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Highlands County’s new COVID-19 caseload increased by 61 on Saturday’s Florida Department of Health coronavirus daily report. The new cases brought the overall number of cases to 6,147. Of those, 6,085 have been county residents and 62 non-residents who have contracted the virus.

There have been two additional deaths on the Saturday FDOH report. The death toll from COVID is currently 244, which is 4% of all cases.

One good change in the COVID data was the decrease in the positivity rate on Saturday’s report at 10.39%. While still high, it is considerably better than Friday’s rate, which was greater than 15%. An increase in testing might be a contributing factor to the lower rate. There were 587 tests processed with 526 negative results. The previous day had 341 tests processed.

Highlands County had a median age of 55 on Saturday with an overall median age of 52. The ages diagnosed with COVID range from 0-99 years of age.

There have been 91 cases in the 0-4 age group; 285 cases from the 5-14-year-old grouping; 663 from the 15-24-year-old range; 746 infections reported in the 25-34 age group; 733 in the 35-44 years category; and 778 in the 45-54-year-old range. The 55-64-years of age group has had 891 cases; 65-74 age grouping has seen 875 cases; 75-84 showed 740 cases; and those 85 and over have had 283 cases.

The county has had 504 (8%) hospitalizations. There were fewer people hospitalized with coronavirus as the main diagnosis than on the previous day. On Saturday at 3:46 p.m., the Agency for Health Care Administration showed 49 people hospitalized from the virus. The ICU bed census was 32 with 5 beds available.

There have been 563 cases from long-term health facilities. Deaths from residents or staff of long-term health care facilities rose to 63 people.

Highlands County has vaccinated 4,239 people. The first dose has been given to 3,835 and 404 have completed the two-shot series.

The State of Florida added 12,311 new cases of the disease. The new cases brings the state’s total cases to 1,639,914. The cases are split into 1,609,953 residents and 29,961 non-residents.

The deaths attributed to COVID-19 rose 156 on Saturday. The deaths are comprised of 25,164 residents and 397 non-residents for a total of 25,561.

The positivity rate was significantly cut on Saturday and was 6.54%. There were 185,853 tests processed with 173,696 negative tests.

The number of new cases continues to drop throughout the United States, with just Virginia, New Hampshire and South Carolina showing more cases on a seven-day average compared to last week. Forty-four states are showing a decrease of greater than 10%, including Florida.

According to the COVID Tracking Project’s Friday night report, there were 188,983 new cases reported, with 1,988,756 tests processed. Hospitalizations continue to drop and there were 116,264 hospitalizations.

Deaths haven’t followed the other metrics and remain high, with 3,980 new deaths reported. That’s 900 more than the seven-day average.

The California Department of Public Health reported 22,972 new cases on Saturday, although the state did record another 593 deaths. California’s numbers do have a large impact on the the country’s numbers due to its population.

According to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the United States has seen 24.95 million cases and 416,289 deaths.

Globally, there have been 98.53 million cases and 2,115,124 deaths.