Tuesday, December 29, 2020
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The Villages

Fauci warns of dark days ahead as COVID-19 continues to hammer Florida

Dr. Anthony Fauci

Five more local residents have died and new cases of COVID-19 continued to be reported across Florida on Monday as the nation’s top infectious disease expert predicted a possible “surge upon a surge” of positive results because of the back-to-back holidays.

Three of the latest fatalities lived in Lake County, while the other two were Marion County residents. They are among the 867 deaths that have been reported in the tri-county area, as well as the 21,613 in Florida and the 334,116 across the country.

The number of new COVID-19 cases being reported across Florida has decreased over the past two days, possibly because testing sites closed for Christmas and some remained shut down over the holiday weekend. But with families and friends gathering for Christmas and New Year’s in large groups, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said January could prove to be a dark time in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths being reported across the country.

“We’re really at a very critical point,” Fauci said.

Meanwhile, Florida is reporting 1,280,177 cases – an increase of 8,198 from Sunday to Monday. Of those, 1,258,315 are residents. A total of 63,470 cases have been reported in long-term care centers and 27,198 in correctional facilities. Across the state, there have been 21,613 deaths and 61,663 people have been hospitalized.

Locally, 61 new COVID-19 cases were reported Monday in and around The Villages. Those include:

  • The Villages (Sumter, Lake and Marion counties) up 26 for a total of 2,119;
  • Leesburg up 22 for a total of 2,357;
  • Summerfield up 6 for a total of 971;
  • Wildwood up 4 for a total of 659;
  • Lady Lake up 2 for a total of 811; and
  • Belleview up 1 for a total of 672.

Below is a breakdown of other COVID-19 activity in the local area:

TRI-COUNTY AREA

  • Cases: 36,785 – increase of 249
  • Deaths: 867
  • Hospitalizations: 2,661

SUMTER COUNTY

  • Cases: 4,819 – increase of 36
  • Deaths: 118
  • Hospitalizations: 374
  • Areas/cities with most cases: The Villages (1,966), Coleman (731), Wildwood (659), Bushnell (531) and Oxford (273).

LAKE COUNTY

  • Cases: 14,841 – increase of 118
  • Deaths: 293
  • Hospitalizations: 981
  • Cities with most cases: Clermont (3,926), Leesburg (2,357), Eustis (1,207), Mount Dora (1,160) and Tavares (1,134). The Villages also is reporting 95 cases.

MARION COUNTY

  • Cases: 17,125 – increase of 95
  • Deaths: 456
  • Hospitalizations: 1,306
  • Cities with most cases: Ocala (12,905), Summerfield (971), Dunnellon (736), Belleview (672) and Citra (295). The Villages also is reporting 58 cases.

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