Read It in the Morning Paper: Vaccines, Covid

  • VACCINES: It will probably be next week before Polk County’s branch of the Florida Health Department has sufficient COVID-19 vaccine doses to start inoculating members of the general public who are 65 or older; once injections can start, information will be posted at, the health department director says.
  • 518 NEW COVID-19 cases were reported for Polk County on Wednesday, the highest single-day number since the start of the pandemic. (A higher number, 548, was posted for Christmas, but it also included Christmas Eve.) The positivity rate was 12.73%, following Monday’s outlier rate of 36.6%. (Lakeland Regional Health’s chief medical officer told Fox 13 News that the one-day positivity spike was probably because the small number of people who sought testing on Christmas likely had more severe symptoms.) | Polk data
  • ELAINE THOMPSON, retiring after 10 years as CEO of Lakeland Regional Health, reflects on her tenure and says the hospital’s response to COVID-19 showed her that building a solid team was more important than directing the hospital’s spate of new construction.