Latest on COVID-19 in January
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The Latest on the Coronavirus — January

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Latest on COVID-19 in January — Updated

1/15/2021:
     Getting Vaccinated — New
     C
an grandparents safely visit family if vaccinated? — New
    
How to Act After a Single Dose of the Covid-19 Vaccine — New
     This Week's Statistics

          Florida Department of Health's dashboard — Updated

          Florida's COVID-19 Action dashboard
 — Updated

1/8/2021:
     59% of Virus Cases from People Without Symptoms — New
     Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine Not Easy — New
     Allergic Reaction to COVID-19 Vaccine — New
    
Record Spike of 19,816 Cases from Wednesday to Thursday — New
     This Week's Statistics

          Florida Department of Health's dashboard — Updated

          Florida's COVID-19 Action dashboard
 — Updated

1/1/2021:
     Villagers Frustrated Trying to Get Vaccinated
     Nurse Tested Positive After First Dose of Vaccine
     Testing COVID-19 Vaccines on Children
    
CDC Guidance if You Have a Pre-existing Condition
     FL Ends Year with its Biggest Spike in Cases
     This Week's Statistics
           
Florida Department of Health's dashboard
           
Florida's COVID-19 Action dashboard


Friday, January
15th

  • If vaccinated, can grandparents safely visit family or are there still precautions that should be taken?  Dr. Leana Wen reminds us that the vaccine is not 100% effective, so we can still get the virus. Also, the vaccine hasn't been shown to reduce transmission of the virus, so even if you are vaccinated, you can still be a carrier and spread the virus to unvaccinated loved ones. You can safely visit outside, but should still stay six feet apart. If visiting indoors, you still need to protect unvaccinated family members. If you really want to spend time with the grandkids indoors, the safest way is to quarantine for at least 10 days, and it's still best for everyone to wear masks. If having a meal together, don't share plates or food on plates, don't have buffet-style meals, and eat outdoors if you can. Continue to social distance and wear masks, and know that you still have some risk of both getting the virus or spreading it.
     
  • How should we behave after receiving a single dose of the Covid-19 vaccine? After one dose, you should follow the same guidelines as if you hadn't received the vaccine at all. First, you're not fully protected and there's no evidence that you won't get the virus or pass it on to others. Effectiveness of the vaccines was assessed by looking at whether they prevented people from developing symptoms, not whether they stopped them from being infected. Immunity takes time to develop, so regardless of whether a single dose of any of the Covid-19 vaccines can provide protection eventually, for the first couple of weeks you will have no more than you started with.
     
  • I am showing statistics from both dashboards/data portals: Florida's Dept. of Health (DOH) statistics and Florida's COVID Action statistics (both developed by Rebekah Jones). (Click on images to enlarge them.)  The statistics between the two continues to be quite different.
     
    Per the Florida Department of Health's dashboard* as of Friday, January 5th, cumulatively the state now has 1,519,944 residents testing positive for COVID-19, with 67,463 hospitalized, and 23,799 deaths.** 163,164 residents have been tested, with 10.14% testing positive. The breakdown of confirmed cases in our tri-county area is:
    • Sumter County: 6,265 cases (6,205 residents, 60 non-residents), 421 hospitalizations, with 126 deaths (median age holding at: 64, but now 52% males, 47% females)
        
    • Lake County: 18,962 cases (18,724 residents, 238 non-residents), 1,057 hospitalizations (20 non-residents), with 349 deaths (median age holding at: 45, with 45% males, 53% females)
        
    • Marion County: 21,788 cases (21,704 residents, 84 non-residents), 1,435 hospitalizations (6 non-residents), with 529 deaths (median age holding at: 45, with 43% males, 57% females)

    * The new data includes the number of test results the department receives from the counties, along with additional demographics and graphs that show hospital admissions for patients complaining of cough, fever or shortness of breath. Previously, that data was only provided for larger counties. Still not included is how many infected people have recovered from the virus and, unlike other states, Florida does not report "probable" deaths from the virus.
     

    *
    * The newest reported deaths are the latest logged into the DOH system, and that process could take as long as two weeks or longer before they show up.


