New COVID-19 cases in Polk County rose last week to 1,792 from 495 the previous week, according to the latest weekly tally from the Florida Department of Health. That 262% increase is the largest week-over-week jump since the state started reporting coronavirus numbers in March 2020.

For the week of Dec. 17 to Dec. 23, testing positivity in Polk went to 9.5% from 3.2%. Both the level of new cases and testing positivity bring Polk backs to levels experienced here in late September as the huge summer spike was receding.

Here is a snapshot of the latest report from the Florida Department of Health, covering the week of Dec. 17-23.

  • New cases: 1,792, compared with the 495 the previous week and the fourth consecutive week of increases
  • Testing positivity: 9.8%, compared with the previous week’s 3.2%, which was one of the lowest since testing started in March 2020. (The state is no longer disclosing how many people were tested.)
  • New vaccinations: 3,303, an increase from 2,747 the previous week.
  • Population age 5+ with at least one vaccination: 63%, compared with 71% statewide; the Polk percentage is unchanged from the previous week’s number.
  • Fully vaccinated: 56.9%, according to the CDC
  • Deaths: Fewer than 10, according to the CDC

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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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  1. So, the latest statistic I could find showed 28 COVID deaths in Florida in the past week. That is four persons per day dying in a state with more than 20,000,000 people. Shame on Lakeland Now and everyone else who is sensationalizing this virus and fear mongering. Why don’t you show the daily or weekly death rate for Lakeland or Polk on your website so people can see the truth?

  2. Are there statistics on the number of cases of vaccinated individuals? If not, there certainly should be and they should be published

    1. I don’t believe the state of Florida is tracking how many of the infected individuals are vaccinated. In August, Lakeland Regional Health gave regular reports on their COVID patients and how many were vaccinated. We reported those numbers. If they begin issuing those reports again, we’ll continue to track them.

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