On a day when four more local deaths were reported because of COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that Florida leads the nation in cases of a variant of the virus that was first detected in the U.K this past September.
Three of the latest fatalities were residents of Lake County and the other one lived in Sumter County. They are among the 1,378 victims in the tri-county area, the 28,691 in Florida and the 470,600 across the country.
Florida now has 343 cases of the Coronavirus variant labeled as B.1.1.7., which is known to spread more easily and bypass treatments and immunities. That number, which increased significantly after large crowds – many not wearing masks – spilled into the streets of Tampa following the Buccaneers Super Bowl victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, represents 36.4 percent of the 944 cases reported across the country.
All told, Florida is reporting 1,798,280 COVID-19 cases – an increase of 7,537 from Tuesday to Wednesday. Of those, 1,765,659 are residents. A total of 78,832 cases have been reported in long-term care centers and 30,202 in correctional facilities. Across the state, 75,162 people have been hospitalized.
Locally, 55 new COVID-19 cases were reported Wednesday in and around The Villages. Those include:
- The Villages (Sumter, Lake and Marion counties) up 21 for a total of 3,824;
- Leesburg up 12 for a total of 3,618;
- Summerfield up 8 for a total of 1,624;
- Belleview up 5 for a total of 1,089;
- Wildwood up 4 for a total of 895;
- Lady Lake up 3 for a total of 1,359;
- Oxford up 1 for a total of 434; and
- Lady Lake portion of Sumter County up 1 for a total of 106.
Below is a breakdown of other COVID-19 activity in the local area:
- Cases: 56,283 – increase of 244
- Deaths: 1,378
- Hospitalizations: 3,271
- Cases: 7,476 – increase of 40
- Deaths: 215
- Hospitalizations: 457
- Areas/cities with most cases: The Villages (3,487), Wildwood (895), Bushnell (819), Coleman (818) and Oxford (434).
- Cases: 22,989 – increase of 56
- Deaths: 492
- Hospitalizations: 1,205
- Cities with most cases: Clermont (5,993), Leesburg (3,618), Eustis (2,051), Mount Dora (1,771) and Tavares (1,689). The Villages also is reporting 161 cases.
- Cases: 25,818 – increase of 148
- Deaths: 671
- Hospitalizations: 1,609
- Cities with most cases: Ocala (19,068), Summerfield (1,624), Dunnellon (1,175), Belleview (1,089) and Silver Springs (498). The Villages also is reporting 176 cases.