COVID cases on the rise in Alachua County

Published: Jan. 11, 2022 at 6:16 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) - The Omicron COVID variant is spreading like wild fire. Health officials in Alachua County say cases are on the rise.

Masks and other COVID-19 safety practices are still controversial topics.

And according to recent infection numbers, that narrative is expected to continue.

“The positivity rates we’re seeing right now have been the highest we’ve ever recorded during this pandemic,” Alachua-DOH Administrator Paul Myers said.

As the variant spreads, the number of people seeking COVID tests continues to grow. Many residents have said testing appointments are hard to come by, while UF students have easy access.

“The University of Florida is no different than our long term care facilities and all those congregant facilities such as homeless places, the jail, where we have people in very close quarters who live together,” said Myers.

Myers said providing allotments to the university is nothing new.

He made it clear that the health department is only testing people who are symptomatic due to limited resources.

The current positivity rate is 28 percent.

More than 800,000 Americans have died from COVID.

In Florida, that number is more than 62,000.

“Health is a very personal issue and it’s something each individual has to make. Clearly, I would recommend that you reconsider because vaccination is going to reduce the severity of disease, if not protect you completely from it. And wearing a mask in doors if you’re going to have prolonged contact certainly can be protective,” Myers said.

68 percent of Alachua County residents are inoculated.

That’s just about half of all eligible residents.

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