     

    Per the Florida's COVID Action dashboard as of Friday, January 15th, the state now has 1,643,408 residents testing positive (16,875 cases today, 99,553 cases this past week); with 6,368 requiring hospitalization; and 24,169 deaths (188 deaths today, 1,158 deaths this past week). 56,682 residents have been tested today, with a 37.3% positivity rate. So far, 849,317 residents have gotten their 1st dose of vaccine, with 79,552 having both doses. The breakdown of confirmed cases in our tri-county area is:

    • Sumter County: 6,528 cases since March 1st (51 cases today, 448 this week), 76 current hospitalizations, and 126 deaths (1 death today, 4 this week). 305 residents have been tested today, with a 16.7% positivity rate. So far, 6,274 residents have gotten their 1st dose of vaccine, with 137 having both doses.
        
    • Lake County: 19,728 cases since March 1st (209 cases today, 1,504 this week), 165 current hospitalizations, and 354 deaths (10 deaths today, 18 this week). 815 residents have been tested today, with a 25.6% positivity rate. So far, 19,649 residents have gotten their 1st dose of vaccine, with 1,236 having both doses.
        
    • Marion County: 22,264 cases since March 1st (374 cases today, 1,750 this week), 142 current hospitalizations, and 532 deaths (4 deaths today, 32 this week). 964 residents have been tested today, with a 38.8% positivity rate. So far, 13,953 residents have gotten their 1st dose of vaccine, with 615 having both doses.

    None of these counties meet the criteria for the next phase of reopening, but are open all the same.


Friday, January
8th

  • People with no symptoms transmit more than half of all cases of the novel coronavirus, according to a model developed by researchers at the CDC — 59% of all transmission came from people without symptoms — that includes 35% of new cases from people who infect others before they show symptoms and 24% that come from people who never develop symptoms at all. Their findings reinforce the importance of following the agency’s guidelines: even if you don't feel ill, wear a mask, wash your hands, stay socially distant and get a coronavirus test. Until people believe it and do their part, we'll be stuck in this limbo and repeating the cycle until most everyone is vaccinated, or... a large portion of our population is gone... forever.
     
  • Across the state, residents hoping to schedule a vaccination have hit busy signals or glitchy recordings. Some residents have called their county departments of health dozens or hundreds of times with no luck. In essentially every county, the issue can partly be attributed to overwhelming demand in the face of little supply. For example, some 250,000 elderly residents live in Pinellas County,  which got just 3,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines this week. The city of Jacksonville is ready to open its own city-run COVID-19 vaccination sites but is waiting for shipments of the vaccines in sufficient numbers to make the shots available. Publix is participating in a pilot program, with the Florida Department of Health giving the supermarket 15,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine to administer at 22 select stores in Citrus, Hernando, and Marion counties. They ran out within five minutes. There is no statewide system for people to make appointments so each county-level health department is left to figure it out for themselves. St. Johns County's health department experienced long lines when it used a first-come, first-served system.
     
  • Allergic reactions to the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine appear to be rare, but there have been some serious reactions. Wednesday, the CDC released its report on allergic reactions to the vaccine given from December 14th — 23rd. The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) detected 21 cases of anaphylaxis after administration of a reported 1,893,360 first doses, with 71% of them occurring within 15 minutes of vaccination, with 175 cases identified for further review, including 17 people with a documented history of allergies or allergic reactions. The median age of persons with anaphylaxis was 40 years and 19 (90%) cases occurred in females. Because of these possible reactions, the CDC recommends screening for a history of serious allergic reactions before administering COVID-19 vaccines, there should be an observation period after the vaccine is administered, and that vaccine locations have the necessary supplies to manage anaphylaxis, and should immediately treat persons experiencing anaphylaxis symptoms with an intramuscular injection of epinephrine.
     
  • The Sunshine State reported another record day in the number of new cases of the deadly virus. All told, Florida reported 1,429,722 cumulative cases — an increase of 19,816 from Wednesday to Thursday. That marks the largest single-day increase in new cases since the pandemic first hit Florida in the spring. On Thursday, a total of 191 new COVID-19 cases were reported in and around The Villages for a total of 9,998.
     
