Brevard County fell back to a community of low COVID-19 levels this week after being bumped up to a community of medium levels the previous week, the first time the Space Coast had received the medium status from national health officials since September.
Community levels are calculated by the Centers for Disease Control by examining case numbers and hospitalizations.
Cases and hospitalizations fell slightly over the past seven-day period in Brevard, according to the CDC.
Between Jan. 12 and Jan. 18, there were 636 reported COVID cases, with a case rate of 105.66 per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of 16.6% The previous week, between Jan. 5 and Jan. 11, the CDC reported 644 cases in the county, with 106.99 cases per 100,000 people and a positivity rate of 15.88%.
It’s important to note that not all cases are accounted for, as not everyone with symptoms takes a test, and at-home tests are not reported to the CDC or the Florida Department of Health.
Hospitalizations also went down from the previous week, falling from 77 admissions of confirmed COVID-19 cases between Jan. 4 and Jan. 10 to 59 new admissions of COVID-19 between Jan. 12 and Jan. 18, the CDC reported.
Both weeks, the CDC reported there were fewer than 10 deaths due to COVID-19, though they did not give a specific number.
On the Space Coast, 70% of residents ages 5 and older have completed their primary series of shots against COVID-19, according to the CDC. However, that number falls to 12.2% when looking at how many in the same age group have received their updated Bivalent booster shot.
While the shot was designed to target the original strain of COVID as well as the Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, which are no longer dominant, experts believe it may still be somewhat effective against other strains of the virus.
The XBB1.5 variant remained the dominant strain in the United States as of this week, accounting for about 49.1% of all reported COVID-19 cases, according to the CDC. The BQ.1.1 and BQ.1 strains were the second and third most dominant strains, making up 26.9% and 13.3% of reported US cases, respectively.
Throughout the country, 73.2% of the population age 5 and older have completed their primary series of shots against COVID, though only 16.2% of that same age group had received their updated booster, the CDC reported.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Brevard has reported 2,264 deaths involving COVID-19. Throughout the country, there have been 101,873,730 reported COVID-19 cases and 1,099,866 reported deaths since March 2020.
Where to get vaccinated
Space Coast residents can get vaccinated at three Florida Department of Health sites.
- Viera clinic, at 2555 Judge Fran Jamieson Way.
- Melbourne clinic, 601 E. University Blvd.
- Titusville clinic, 611 N. Singleton Ave.
There are also vaccines available at Omni Healthcare’s offices, as well as their walk-in vaccination clinic located in Suite 303 on the third floor of 1344 S. Apollo Blvd. in Melbourne, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays. Residents can also get vaccinated from 9 a.m. to noon in Suite 2C of Omni’s 1344 S. Apollo Blvd. complex.
Local pharmacies — such as Walgreens, CVS and Publix — also offer vaccines. Check your pharmacy’s website to schedule a vaccination appointment.