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The Villages
Monday, April 19, 2021

7 more local COVID-19 deaths as state’s positivity rate climbs after spring break

Seven more local residents have succumbed to COVID-19 as new cases of the virus continued to be reported Wednesday across Florida and the positivity rate increased – possibly because of the recent influx of high school and college students from across the country celebrating spring break.

Florida’s positivity rate increased 6.89 percent to 6.95 percent following more than 83,000 tests being conducted Tuesday. Marion County also saw its seven-day positivity increase this week from 3.2 percent to 5.2 percent – an occurrence Mark Lander, director of the Department of Health in Marion County, told county commissioners on Tuesday was quite likely connected to spring breakers coming into the area. He also said that many residents appear to be getting tested at medical facilities and pharmacies, which has greatly reduced the number of people taking advantage of the county’s drive-through site at the Southeastern Pavilion.

Six of the latest fatalities were in Marion County and the other one was in Sumter County. They are among the 1,807 deaths in the tri-county area, the 34,476 across Florida and the 558,931 across the country, statistics from the Florida Department of Health and Johns Hopkins University show.

All told, Florida is reporting 2,096,747 COVID-19 cases – an increase of 5,885 from Tuesday to Wednesday. Of those, 2,057,359 are residents. A total of 83,327 COVID-19 cases have been reported in long-term care centers and 31,729 in correctional facilities. Across the state, there have been 34,476 deaths and 86,292 people have been hospitalized.

Locally, 44 new COVID-19 cases were reported Wednesday in and around The Villages for a cumulative total of 15,841. Those include:

  • The Villages (Sumter, Lake and Marion counties) up 6 for a total of 4,530;
  • Leesburg up 14 for a total of 4,124;
  • Fruitland Park up 9 for a total of 769;
  • Lady Lake up 5 for a total of 1,620;
  • Belleview up 5 for a total of 1,290;
  • Summerfield up 2 for a total of 1,834;
  • Lady Lake portion of Sumter County up 2 for a total of 137;
  • Wildwood up 1 for a total of 1,028; and
  • Oxford up 1 for a total of 509.

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

TRI-COUNTY AREA

  • Cases: 65,455 – increase of 161
  • Deaths: 1,807
  • Hospitalizations: 3,998

SUMTER COUNTY

  • Cases: 8,909 – increase of 23
  • Deaths: 263
  • Hospitalizations: 563
  • Vaccinations: 76,539 (56,601 both doses)
  • Areas/cities with most cases: The Villages (4,168), Wildwood (1,028), Bushnell (960), Coleman (844) and Oxford (509).

LAKE COUNTY

  • Cases: 27,173 – increase of 92
  • Deaths: 611
  • Hospitalizations: 1,430
  • Vaccinations: 130,741 (81,025 both doses)
  • Cities with most cases: Clermont (7,158), Leesburg (4,124), Eustis (2,387), Mount Dora (2,026) and Tavares (1,914). The Villages also is reporting 178 cases.

MARION COUNTY

  • Cases: 29,373 – increase of 46
  • Deaths: 933
  • Hospitalizations: 2,005
  • Vaccinations: 104,919 (67,477 both doses)
  • Cities with most cases: Ocala (21,496), Summerfield (1,834), Dunnellon (1,346), Belleview (1,290) and Silver Springs (635). The Villages also is reporting 184 cases.

Proposal could end firefighters’ response to medical calls in The Villages

A proposed plan floated by Sumter County Administrator Bradley Arnold could end The Villages Public Safety Department’s response to medical calls in The Villages.

Newly opened pizzeria traces its roots back to Sulmona, Italy

A pizzeria has opened a new location at Trailwinds Village with a second location planned in The Villages area. The restaurant chain traces its roots back to Sulmona, Italy.

Community Standards counts on residents to report violations in The Villages

The Community Standards Department in The Villages is entirely complaint driven and counts on residents to report violations.

Proposal could end firefighters’ response to medical calls in The Villages

A proposed plan floated by Sumter County Administrator Bradley Arnold could end The Villages Public Safety Department’s response to medical calls in The Villages.

Newly opened pizzeria traces its roots back to Sulmona, Italy

A pizzeria has opened a new location at Trailwinds Village with a second location planned in The Villages area. The restaurant chain traces its roots back to Sulmona, Italy.

Community Standards counts on residents to report violations in The Villages

The Community Standards Department in The Villages is entirely complaint driven and counts on residents to report violations.

Villager facing charge of restroom peeping loses round in court

A Village of Chitty Chatty man accused of peeping in a public restroom lost a round last week in Sumter County Court.

Opening date announced for barbecue restaurant at Magnolia Plaza 

An opening date has been announced for a new barbecue restaurant coming to Magnolia Plaza in The Villages.

Convicted sexual predator takes up residence in Village of Alhambra

A convicted sexual predator has taken up permanent residence in the Village of Alhambra.

Great article on the labor shortage at restaurants in The Villages

An Ocala reader, in a Letter to the Editor, points out that the restaurants in the area aren’t the only businesses dealing with staffing shortages.

Greta Thunberg will testify in Congress on Earth Day

In a Letter to the Editor, the Citizens’ Climate Lobby Chapter-The Villages expresses excitement about Greta Thunberg’s upcoming testimony before Congress.

Upgrade our infrastructure and protect the environment

A reader from Wisconsin, in a Letter to the Editor, offers praise for President Biden’s plan to upgrade our infrastructure while looking out for the environment.