New COVID Infections Continue Declining in Polk

Polk County’s COVID-19 numbers are continuing to decline. The 2,413 new infections reported this week represent the lowest number since mid-July, a time when the current surge was beginning to accelerate. Testing positivity was down to 11.4% from a high of 28.9% in mid-August.

View an interactive version of this info graphic.

Statewide, 56,325 new coronavirus infections were reported this week, down from last week’s 75,906, according to the update for Sept. 17-23 posted Friday evening by the Florida Department of Health

Here is how Polk compares with statewide averages in several key areas:

  • Testing positivity: Polk, 11.4%; Florida, 8.6%
  • Cases per 100,000 population: Polk, 335.3; Florida, 256.3
  • Overall case positivity: Polk, 26.2%; Florida, 21.3%
  • Vaccinations – Age 12+ residents receiving at least one dose of vaccine: Polk, 64%; Florida, 71%

In all, 124,445 infections have been reported in Polk County since March 2020, according to the DOH. Statewide, there have been 3,539,272 cases.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, 53,580 deaths in Florida have been attributed to COVID-19, an increase of 2,340 deaths from the previous week’s report.

The state is not currently releasing death figures for each county, as it did prior to June of this year. The CDC has recently started releasing the numbers of deaths for Florida counties, and says 144 deaths were reported in Polk over the last seven days. In all, 2,085 COVID deaths have occurred in Polk, the CDC reports.

New vaccinations in Polk have increased slightly over the last week, with 3,575 residents getting vaccines this week and 3,233 reported last week.

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Hospitalization

COVID hospitalizations at Lakeland Regional Health continue to decline, with 226 patients testing positive for the virus on Wednesday compared with a peak of 443 on Aug. 26.

That’s still higher than the top number of 180 reached during last winter’s surge.

Out of the 226 COVID patients at the hospital on Wednesday, 85.4% were unvaccinated.

The numbers of COVID-19 patients in intensive care and on ventilators are trending down but still above the levels reported at the beginning of August:

On Wednesday, there were 45 COVID patients in ICU, down from 61 a week earlier. Of those, 95.5% were unvaccinated. There were 39 COVID patients on ventilators, down from 54 a week earlier. Of those, 94.9% were unvaccinated.

This week’s state report