first shots and gamble on the supply for the second one.

The county health department did about 1,600 second shots Thursday at its new clinic location, Sarasota Square Mall. It’s expected to do another 1,200 next week.

The mall, 8201 South Tamiami Trail, was chosen because it’s more centrally located, with the space to handle a high volume of vaccinations, Health Officer Chuck Henry said. There’s plenty of parking and easy access via public transportation, he said.

It hosted a first-shot clinic Friday. No clinics for next week have been announced.

The state rolled out a new registration system of its own Friday but the county health office has “currently” opted out of it, Public Information Officer Steve Huard said.

“If you want to receive a vaccination in Sarasota County, we need you to sign up in the (county’s) Everbridge system,” he said.

According to a state data base, 32,647 people in the county have received their first dose of vaccine and 6,716 people have gotten both doses.

By the numbers

The best number the county got this week was zero.

That’s how many of the 92 cases of the British B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant have been found in Sarasota County. There has been one in Charlotte County, according to news reports.

The state released the numbers only after it was sued under Florida’s public records law.

Friday’s reports demonstrated the persistence of COVID-19.

The state reported 10,871 new cases, the second straight day above 10,000 cases after four days below that mark. The positivity rate was 14.46%, the highest in more than a month, and there were 219 deaths.

Since March 2020, when the first case was reported at Sarasota Doctors Hospital, a total of 628 people have died from COVID-19 in Sarasota County.

Sarasota County reported 212 new cases, breaking a streak of six days with no more than 109, as well as a positivity rate of 14.44%, reaching double digits for the first time in at least two weeks, and 13 deaths.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital had 69 COVID-19 patients Friday, with 16 of the in the ICU. Its seven-day positivity rate was 4.8%, down from 7.3% in the prior period. It reported no deaths.

Venice Regional Bayfront Health had 26 COVID-19 patients Friday and two employees self-isolating as of Thursday. It reported two deaths since Tuesday.

Statewide, 6,378 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 Friday; there were 101 in the county.

ICU bed availability was 16.25% statewide and 19.82% in the county.

The Sarasota County School District had 10 staff and 67 students in isolation Friday and 35 staff and 544 students in quarantine. The latter two numbers were more than double the figures reported Tuesday.

In the previous 48 hours, 15 people had been directed to isolate and 133 to quarantine.


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