Florida COVID weekly update: New omicron subvariant is most dominant strain in U.S.

·5 min read
Pedro Portal/pportal@miamiherald.com

What is the COVID-19 situation like in Florida?

In the past seven days, the state has added 9,686 cases and 51 deaths per day, on average, according to Miami Herald calculations of data published by the CDC.

Over the past three weeks, on average, 87 fewer cases were logged each day in Florida. Cases are continuing to stagnate.

COVID information shifting to weekly trends. What to know about finding the report

As of Tuesday, July 5, more than 14,523,072 people are fully vaccinated in Florida. The state has logged at least 6,526,305 cases and 76,031 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The number of cases is likely an undercount due to positive results from at-home COVID testing. The state also only tracks resident cases and deaths, excluding nonresidents.

Here’s a breakdown of what to know this week:

Tracking COVID variants

The two new omicron subvariants, BA.4 and BA.5, are spreading throughout the United States. They were first detected in South Africa earlier this year.

From June 27-July 2, the BA.5 strain has become the most dominant strain in the U.S., accounting for 53.6% of cases. The BA.4 accounted for 16.5%, remaining the third most dominant strain, according to CDC data.

In the first week of May, the two variants accounted for only about 1 percent of new COVID cases.

In the southeast region, which includes Florida, BA.5 accounted for 54% of cases in the area and BA.4 accounted for 14.7%, the first and third most dominant.

READ MORE: ‘We should definitely be concerned.’ Miami-Dade’s COVID-19 cases, positivity rates soar

COVID spread in South Florida

Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, Manatee and Monroe are at a high COVID-19 risk level, according to the CDC. Under the high-risk level, the CDC recommends everyone wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

If you are immunocompromised or at a high risk for severe disease, the CDC recommends wearing a mask as well as avoiding “nonessential” indoor actives in public.

READ MORE: Miami-Dade’s COVID-19 cases, positivity rates soar

South Florida and Manatee County COVID-19 Cases

In the period from June 21-28, Florida has seen 73,829 new cases, according to Miami Herald calculations of the CDC’s Community Profile Report published Tuesday.

Here’s a breakdown of the new COVID cases in South Florida and Manatee County, according to the report.

Miami-Dade reported 16,995 new resident cases in the week ending June 28, reaching a total of 1,327,702. Cases added were 1% fewer than those added in the previous week, and COVID-19 testing decreased by 4.5%.

Broward reported 7,621 new resident cases, reaching a total of 671,040. Cases added were 3% fewer than those added in the previous week, and COVID-19 testing decreased by 6.84%.

Palm Beach reported 4,494 new resident cases, reaching a total of 409,609. Cases added were 3% fewer than those added in the previous week, and COVID-19 testing decreased by 3.45%.

Monroe reported 233 new resident cases, reaching a total of 20,078. Cases added were 17% more than those added in the previous week, and COVID-19 testing increased by 0.39%.

Manatee reported 1,149 new resident cases, reaching a total of 105,035. Cases added were 1% more than those added in the previous week and COVID-19 testing decreased by 1.74%.

South Florida and Manatee County COVID deaths

Florida has added 400 deaths in the past week, according to Miami Herald calculations of the CDC’s Friday Community Profile Report.

It is unclear when these newly reported deaths occurred. The Community Profile Report updates Florida’s county tolls and rates about once every seven days.

As of Friday’s Community Profile Report, Florida had a rate of 352 cumulative deaths per 100,000 people since the start of the pandemic.

Here’s where death rates and tolls stand in South Florida and Manatee County, according to the CDC:

Miami-Dade’s death toll is 11,102, an increase of 59 deaths from Friday’s report. That’s a rate of 409 cumulative deaths per 100,000 people since the beginning of the pandemic.

Broward’s death toll is 5,961, an increase of 32. That’s a rate of 305 cumulative deaths per 100,000 people.

Palm Beach’s death toll is 5,184, an increase of 53. That’s a rate of 346 cumulative deaths per 100,000 people.

Monroe’s death toll is 120, seeing no additional deaths. The county would be at a death rate of 162 deaths per 100,000 people if its population were that large.

Manatee’s death toll is 1,472, an increase of 10. Manatee has a rate of 365 cumulative deaths per 100,000 people.

Florida COVID-19 hospitalizations

There were 3,684 people hospitalized in Florida, with 401 in the ICU, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services report on Tuesday.

Over the past three weeks, on average, 28 more people were hospitalized each day in Florida, showing an increase in seven-day average hospital trends. During the same time, on average, 4 more people were in the ICU with COVID each day in Florida, another increase in trends.

At omicron’s January peak, more than 15,000 patients were hospitalized in Florida, according to HHS data.

Miami-Dade County no longer collects and reports COVID hospitalizations data in its “COVID-19 Daily Dashboard.”

Florida COVID-19 vaccinations

About 14,523,072 eligible Floridians — 67.6% of the state’s population — have completed the two-dose series of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines or have completed Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine, according to the CDC.

About 6,057,923 Floridians have received a booster, about 41.7% of the state’s fully vaccinated population.

Here’s how many people have received a booster in South Florida and Manatee County, according to the CDC:

In Miami-Dade, about 808,004 people, or 34.6% of the fully vaccinated population, have received a booster.

In Broward, about 571,886 people have received a booster, or 40.6% of the fully vaccinated population.

In Palm Beach, about 447,740 people have received a booster, or 44.6% of the fully vaccinated population.

In Monroe, about 23,451 people have received a booster, or 40% of the fully vaccinated population.

In Manatee, about 115,020 people have received a booster, or 45.6% of the fully vaccinated population.

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