After Polk County experienced its lowest COVID-19 numbers in months during November, both the volume of cases and testing positivity have gradually increased during December. Dr. Joy Jackson, who directs the Florida Department of Health’s Polk office, calls last week’s 32% week-over-week rise in new cases “quite alarming” and warns we could be seeing a fourth surge that is likely fueled by the omicron variant.

Here is a snapshot of the latest report from the Florida Department of Health, covering the week of Dec. 10-16.

  • New cases: 495, compared with the 374 the previous week and the third consecutive week of increases
  • Testing positivity: 3.2%, compared with last week’s 2.7%, which was the lowest since testing started in March 2020 (The state is no longer disclosing how many people were tested.)
  • New vaccinations: 2,747, a decrease from 2,992 the previous week.
  • Population age 5+ with at least one vaccination: 63%, compared with 70% statewide, up from 62% from last week
  • Fully vaccinated: 53.4%, according to the CDC
  • Deaths: Fewer than 10, according to the CDC

MORE: The Ledger | News Channel 8


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Barry Friedman founded Lkldnow.com 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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