TAMPA, FL. — The Florida Department of Health released its weekly COVID-19 numbers for the state.
Cases of COVID-19 continue to decline. The Florida Department of Health reported 131,000 new COVID-19 cases statewide in the past week.
The statewide positivity rate also continued to decline.
Local hospitals including Sarasota Memorial Hospital said hospitalizations continue to decline.
At its two locations, Sarasota Memorial said 164 patients remain hospitalized.
"The surge that we had in the summer through September was so incredibly destructive. We’re happy that this wasn’t as bad, but it stressed the system tremendously," said Dr. Manuel Gordillo, Sarasota Memorial Hospital Epidemiologist.
Dr. Gordillo said the system was stressed with employees calling out sick due to COVID-19.
"We had a lot of our own healthcare workers becoming ill or their family members were ill and not being able to work for that reason. I think for the last month or so we had about 1,000 employees at the system getting sick," said Dr. Gordillo.
Doctors still encourage vaccination. According to state data, fewer people are getting vaccinated.
"Because our vaccines are so good, we don’t see as many people coming into the hospital with severe disease as we saw with previous surges," said Dr. Gordillo.