ORLANDO, Fla. – As Florida gets ready to expand its vaccine eligibility to include everyone over the age of 18 on April 5, Orange County is reporting a rise in cases among young adults.
The county’s average age for new infections has lowered to the age of 30 because of this trend, according to Dr. Raul Pino, of the Florida Department of Health in Orange County.
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People in the 18-25 age group are also filling more hospital beds after being infected with the virus. Orange County reported on Thursday that people age 45 and under account for one-third of COVID-19 hospitalizations.
While that younger segment of the population waits for vaccine eligibility, the rapid COVID-19 testing site at Barnett Park has gotten another extension that will allow it to remain open through the end of April.
Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings said Thursday that the site was supposed to close on March 31, but he realized the demand for testing is still strong.
The site is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offers both rapid and PCR virus tests.
Recently, about 800 to 1,000 tests have been performed each day.
At the same time, Central Florida doctors are warning people about COVID-19 reinfections.
Dr. Tim Hendrix, medical director of AdventHealth Centra Care, participated in the hospital’s morning briefing on Thursday and said if you had COVID-19 and recovered, you can still get re-infected.
“We do see people re-infected with COVID-19. People that were infected back in the fall, we’re seeing about five to seven cases a week at Centra Care of people coming in,” Hendrix said.
Hendrix said the immunity you gain after recovering from coronavirus isn’t enough to fully protect you from getting infected again.
“You have some immunity, but it’s not perfect necessarily from a natural infection, so you shouldn’t rely on natural infection,” Hendrix said.
News 6 asked the Florida Department of Health if they are tracking re-infections and we have not heard back.
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: DeSantis announces vaccine eligibility expansion as Florida reports 5,803 new COVID-19 cases ]
Find the state-run COVID-19 dashboard below:
The Florida Department of Health reported 5,759 new cases on Friday, bringing the state’s overall total to 2,033,179 cases since the virus was first detected on March 1, 2020.
Florida reported 167 new virus-related deaths Friday, bringing the death toll to 33,756. This number includes the 640 non-residents who died in Florida.
As of Friday afternoon, there were currently 2,863 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
Since last March, 84,406 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from COVID-19. That number includes the 203 new patients who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s daily report released on Friday.
The percent of positive results was 5.69% Thursday out of 101,236 tests. The numbers reported daily by the state reflect test results from the day prior. Health officials say the rate should remain between 5% and 10% to prove a community has a hold of the virus and is curbing infections.
The Florida Department of Health began releasing a daily report in December on COVID-19 vaccines administered throughout the state.
FDOH reports 3,004,403 people are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. These individuals either received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or completed a two-shot series.
As of Friday, 5,475,209 people have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.
Below is the county-by-county breakdown of new cases as of Friday.
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