Highlands County new cases of COVID continued to rise on Thursday on the heels of the county’s announcement that it will be winding down its vaccine program. This Saturday is the last day for first-shot Moderna vaccines in the county’s Point of Distribution in the former JCPenney store in Lakeshore Mall. Those who decide to get their first vaccines after Saturday will have to seek appointments through retail pharmacies.

Those who qualify for the vaccine can call 866-200-3858 or visit myvaccine.fl.gov for an appointment. Individuals who would rather walk-in can do so between the hours of 1-4 p.m. today, Friday and Saturday. It is important to note the county will stop the second shot boosters on May 22.

As of Tuesday, the county has vaccinated 39,912 individuals. To determine eligibility, visit floridadisaster.org.

The county added another 43 new cases of COVID on Wednesday, bringing the overall total to 8,210 incidences of infection. All of the new cases were connected to residents who make up 8,119 of infections with just 91 non-residents to make up the difference.

Over the past seven days, there have been 227 cases of COVID for an average of 32.42 cases daily.

There were two deaths reported overnight to bring the death total to 340 people.

Testing was very high again on Tuesday with 684 processed with 640 negative results. A daily positivity rate of 6.43% was generated.

The Florida Department of Health report shows hospitalizations remained at 643. Agency for Health Care Administration reported 33 current admissions as of 3:17 p.m. Monday, the same as the previous day. The state had 3,493 people being treated for COVID.

Florida added 5,571 new cases of the virus that is in line with the day before. In total, Florida has had 2,184,354 cases or coronavirus. The cases are divided by 2,143,358 residents and 40,996 non-residents.

There were 85 new deaths reported overnight that includes two non-residents. Deaths have reached 35,294 people with 34,616 residents and 678 non-residents.

There was 88,833 tests processed on Tuesday with 83,269 negative results for a 6.26% positivity rate on Wednesday.

FDOH is reporting 8,228,278 people have been vaccinated as of Tuesday.

Numbers in the U.S. were mixed as states reported 56,787 cases on Tuesday, roughly 4,500 fewer cases than the seven-day average of 62,255.

There were 803 new deaths reported, which is 87 higher than the seven-day average of 716.

The nation’s average positivity rate is down to 4.24%, which is 7% lower than the 4.57% average seen a week ago.

Cases and positivity rate are looking a little better in Michigan, with both down 10% compared to a week ago, while Texas and California are also seeing double-digit drops in new cases and positivity rate.

According to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the U.S. has seen a total of 31.83 million cases and had 569,042 deaths.

Globally, there have been 143.3 million cases and 3.05 million deaths.

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