Omicron surge: Florida moves up on Top 10 list of states where COVID-19 is spreading the fastest – The Florida Times-Union

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From No. 9 to No. 4.
After New Year’s Day 2022, Florida ranked fourth among states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. That’s five spots higher than the previous week, when Florida ranked ninth in the state, according to the analysis.
New coronavirus cases leaped here in the week of New Year’s, rising 142% as 302,179 cases were reported. In the latest week, COVID-19 cases in the United States increased 104% from the week before, with 2,833,203 cases reported. With 6.45% of the country’s population, Florida had 10.67% of the country’s cases in the last week. Across the country, 49 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.
• To compare, in the week of Christmas when Florida ranked ninth, cases rose 332.9% with 124,865 cases reported.
• In the week before that, Florida had reported 28,841 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.
COVID and omicron variant in Florida: What to know if you’re exposed or test positive for coronavirus
Is it the flu, a cold, or the omicron variant? How to know, and when to get tested for COVID
The omicron variant was first identified the day before Thanksgiving in South Africa. Research has suggested omicron, while more infectious, causes milder illness than the delta variant.
Medical experts say people who are fully vaccinated don’t need to worry, as long as they have a healthy immune system. The news is even better for people with the vaccine.
Christmas and New Year’s significantly disrupted who got tested, how many people got tested, what labs operated and what government agencies reported on time. Some of the Christmas weekend reports were shifted into the latest week. Most states reported no cases at all the weekend of New Year’s, which will bump those reports into the following week. Consequently, week-to-week comparisons will be skewed and these numbers will be unreliable even as they’re accurate to what states reported.
The bar charts are eye-opening. Compare coronavirus cases in Florida and the U.S. in our COVID databse
Within Florida, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis included:
• Duval County reported 8,331 cases in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 1,791 cases. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 178,482 cases.
• St. Johns County reported 1,788 cases in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 517 cases. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 44,321 cases.
• Clay County reported 1,205 cases in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 307 cases. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 35,880 cases.
• Nassau County reported 387 cases in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 80 cases. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 16,258 cases.
Florida does not directly publish county-level death data.
Within Florida, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis included:
• Miami-Dade County with 3,678 cases per 100,000 per week
• Broward County with 2,496
• Palm Beach County with 1,656
The Centers for Disease Control says high levels of community transmission begin at 100 cases per 100,000 per week.
Adding the most new cases overall:
• Miami-Dade County, with 99,926 cases
• Broward County, with 48,737 cases
• Palm Beach County, with 24,792
Weekly case counts rose in 67 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week’s pace were in Miami-Dade, Broward and Orange counties, which you can read about here.
>> See how your community has fared with recent coronavirus cases
Florida ranked 19th among states in share of people receiving at least one shot, with 74.5% of its residents at least partially vaccinated. The national rate is 73.3%, a USA TODAY analysis of CDC data shows. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are the most used in the United States, require two doses administered a few weeks apart.
In the week ending Thursday, Florida reported administering another 471,604 vaccine doses, including 113,540 first doses. In the previous week, the state administered 605,070 vaccine doses, including 137,227 first doses. In all, Florida reported it has administered 33,644,593 total doses.
Who got the shots? Florida COVID-19 vaccine tracker database
In Florida, 157 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 127 people were reported dead. A total of 62,504 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows.
In the U.S., 826,060 people have died.
A total of 4,209,927 people in Florida have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the U.S., 55,114,057 people have tested positive since the pandemic began.
>> Track coronavirus cases across the United States
USA TODAY analyzed federal hospital data as of Sunday.
Likely COVID patients admitted in the state:
Likely COVID patients admitted in the nation:
Hospitals in 42 states reported more COVID-19 patients than a week earlier, while hospitals in 32 states had more COVID-19 patients in intensive-care beds. Hospitals in 48 states admitted more COVID-19 patients in the latest week than a week prior, the USA TODAY analysis of U.S. Health and Human Services data shows.
Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and reduce the impact of COVID in your communities.
The same precautions still apply:
The USA TODAY Network is publishing localized versions of this story on its news sites across the country, generated with data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control. If you have questions about the data or the story, contact Mike Stucka at or follow him on Twitter @mikestucka


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