Coronavirus Close-Up Dominant

Citrus County’s COVID-19 case count surpassed 9,500 over the week as the number of vaccinated locals neared 23,500.

According to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) on Monday, Feb. 22, the county totaled 9,585 cases, an increase of 238 infections since Feb. 15, at an average 34 cases a day.

From Feb. 15-21, the county’s average positivity rate for its Florida residents was 7.59% — a decrease from the 8.45% average rate for Feb. 8-14, according to FDOH reports.

Florida Department of Health (FDOH) in Citrus County Logo

Florida Department of Health in Citrus County

It’s the goal of health officials to have a desired positivity rate — the number of positive test results out of total results — under 10%.

Also from Feb. 15-22, 21 more county residents were hospitalized for COVID-19, totaling 629, and 23 more died, increasing the death count to 386, according to the FDOH.

COVID-19 data from the FDOH is subject to change as epidemiological investigations reveal new information on cases.

A Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) report from Monday stated Citrus County had 27 people in hospitals with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, down 15 from Feb. 15.

There was also 34% of hospital beds available in the county, according to the AHCA, and 23% of local adult intensive care units was open.

Citrus County School District Logo

According to the FDOH, 23,346 county residents have been vaccinated for COVID-19 — an increase of 3,443 since Feb. 15 — with 10,881 of them completing their two-dose series.

Since starting school Aug. 20 for the 2020-21 school year, the Citrus County School District recorded 560 cases — 162 staff, 398 students — as of Feb. 18, an increase of 13 since Feb. 15.

Long-term care facilities in the county have documented a total of 1,439 cases, up eight since Feb. 15, according to the FDOH.

Another CoreCivic employee at the Citrus County Detention Facility in Lecanto contracted COVID-19 since Feb. 15, increasing staff infections to 20, CoreCivic spokeswoman Amanda Gilchrist said Monday.

Citrus County Detention Facility

The Citrus County Detention Facility in Lecanto.

No inmate infections were reported, County Administrator Randy Oliver said Monday.

Those with questions about someone in the jail’s custody can contact CoreCivic’s Operations Concern Center by either calling 877-834-1550 or emailing

For information about CoreCivic’s response to COVID-19, visit

Here are the number of COVID-19 cases reported Feb. 22, ranked by Citrus County’s 15 ZIP codes:

  • 34452 (Inverness, Floral City, Inverness Highlands North and Inverness Highlands South): 1,076, an increase of 16 since Feb. 15.
  • 34461 (Black Diamond, Citrus Hills, Homosassa Springs, Lecanto, Pine Ridge and Sugarmill Woods): 1,046, up 16.
  • 34465 (Beverly Hills, Black Diamond, Citrus Springs, Lecanto and Pine Ridge): 1,009, up 22.
  • 34446 (Homosassa, Homosassa Springs, Lecanto and Sugarmill Woods): 939, up 33.
  • 34442 (Citrus Hills, Citrus Springs, Hernando, Lecanto and Pine Ridge): 893, up 24.
  • 34429 (Crystal River, Ozello, Homosassa Springs, Lecanto and Black Diamond): 807, up 17.
  • 34453 (Inverness, Citrus Hills, Hernando, Inverness Highlands North and Lecanto): 684, up 21.
  • 34428 (Crystal River, Red Level and Inglis): 603, up 13.
  • 34434 (Dunnellon, Citrus Springs, Hernando and Pine Ridge): 600, up 13.
  • 34450 (Inverness and Inverness Highlands South): 502, up 16.
  • 34448 (Homosassa, Homosassa Springs, Sugarmill Woods, Lecanto and Crystal River): 496, up 12.
  • 34433 (Dunnellon, Citrus Springs and Pine Ridge): 376, up nine.
  • 34436 (Floral City): 344, up 21.
  • 34445 (Holder, Citrus Springs, Hernando and Pine Ridge): 11, no change.
  • 34449 (Inglis and Yankeetown): six, no change.

Contact Chronicle reporter Buster Thompson at 352-564-2916, or visit to see more of his stories.