CDC: Alachua among 44 high risk counties in Florida

COVID-19 continues to rear its head throughout Florida as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now designated 44 of 67 counties at a “high risk” level of transmission.  

As of Monday, Florida ranks second in the nation with 74,323 people testing positive over the past seven days and trails only California’s 121,961 new cases. In Florida, it marks the third straight week the state has topped more than 70,000 new positive cases. 

The CDC originally listed Alachua County at a “high risk” level in late May with nine other Florida counties. That number increased to 22 counties two weeks ago and has now doubled to 44 counties, with 12 others at “medium risk” and the remaining nine designated at “low risk.” 
Locally, the Florida Department of Health’s (FDOH) June 17 data showed Alachua County with 838 new cases over the previous report.  

On Monday, HCA Florida North Florida Hospital had 27 COVID-19 positive patients, with half of these individuals being fully vaccinated, up from 18 positive patients with one in the ICU on June 7. 
“We continue to urge those who are not vaccinated to get the COVID-19 vaccine as well as the booster,” said Dr. Sean Benoit, Florida HCA North Florida Hospital Medical Center’s chief medical officer, in an emailed statement. “This will help protect you from developing severe symptoms from the virus. It is important to remember that the virus is still highly transmissible and we need to do our part in helping to prevent the spread.”

UF Health Shands Hospital is treating 54 COVID-19 positive patients with 14 in the ICU as of Monday morning. The numbers have increased from 47 COVID-related admitted patients on June 7 that included 39 positive cases and 14 in the ICU or IMC.

Florida’s CDC risk levels by county.

The June 17 FDOH report showed the following new regional cases and cases per 100,000 population:

  • Alachua County – 838 positive cases (307.2 cases per 100,000 population)
  • Columbia County – 110 (154.3)
  • Levy County – 89 (212.6)
  • Suwannee County – 70 (150.5)
  • Bradford County – 53 (183.4)
  • Gilchrist County – 36 (197.6)
  • Union County – 35 (225.6)
  • Dixie County – 29 (173.3)

The current outbreak remains smaller and milder than the omicron surge in January where 30.7% of Alachua County tested positive and hospitalizations shot up over 300.

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