Ocala Star-Banner | By Joe Callahan | April 18, 2022
The number of COVID-19 school cases ticked up to nine for the week of April 9-15, up from six for the previous week, according to the Marion County Public Schools’ weekly report.
The total for seven days was four for the week ending April 1 and the same for the week ending March 25. The number was 26 for the week ending March 11.
The district had been seeing a steady decline in cases. There were 513 for Jan. 29-Feb. 4, 248 for Feb. 5-11, 108 for Feb. 12-18 and 55 for Feb. 19-25.
The one-week record for school cases was 1,014 for Jan. 15-21.
The latest school report showed that eight students and one employee tested positive for COVID-19 during the week ending April 15. The number of people placed in quarantine dropped from 16 for the week of April 2-8 to one for April 9-15. The number of quarantines was seven for March 26-April 1 and seven for March 19-25.
To put the low quarantine numbers in perspective, the total was 1,766 for Jan. 22-28, 1,843 for Jan. 15-21 and 2,219 for Jan. 8-14.
The record for weekly quarantines, which happened during the Delta wave, in Marion County schools was 3,404, last August.
Countywide, the 97 cases recorded for for April 1-7 was 35.1% higher than the previous week. The two-week total for March 25-April 7 was 160, up from the previous two-week total of 123 for March 11-24, according to the reports. That is a 30.1% increase.
The state now releases case numbers every two weeks, with the next report due out April 22.
The Marion County weekly record of 5,536 cases was reported for Jan. 7-13, just a month after the total was 146 for Dec. 3-9. The total number of Marion residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 is now 83,324.
Marion County hospitalizations ticked up to 11 in the past week
Marion County’s seven-day total of new COVID-19 hospitalizations was 11 on Monday, up from nine on April 11. The number is still down from 23 on March 28, 42 on March 14 and 178 on Feb. 14, according to federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
Last fall, during a spike attributed to the delta variant, the record hit 350. In the past two weeks, the CDC reported that fewer than 10 Marion residents were added to the death toll from COVID-19. The total number of Marion deaths is about 2,060.
The seven-day positivity rate was 4.47% on Monday, up from the 2.69% reported on April 11. It is up from 1.45% on March 28 and 2.61% on March 14, but much lower than the record of 34.59% on Jan. 31, according to CDC.
As of April 18, 235,168 Marion County residents have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, up 206 when compared to April 11. Of those, 95,874 had both shots and a booster, 622 more than two weeks ago, according to state data.
The CDC report shows that on April 18, 74% of residents ages 18 and older have had at least one dose of the vaccine, 72% of Marion residents ages 12 and older have had one dose, and 67.6% of residents ages 5 and older have had at least one dose.
Meanwhile, 91.4% of residents ages 65 and older have had at least one dose, as of April 18. The data shows that 64.3% of Marion’s entire population has had at least one dose.