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Marion County adds 42 coronavirus deaths in two days

The Marion County Health Department has teamed up with AdventHealth and others to provide coronavirus vaccinations by appointment at Paddock Mall. Photo: Joe Byrnes

Marion County added shocking 42 coronavirus deaths in the past two days, an overall increase of 7 percent.

That brings the county's death toll to 649.

But a lot of those deaths occurred weeks ago. The Health Department says many were from January and even December and that the county is averaging five to six deaths a day.

It took awhile for the Health Department to verify that COVID-19 was a contributing factor in those cases.

Most were senior citizens living at home.

The death rate for Marion County cases has risen to 3%, compared to Florida's overall rate of 2%.

But the county's vaccination efforts are humming along, and more than 34,800 residents have received at least one dose. That’s almost 10 percent of the population.

Working with AdventHealth at Paddock Mall, the Health Department administered 6,500 doses this week, including about 3,000 first doses.

That beats last week's total of 3,500.

Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.
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