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Coronavirus update for Friday: Positivity rates high in Central Florida as Orange County adds 1,427 new cases

Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Central Florida, with enough doses for 20,000 people to get vaccinated. (video courtesy AdventHealth)

Florida reports 185 resident deaths, bringing total to 22,666

Florida reported 19,530 new cases of the coronavirus Friday and 185 additional deaths.

So far the state has lost 22,666 residents with COVID-19.

As seniors in Central Florida try online signups and drive-in clinics for a chance to get the coronavirus vaccine, positivity rates remain high throughout the region.

All the area counties reported rates above 10 percent, except Sumter County. There it dipped to about 8 percent, with 94 new cases, after soaring to 22.5 percent on Tuesday.

The average age of new COVID-19 patients in Florida hovers around 40. But in Sumter County, the new cases are 30 years older — averaging 72 on Thursday.

In Orange County new cases have increased each day this week. There were 1,427 on Thursday, with a positivity rate of 14.3 percent.

Sixteen new deaths were reported in Central Florida and Marion County, including five in Brevard County and seven in Polk.

Orange County Mayor Urges Patience During Vaccination Efforts

Brendan Byrne, WMFE

Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings is asking for patience as officials work to inoculate county residents.

As of Friday morning, Orange County has vaccinated 35,403 people, about 2.9 percent of the county population.

He says Orange County is at the mercy of the state of Florida as it distributes vaccine doses.

Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino says the county is booked until January 20, with more than 59,000 appointments already scheduled.

Deming says the demand for the vaccine far exceeds availability.

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Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


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.