Local COVID numbers continue to climb

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New Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) numbers show COVID-19 positive cases continue to rise throughout North Central Florida and statewide.

According to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) bi-weekly report sent on Friday, Alachua County’s new positive cases rose from 838 to 964. 

Statewide, Florida is second in the country with 315.5 cases per 100,000 people, trailing only California (335.9 per 100,000), and 60 of Florida’s 67 counties are now designated as “high risk” for level of transmission. The other seven counties are “medium risk,” according to the CDC. 

On Tuesday, UF Shands Hospital reported 66 COVID-positive cases with 19 patients in either the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Intermediate Care Unit (IMC) and 25 non-infectious patients who are hospitalized but no longer COVID-positive. The numbers are up from 54 COVID-positive patients with 14 in the ICU/IMC on June 20. 

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HCA Florida North Florida Hospital reported 39 COVID-positive cases with four in the ICU on Wednesday morning, which is also up from 27 patients with one in the ICU on June 20. 

The CDC listed Alachua as one of 60 of 67 Florida counties (in orange) as “high risk” for level of transmission.

In the surrounding counties over the past two weeks, Columbia increased from 110 cases to 180, Suwannee went from 70 to 115, Levy from 89 to 97, Dixie from 29 to 65, Bradford from 53 to 56, Gilchrist from 36 to 52 and Union from 29 to 34. 

The July 1 FDOH report showed the following new regional cases and cases per 100,000 population:

  • Alachua County – 964 positive cases (346.9 cases per 100,000 population)
  • Columbia County – 180 (252.0)
  • Suwannee County – 115 (248.9)
  • Levy County – 97 (229.0)
  • Dixie County – 65 (387.5)
  • Bradford County – 56 (193.6)
  • Gilchrist County – 52 (274.3)
  • Union County – 34 (219.7)

The current outbreak remains smaller and milder than the omicron surge in January when 30.7% of Alachua County residents tested positive and hospitalizations surged above 300. More than 450 COVID-positive patients were hospitalized in Alachua County during the height of the delta variant outbreak in August 2021. 

Editors note: This story was updated to include HCA Florida North Florida Hosptial’s patient numbers sent on Wednesday morning.

Florida ranks second in the nation behind California in new COVID-positive cases per 100,000 people in the past seven days.

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Ned Mounte

Good thing no one is wearing masks anymore…they cause covid, you know /s