Coronavirus patient count at Sarasota Memorial no higher than 21 from Dec. 5 through Dec. 9
On Dec. 9, just a couple of days after the first omicron variant cases of COVID-19 were identified in the state of Florida, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted that Sarasota County’s community transmission status had been reduced to “Moderate.”
A week ago, the CDC labeled the status as “Substantial.” In fact, on Dec. 6, that was still the status, The Sarasota News Leader found.
The Dec. 9 federal report, reflecting data recorded over the previous seven days, said the county’s positivity rate was down to 3.43%. Still, that is higher than the 3.32% mark the CDC gave the county on Dec. 2.
In the Dec. 6 report on Sarasota County, the CDC noted that the positivity rate over the previous seven-day period was 3.6%.
The CDC did add on Dec. 9 that 191 COVID-19 cases had been recorded in the county over the previous seven days, with the case rate at 44.04 per 100,000 residents.
A week earlier, the seven-day metrics showed 291 new cases and a case rate of 67.09 per 100,000 residents.
Through Dec. 7, the CDC also reported, the case rate for the previous seven days had fallen 34.36%. Further, it said that, for the seven days through Dec. 5, the positivity rate was up only 0.01%, compared to the rate for the previous seven-day reporting period.
Altogether, as of Dec. 9, the CDC pointed out, 66.3% of the county’s residents had been fully vaccinated, with 78% having received at least one dose of a vaccine.
For the population age 12 and older, 72.5% were fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
The highest vaccination rate for any Sarasota County demographic continues to belong to persons age 65 and up. Of those, 99.9% have had at least one dose, while 89% were fully vaccinated as of Dec. 9, the CDC said.
The latest Florida Department of Health data — for the period of Nov. 26 through Dec. 2 — showed a total of 56,202 cases identified in Sarasota County since the first COVID-19 patients in the state were reported in the county, in March 2020.
The report also said that 266 new county cases were recorded from Nov. 26 through Dec. 2. That was a slight drop from the 283 cases logged between Nov. 19 and Nov. 25.
The Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee provides a COVID-19 update only once a week, on Fridays. That has been its practice since the first week of June.
In related data, from Dec. 5 through Dec. 9, Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) reported no more than 21 COVID-19 patients on a given day. On Dec. 9, the 18 COVID-19 patients were receiving treatment.
The count of those in the Intensive Care Unit varied from five on Dec. 5 to three on Dec. 9.
Deaths are up slightly, though. After going about 10 days with no new fatalities related to COVID-19, SMH reported a total of 529 as of Dec. 9. That figure compare to 525 through Dec. 2.
Joining federal health officials, the staff of the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County has continued to stress that vaccination is the best way to prevent serious illness and death from COVID-19.
National Public Radio (NPR) reported on Dec. 8 that scientists in South Africa and Germany had “released preliminary results from two small studies [with data] strongly [suggesting] the vaccines will be much less effective at stopping infections from the omicron variant but will still likely offer protection against severe disease.”
The German study indicated that a third shot “will partially recover the effectiveness of the vaccines, at least for a few months,” NPR added.
The NPR report did note that the results of those studies had not been peer-reviewed.
The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County continues to offer doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to persons at its offices in downtown Sarasota (2200 Ringling Blvd. 34237) and in North Port (6950 Outreach Way 34287).
No appointments are necessary.
The downtown Sarasota facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; its hours on Tuesday and Friday are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The North Port facility is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
For more information, a person may call 941-861-2883.
Additionally, staff continues to point out that vaccines are available at multiple other locations, including CVS and Walgreens stores in the area.
For information on COVID-19 testing sites, visit the state website: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/testing-sites/.