Coronavirus Close-Up Dominant

The number of new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations in Citrus County has dropped over the past two weeks, following a Florida-wide trend of fewer reported new cases.

Also down was the number of new vaccinations in Citrus County, suggesting that most who are eligible for the shots have already had them or finishing with their second doses.

During the past two weeks, the county has seen an average of 101 new cases daily. That’s down about a third when compared to the previous 14 days, according to the New York Times website publishing COVID-19 data and trends.

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That decrease is consistent with the latest Florida trend for the past two weeks in which the state saw a daily average of 10,971 new cases. For Florida, that was down 29% over the previous 14 days.   

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published similar results on its website.

In addition, the CDC is also reporting a drop in local hospitalizations due to COVID-19.

The federal agency reported 73 hospitalizations due to the virus between Sept. 10 and Sept. 17. That was a near 20% drop from the prior seven days. The agency also reported a slight drop in ICU beds utilized locally because of the disease.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 81% of Florida’s hospital beds were being utilized as of Sept. 13. Of those, 16.4% were due to COVID-19. About 250 Florida hospitals reported to HHS for the data.

During the same period, 88.6% of ICU beds were being utilized by Florida hospitals. Of those, nearly 38% were being used by COVID-19 patients, according to HHS.

Also down are the county’s vaccination rates.

Of the county’s eligible people to be vaccinated, 59% have received vaccines.

Between Sept. 10 and Sept. 16, there were 524 people who were vaccinated. That’s a drop from the previous seven days when 578 were vaccinated. In late August there 938 people who were vaccinated, and between Aug. 20 and Aug. 26, there were 1,211 people who were vaccinated.

The data shows a continuing decline in vaccinations suggesting those who wanted vaccinations received them.

What has not declined are deaths due to COVID-19 locally.

There have been 19,248 coronavirus cases thus far in Citrus County, according to the New York Times website. A total of 667 people Citrus County residents have died from the virus since last year. That is one for each 224 people living in the county.

An average of nine people per day in Citrus County have died from the virus during the past two weeks, according to the New York Times.

The HHS is reporting similar data.

According to the federal agency’s coronavirus website, during the week ending on Sept. 17, Citrus County has had 56 deaths due to the virus. That’s a doubling of deaths compared to the week before.

Data involving deaths typically lags behind data involving new cases and hospitalizations. It also typically reflects the outcome of some cases from the previous several weeks. Last month the county, as well as Florida, saw an increase in cases and the increases in deaths now is likely the result of that increase from weeks before today.

The daily average for deaths due to the virus in Florida over two weeks ending Sept. 19 was 353 per day, according to the New York Times.  

Nationally, there were 999,157 new cases during the week ending on Sept. 17. That was a 2.5% increase from the previous two weeks. During the week ending Sept. 17, there were 10,251 deaths nationally. That was a near 17% increase from the week before.

Contact Chronicle reporter Fred Hiers at fred.hiers@chronicleonline.com or 352-397-5914.