COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations fall slightly, keeping Brevard's levels low

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Brevard County remains a community of low COVID-19 levels, with cases and hospitalizations falling over the past week, according to data from national health officials.

Community levels are calculated by the Centers for Disease Control through an examination of case numbers and hospitalizations, both of which declined since the last seven-day period.

Cases were counted at 499 between Jan. 19 and Jan. 25 in Brevard, according to the Centers for Disease Control — a drop of 137 as compared to the previous week, when the agency reported 636 cases.

Between Jan. 19 and Jan. 25, the CDC reported a case rate of 82.90 per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of 15.61%. The previous week, between Jan. 12 and Jan. 18, the case rate was reported at 105.66 per 100,000 people, with a positivity rate of 16.6%.

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Hospitalizations also dropped slightly from the previous week. Between Jan. 18 and Jan. 24, there were 55 new admissions of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Brevard County, the CDC said. The previous week, between Jan. 12 and Jan. 18, there were 59 hospitalizations.

Both weeks, the agency reported fewer than 10 deaths, though they did not provide a specific number.

It’s important to note the CDC’s report does not account for every case in the community, as not everyone with symptoms gets tested, and at-home tests are not reported to government agencies.

In Brevard, 70.1% of residents age 5 and older have completed their primary series of shots against COVID-19, according to the CDC, though only 12.6% of that age group have received their updated bivalent booster.

Though the shot was designed to target the original strain of COVID as well as the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which are no longer dominant, experts believe the updated shot may provide some protection against other strains of the virus.

The XBB1.5 variant remained the dominant strain in the United States this week, making up about 61.3% of reported COVID cases as compared to the 49.1% it accounted for the prior week, according to the CDC. BQ.1.1 and BQ.1 were the second and third most dominant strains, making up 21.8% and 9.3% of cases respectively.

Across the United States, 73.% of people age 5 and older have completed their primary shots against COVID, but only 16.5% of that demographic have gotten their updated booster, the CDC said.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there have been 102,171,644 reported COVID cases in the United States and 1,103,615 deaths.

Since March 2020, there have been 2,273 deaths involving COVID in Brevard, according to the CDC.

Where to get vaccinated

Brevard residents can get vaccinated at three Florida Department of Health sites.

  • Viera clinic, at 2555 Judge Fran Jamieson Way.

  • Melbourne clinic, 601 E. University Blvd.

  • Titusville clinic, 611 N. Singleton Ave.

Omni Healthcare's offices also have vaccines available, as well as their walk-in vaccination clinic located in Suite 303 on the third floor of 1344 S. Apollo Blvd. in Melbourne, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Residents can also get vaccinated from 9 a.m. to noon in Suite 2C of Omni’s 1344 S. Apollo Blvd. complex.

Vaccines are available at most local pharmacies, such as Walgreens, CVS and Publix. Check your pharmacy's website to schedule a vaccination appointment.

Finch Walker is the education reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Walker at 321-290-4744 or Twitter: @_finchwalker

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Brevard COVID cases. hospitalizations remain low