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The Villages
Saturday, May 8, 2021

3 more local residents die of COVID-19 as CDC relaxes guidelines for masks

As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidelines for the use of face coverings, three local residents lost their battle with the deadly virus and more than 5,200 new cases were reported across the Sunshine State.

Two of the latest fatalities were residents of Sumter County – where the majority of Villages homes are located – and the other one was in Marion County. They are among the 1,843 tri-county area deaths, the 35,646 in Florida and the 573,201 across the country, according to statistics provided by the Florida Department of Health and Johns Hopkins University.

Those who have received all of their COVID-19 vaccinations can now go outside without a mask. They also don’t need masks when biking, running or walking alone or with members of their household.

The CDC also said that those who have been vaccinated can attend small outdoor gatherings, even if some in attendance haven’t had the vaccine. But in large outdoor gatherings where social distancing isn’t possible, those who have been vaccinated should continue to wear masks, the CDC report says.

All told, Florida is reporting 2,217,368 COVID-19 cases – an increase of 5,271 from Monday to Tuesday. Of those, 2,175,844 are residents. A total of 84,492 COVID-19 cases have been reported in long-term care centers and 32,314 in correctional facilities. Across the state, there have been 35,646 deaths and 89,808 people have been hospitalized.

Locally, 34 new COVID-19 cases were reported Tuesday in and around The Villages. Those include:

  • The Villages (Sumter, Lake and Marion counties) up 3 for a total of 4,602;
  • Leesburg up 13 for a total of 4,357;
  • Fruitland Park up 6 for a total of 827;
  • Belleview up 5 for a total of 1,355;
  • Lady Lake up 4 for a total of 1,693;
  • Wildwood up 2 for a total of 1,075; and
  • Summerfield up 1 for a total of 1,900.

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

TRI-COUNTY AREA

  • Cases: 68,785 – increase of 149
  • Deaths: 1,843
  • Hospitalizations: 4,193

SUMTER COUNTY

  • Cases: 9,220 – increase of 12
  • Deaths: 275
  • Hospitalizations: 574
  • Vaccinations: 82,999 (69,333 both doses)
  • Areas/cities with most cases: The Villages (4,236), Wildwood (1,075), Bushnell (1,016), Coleman (851) and Oxford (534).

LAKE COUNTY

  • Cases: 29,027 – increase of 78
  • Deaths: 621
  • Hospitalizations: 1,505
  • Vaccinations: 160,713 (119,140 both doses)
  • Cities with most cases: Clermont (7,768), Leesburg (4,357), Eustis (2,539), Mount Dora (2,126) and Tavares (2,012). The Villages also is reporting 183 cases.

MARION COUNTY

  • Cases: 30,538 – increase of 59
  • Deaths: 947
  • Hospitalizations: 2,114
  • Vaccinations: 130,403 (95,771 both doses)
  • Cities with most cases: Ocala (22,321), Summerfield (1,900), Dunnellon (1,408), Belleview (1,355) and Silver Springs (671). The Villages also is reporting 183 cases.

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Stories in and around The Villages, Florida

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Letters to the Editor
Opinions submitted by residents in and around The Villages

A reset for respecting restaurant workers

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Caroline resident contends the current labor shortage should give us a reason to pause and reflect on how we got here.

Pravda published the party line

A Village of Fenney resident, in a Letter to the Editor, remembers that Pravda provided the party line in the Soviet Union. Why does that somehow seem familiar today?

Apartments and parking at Spanish Springs

A Village of Chatham resident is wondering how parking will be handled when apartments go in at Spanish Springs Town Square. Read his Letter to the Editor.

We can take our revenge at the ballot box

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Sabal Chase resident mourns the loss of the impact fees issue, but says voters can take their revenge at the ballot box.

Shame on The Villages for welcoming hateful voices

A Village of Liberty Park resident, in a Letter to the Editor, says shame on The Villages for welcoming voices that promote white power and hypocrisy.

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The Villages, Florida