Highlands County had a much better day on the COVID-19 front, according to Sunday’s virus update released by the Florida Department of Health. There were just eight new cases of COVID-19, with 185 processed tests, which yielded a positivity rate of 4.32%. Both the case count and positivity rate are the lowest seen in the past two weeks.

Of the new cases, one was in the 0-4 age group and two were in the 15-24 age range, with young people again making up a higher percentage of new cases than they have averaged over the past 13 months.

Deaths remained at 329 for county, while hospitalizations were at 694. According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, there were 30 hospitalized as of 3:30 p.m. Sunday with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is an increase of three from Saturday.

The numbers in the state were down, although testing was down even more, as the state saw a positivity rate of 7.65%, the highest seen since March 28, when the positivity rate was the same.

Florida saw 5,520 new cases of the virus and once again saw a higher percentage of cases in young people than the overall averages. Since the beginning of the pandemic youngsters 14 and younger have made up 8% of total cases, although in the last two weeks the number has typically been in the 11-12% range. On Saturday it was 13%.

On the other side of the equation, those 65 and older saw a strong reduction in new case numbers compared the overall averages. The 65-74 age group, which has made up 8% of all cases, saw just 4% of the new cases, while the 75-84 age group, which has made up 6% of all cases, had just 3% of the new cases Saturday. Those 85 and older have made up 2% of all cases, while Saturday they saw just 34 new cases, which is .61%.

The state reported nine deaths on Sunday, with seven of those resident deaths and two non-resident deaths. Florida has now seen a total of 34,685 deaths.

Cases in the United States dropped a bit, which isn’t unusual to see on weekends, as not all states report numbers seven days a week. Those which did report, showed 66,702 new cases and 818 deaths, both of which are slightly higher than the seven-day averages. Testing was also down compared to the previous two days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is now showing 35.3% of the population as having received at least one vaccine dose, with 21.8% of the population fully vaccinated. Among adults, 45.1% have received at least one dose, while 27.3% of adults have received both doses of the vaccine.

Among seniors, 78.1% have received at least one dose, while 60.6% are fully vaccinated.

The Pfizer vaccine has been the most popular, with 34.7 million people fully vaccinated with it, while 29.9 million people have been fully vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine. The single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine has been given to 5.9 million people.

According to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the United States has seen 31.19 million cases and had 562,035 deaths.

Globally, there have been 135.7 million cases and 2.93 million deaths.

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