Close to 5,000 new COVID-19 cases as Florida drops eligible vaccine age to 40

On the day before Florida opens COVID-19 vaccines up to people age 40 and above, the Sunshine State reported just under 5,000 new cases of the deadly virus and 36 more deaths.

By order of Gov. Ron DeSantis, the eligible age for Coronavirus vaccines drops to 40 Monday morning and then goes away one week later. That means beginning April 5, all adults in Florida will be eligible to get the vaccine against the still-fasting-spreading virus.

The drop in the eligible age for the vaccine comes after DeSantis lowered the age to 50 after declaring that more than 70 percent of Florida’s seniors have received vaccinations.

As of Sunday, more than 5.6 million Floridians had received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, with more than 3 million receiving the completed series. A total of 281,274 people have been vaccinated in the tri-county area, with 166,817 of those receiving both doses.

All told, Florida is reporting 2,044,005 COVID-19 cases – an increase of 4,943 from Saturday to Sunday. Of those, 2,006,118 are residents. A total of 82,852 COVID-19 cases have been reported in long-term care centers and 31,544 in correctional facilities. Across the state, there have been 33,819 deaths and 84,644 people have been hospitalized.

Locally, 32 new COVID-19 cases were reported Sunday in and around The Villages. Those include:

  • The Villages (Sumter, Lake and Marion counties) up 6 for a total of 4,480;
  • Leesburg up 12 for a total of 4,030;
  • Wildwood up 4 for a total of 1,006;
  • Lady Lake up 3 for a total of 1,600;
  • Summerfield up 3 for a total of 1,806;
  • Oxford up 2 for a total of 500; and
  • Belleview up 2 for a total of 1,259.

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

TRI-COUNTY AREA

  • Cases: 64,147 – increase of 110
  • Deaths: 1,760
  • Hospitalizations: 3,912

SUMTER COUNTY

  • Cases: 8,751 – increase of 21
  • Deaths: 244
  • Hospitalizations: 549
  • Vaccinations: 73,308 (46,350 both doses)
  • Areas/cities with most cases: The Villages (4,122), Wildwood (1,006), Bushnell (935), Coleman (840) and Oxford (500).

LAKE COUNTY

  • Cases: 26,470 – increase of 52
  • Deaths: 600
  • Hospitalizations: 1,405
  • Vaccinations: 115,782 (65,117 both doses)
  • Cities with most cases: Clermont (6,957), Leesburg (4,030), Eustis (2,332), Mount Dora (1,976) and Tavares (1,883). The Villages also is reporting 177 cases.

MARION COUNTY

  • Cases: 28,926 – increase of 37
  • Deaths: 916
  • Hospitalizations: 1,958
  • Vaccinations: 92,184 (55,350 both doses)
  • Cities with most cases: Ocala (21,185), Summerfield (1,806), Dunnellon (1,320), Belleview (1,259) and Silver Springs (619). The Villages also is reporting 181 cases.

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