  • I am showing statistics from both dashboards/data portals: Florida's Dept. of Health (DOH) statistics and Florida's COVID Action statistics (both developed by Rebekah Jones). (Click on images to enlarge them.)  The statistics between the two continues to be quite different.
     
    Per the Florida Department of Health's dashboard* as of Friday, January 8th, cumulatively the state now has 1,423,252,510 residents testing positive for COVID-19, with 65,063 hospitalized, and 22,666 deaths.** The breakdown of confirmed cases in our tri-county area is:
    • Sumter County: 5,829 cases (5,776 residents, 53 non-residents), 393 hospitalizations, with 122 deaths (median age now: 64, now 53% males, 46% females)
        
    • Lake County: 17,489 cases (17,281 residents, 218 non-residents), 1,012 hospitalizations (18 non-residents), with 331 deaths (median age holding at: 45, now 45% males, 53% females)
        
    • Marion County: 20,040 cases (19,960 residents, 80 non-residents), 1,388 hospitalizations (6 non-residents), with 498 deaths (median age now: 45, with 43% males, 57% females)

    * The new data includes the number of test results the department receives from the counties, along with additional demographics and graphs that show hospital admissions for patients complaining of cough, fever or shortness of breath. Previously, that data was only provided for larger counties. Still not included is how many infected people have recovered from the virus and, unlike other states, Florida does not report "probable" deaths from the virus.
     

    *
    * The newest reported deaths are the latest logged into the DOH system, and that process could take as long as two weeks or longer before they show up.


     

    Per the Florida's COVID Action dashboard as of Friday, January 8th, the state now has 1,544,593 residents testing positive (19,530 cases today, 105,273 cases this past week); with 6,368 requiring hospitalization; and 23,011 deaths (194 deaths today, 1,021 deaths this past week). So far, 443,616 residents have gotten their 1st dose of vaccine, with 24,200 having both doses. The breakdown of confirmed cases in our tri-county area is:

    • Sumter County: 6,092 cases since March 1st (109 cases today, 584 this week), 125 K-12 cases (93 students/32 staff), 73 current hospitalizations, and 120 deaths (0 deaths today, 2 this week). So far, 1,483 residents have gotten their 1st dose of vaccine, with 9 having both doses.
        
    • Lake County: 18,255 cases since March 1st (261 cases today, 1,587 this week), 570 K-12 cases (400 students/170 staff), 161 current hospitalizations, and 336 deaths (0 deaths today, 37 this week). So far, 9,404 residents have gotten their 1st dose of vaccine, with 192 having both doses.
        
    • Marion County: 20,516 cases since March 1st (455 cases today, 1,766 this week), 634 K-12 cases (417 students/217 staff), 131 current hospitalizations, and 500 deaths (2 deaths today, 35 this week). So far, 4,668 residents have gotten their 1st dose of vaccine, with 55 having both doses.

    None of these counties meet the criteria for the next phase of reopening, but are open all the same.

 

Friday, January 1st

  • As the number of COVID-19 cases soars, Villagers and others around the state are frustrated as they try to secure a spot in line to be vaccinated. The Sumter County Health Department said it has received 2,500 doses of the Moderna vaccine, not nearly enough to vaccinate its 30,000+ residents. Each county is dispensing the vaccine differently. We've all seen the long lines where the vaccine is dispensed on a first come, first serve basis on news broadcasts. The decision to greenlight Covid-19 inoculations for senior citizens in Florida has created distribution chaos, spurring long lines at vaccination sites and a deluge of people crashing county computer systems and hospital phone banks to schedule their shots.
     
  • The story of an emergency room nurse who tested positive for COVID-19 after getting the first dose of the vaccine is a reminder that hand washing, social distancing, and masks are still going to be crucial in 2021. Dr. Christian Ramers, an infectious disease specialist with Family Health Centers of San Diego, told KGTV that patients don't immediately develop COVID-19 protection after being vaccinated... a reminder that vaccines aren't a panacea. It takes 10 — 14 days to start developing protection from the vaccine, and you need the second shot to develop 95% immunity.
     
