Polk County sees slight rise in COVID-19 cases, but positivity rate continues to decline
The latest state update on COVID-19 produced mixed signals for Polk County.
The Florida Department of Health reported 730 new confirmed cases for Polk County in Friday’s biweekly update, an increase of 5% from two weeks earlier. The county had been trending downward in the previous report.
Meanwhile, Polk County’s positivity rate on testing dropped from 11.4% two weeks earlier to 10.9%.
Previously: Polk County's COVID cases, positivity rate end upward trend
An author at 14: Mulberry girl publishes first book in planned fantasy series
The report covered the period from Jan. 27 to Feb. 2. The positivity rate of 14.7% in the Jan. 6 report had been the highest for Polk County since August. The rate is based on test results reported to the Department of Health and doesn’t include presumed infections found through home testing.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention rates the community level of COVID-19 for Polk County as medium, where it has remained for weeks. As of Friday afternoon, the federal agency assessed 10 of Florida’s 67 counties with high community levels on its COVID Tracker website, while the rest were about equally divided between medium and low rates.
The CDC’s reported 14 COVID-related deaths for Polk County in the seven-day period ending Wednesday, a rise of 7.7% from the previous week. Deaths are a lagging indicator, and there can be long delays in having deaths officially recorded.
The Florida Department of Health registered 783 more COVID-related deaths statewide in Friday’s update, raising the cumulative total to 85,710 since 2020. The department does not report deaths by county of residence.
Growth and development: Lake Wales will require builders to design water conservation into houses and yards
The state disclosed 18,819 new COVID cases among Floridians, a drop of 14.3% from two weeks earlier. The statewide positivity rate dropped from 13.7% to 12.3%. It had risen to 17.3% in early January.
Hospitals in Polk County admitted an estimated 83 patients with confirmed infections in the week ending Tuesday, according to the CDC, a slight decrease from the previous seven-day period.
Patients with COVID occupied 4% of staffed beds and 2.9% of beds in intensive-care units, the CDC reported.
Among Polk County residents age 5 and older, 63% have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine, according to the Department of Health’s update.
The CDC site identified 62.9% of Polk residents as having completed a primary series of vaccinations. Only 9.1% had received an updated, bivalent booster dose.
Gary White can be reached at email@example.com or 863-802-7518. Follow on Twitter @garywhite13.
This article originally appeared on The Ledger: COVID cases rise, positivity rate continues to fall in Polk County