COVID cases up in Brevard County, vaccination rate unchanged

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COVID-19 cases nearly doubled in the space of a week on the Space Coast, according to Florida Department of Health data released Friday.

Although the FDOH now releases numbers every two weeks, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s case rates are updated weekly.

Last week, there were 70.1 cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 people, according to CDC data. This week, data from the FDOH shows that COVID-19 cases rose to 142 cases per 100,000 population from April 29 to May 5. That means there have been 868 cases on the Space Coast, according to the FDOH. And of those who took a COVID-19 test, 9.3% tested positive. Last week, the CDC reported that case positivity was 7.3%.

However, there could be many more infections in the community than is being tracked, as home test kit results are not reported and not everyone who is symptomatic takes a COVID-19 test.

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Although Brevard County is still considered a low-transmission community, according to CDC guidelines, more Florida counties moved into the medium transmission category in the past week, according to a CDC community-level map.

The CDC calculates transmission levels by combining hospitalizations and case rates. If case rates and hospitalizations continue to rise on the Space Coast, Brevard County could soon join Miami-Dade, Charlotte, Sarasota and Desoto counties as an average transmission community.

It comes against the backdrop of the New York Times reporting on Friday that the White House is preparing for the possibility that 100 million Americans — about 30% of the U.S. population — will be infected with the coronavirus this fall and winter.

That said, hospitalizations were down 9.40% on the Space Coast, according to a CDC data tracker. Data shows there were 23 confirmed COVID-19 hospital admissions countywide from April 28 through May 4.

Deaths also declined from the previous week: From April 23 to April 30, there were four COVID-19-related deaths on the Space Coast, according to provisional CDC data. The previous week, six people died of COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, 1,991 people have died from COVID-19 in Brevard County.

Although the death rate and hospitalization rate have declined, experts have warned throughout the pandemic that deaths and hospitalizations are increasing after two weeks of the surge. Public health experts have also consistently stressed that the best way to protect against a pandemic is to mask up, test and vaccinate.

Still, the vacation rate hasn’t budged since January, with 70% of eligible residents – those aged five and over – having been vaccinated by May 5.

According to the FDOH, among the eligible population in Florida, vaccination rates by age group in the state are:

  • 5-11 years, 23% vaccinated.
  • 12-19 years old, 59% vaccinated.
  • 20-29 years old, 63% vaccinated.
  • 30-39 years old, 72% vaccinated.
  • 40-49 years old, 79% vaccinated.
  • 50-59 years old, 83% vaccinated.
  • 60-64 years old, 89% vaccinated.
  • 65 years and over, 95% vaccinated.

Statewide, there was a new case positivity rate of 9.0% and 150.1 cases per 100,000 population from April 29 to May 5. In the past two weeks, there have been 230 additional COVID-19 related deaths in Florida. Since the start of the pandemic, 74,060 Floridians have died from COVID-19.

Nationally, 70.4% of eligible Americans have been fully immunized. There have been 81,574,159 cases of COVID-19 and 994,511 deaths nationwide since the start of the pandemic.

Where to get vaccinated:

The Florida Department of Health offers COVID-19 vaccines at three locations.

  • Viera Clinic, 2555 Judge Fran Jamieson Way, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Children aged 5 to 11 can only get vaccinated from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday.
  • Melbourne Clinic, 601 E. University Blvd., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. 5 to 11 year olds can only get vaccinated from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.
  • Titusville Clinic, 611 N. Singleton Ave., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. 5 to 11 year olds can only get vaccinated from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.

Residents can also get vaccinated at the offices of Omni Healthcare, as well as at its walk-in vaccination clinic located in Suite 303 on the third floor of 1344 S. Apollo Blvd. in Melbourne, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Vaccines are also available from 9 a.m. to noon in Suite 2C at 1344 S. Apollo Blvd. of Omni. complex.

Visits without an appointment are accepted. But appointments can be made by calling 321-802-5515 or emailing the request and including a name and phone number to [email protected]

COVID-19 vaccines are also available at pharmacies at various local CVS, Publix, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, Walmart and Winn-Dixie stores, as well as some urgent care centers and doctor’s offices. Check the individual site for appointment conditions and vaccine availability.

Amira Sweilem is FLORIDA TODAY’s data reporter. Contact Sweilem at 386-406-5648 or [email protected]

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