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci says drug companies may start testing their vaccines on children this month. It can be tricky to dial in the right dose of a vaccine for children, which have shown a different reaction to the coronavirus than adults. Fauci says the trials will "start with children who are a bit older and then work our way down. We believe that within a few months, what I know we will be able to say, 'the vaccine is safe and effective in you and we are anxious to get you vaccinated.' So just hang in there a couple of more months and we will be in good shape."
     
  • The CDC released guidance on COVID-19 vaccinations for people who have pre-existing conditions, saying information about the safety of the vaccine to those with HIV or weakened immune systems is still not available. They also should be aware that there may be the potential for reduced immune responses to the vaccine. People who have had Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) and Bell’s Palsy may get the vaccine. So far, no cases of GBS have been reported after vaccinations.
     
  • Florida ends the year with the biggest spike in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic first hit the state. All told, the state is reporting 1,323,315 cases — an increase of 17,192 in one day. Of those, 1,300,528 are residents. See the graphs below showing the spikes in our tri-county area. "The number we’re getting now is probably an underestimate of the disease," said Dr. Marissa Levine, a professor of public health and family medicine at the University of South Florida. Some cases may never be counted by state officials because testing just isn't widespread enough.
     
  • I am showing statistics from both dashboards/data portals: Florida's Dept. of Health (DOH) statistics and Florida's COVID Action statistics (both developed by Rebekah Jones). (Click on images to enlarge them.)  The statistics between the two continues to be quite different.
     
    Per the Florida Department of Health's dashboard* as of Friday, January 1st, cumulatively the state now has 1,300,528 residents testing positive for COVID-19, with 62,868 hospitalized, and 21,673 deaths.** The breakdown of confirmed cases in our tri-county area is:
    • Sumter County: 5,085 cases (5,051 residents, 317 non-residents), 378 hospitalizations, with 120 deaths (median age now: 63, now 53% males, 46% females)
        
    • Lake County: 15,559 cases (15,374 residents, 185 non-residents), 977 hospitalizations (18 non-residents), with 295 deaths (median age holding at: 45, now 45% males, 53% females)
        
    • Marion County: 17,799 cases (17,698 residents, 101 non-residents), 1,335 hospitalizations (6 non-residents), with 463 deaths (median age holding at: 44, with 42% males, 57% females)

    * The new data includes the number of test results the department receives from the counties, along with additional demographics and graphs that show hospital admissions for patients complaining of cough, fever or shortness of breath. Previously, that data was only provided for larger counties. Still not included is how many infected people have recovered from the virus and, unlike other states, Florida does not report "probable" deaths from the virus.
     

    *
    * The newest reported deaths are the latest logged into the DOH system, and that process could take as long as two weeks or longer before they show up.


     

    Per the Florida's COVID Action dashboard as of Friday, January 1st, the state now has 1,418,656 residents testing positive (17,192 cases today, 76,075 cases this past week, 34,528 pediatric cases this week); with 6,368 requiring hospitalization; and 21,990 deaths (133 deaths today, 817 deaths this past week). So far, 211,165 residents have gotten their 1st dose of vaccine (23,269 today). The breakdown of confirmed cases in our tri-county area is:

    • Sumter County: 5,348 cases since March 1st (134 cases today, 428 this week), 196 pediatric cases with 118 K-12 cases (86 students/34 staff), 69 current hospitalizations, and 120 deaths (0 deaths today, 3 this week). So far, 304 residents have gotten their 1st dose of vaccine (45 today).
        
    • Lake County: 16,325 cases since March 1st (358 cases today, 1,287 this week), 1,461 pediatric cases with 483 K-12 cases (344 students/139 staff), 150 current hospitalizations, and 299 deaths (0 deaths today, 9 this week). So far, 3,829 residents have gotten their 1st dose of vaccine (1,015 today).
        
    • Marion County: 18,275 cases since March 1st (348 cases today, 1,197 this week), 1,529 pediatric cases with 634 K-12 cases (417 students/217 staff), 123 current hospitalizations, and 465 deaths (1 death today, 24 this week). So far, 2,050 residents have gotten their 1st dose of vaccine (327 today).

    None of these counties meet the criteria for the next phase of reopening, but are open all the same.


See what had been learned about the virus in December.


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