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00000177-b32b-d5f4-a5ff-bbfb6e660000Here is the information you need to know about COVID-19 in Northwest Florida. We will keep this post updated with the latest information from local, and statewide agencies. For inforamtion from Centers for Disease Control and prevention: cdc.gov/coronavirusFor updates on Florida cases of coronavirus, visit the FDOH dashboard.The COVID-19 call center is available at 24/7 at 1-866-779-6121

Coronavirus Live Blog: Week Of Jan. 4

Mayra Heitman/WUWF

Sunday, Jan. 10

State Adds 12,313 Cases

The state added 12,313 cases according to Sunday's FDOH report. An addtional 111 deaths were also reported, only one from a local area — Walton County. 

Local numbers:

  • Escambia added 240 cases and has a 16.01% positivity rate
  • Santa Rosa added 186 cases and has a 25.03% positivity rate
  • Okaloosa added 102 cases and has a 12.42% positivity rate
  • Walton added 26 cases and has a 14.61% positivity rate

Saturday, Jan. 9

19 Local COVID Deaths

FDOH reported 15,445 additional cases in Saturday's report. An additional 139 deaths were also reported, 19 of which were from local areas. Escambia reported eight deaths, Santa Rosa reported seven and Okaloosa reported four. No additional deaths reported in Walton County.

Local numbers

  • Escambia added 285 cases and has a 16.55% positivity rate
  • Santa Rosa added 133 cases and has a 21.31% positivity rate
  • Okaloosa added 179 cases and has a 26.52% positivity rate
  • Walton added 64 cases and has a 14.79% positivity rate

Friday, Jan. 8

Update From Baptist Health Care

Baptist, Gulf Breeze and Jay Hospitals have more inpatient COVID-19 positive patients now than at any other time in the pandemic. ICU utilization is still high and the use of other areas in the hospital to accommodate the need has been expanded. If the number of hospitalizations continues to increase, BHC will continue to implement the surge plan and find or create resources as needed. 

“COVID-19 is more widespread here in our community than ever before, and now is the time to be vigilant in reducing the spread with the infection prevention behaviors that we know work – masking, social distancing, hand washing and avoiding large gatherings," said Chielf Medical Officer, Dr. Paul Glisson. "If we don’t follow those preventive measures, the number of people who contract COVID-19 and who need hospitalization will continue to rise.”

Another 19,000-Plus Cases, 18 Deaths Locally

The state added 19,530 cases according to Friday's FDOH report. The state's positivity rate is 13.19%. The state also added 194 deaths, 18 of which occurred locally. Five deaths in Escambia, five in Santa Rosa, four in Okaloosa and four in Walton County. 

Local numbers:

  • Escambia added 338 cases and has a 15.46% positivity rate
  • Santa Rosa added 214 cases and has a 25.03% positivity rate
  • Okaloosa added 196 cases and has a 18.03% positivity rate
  • Walton added 

New Event Restrictions From City of Pensacola 

COVID-19 testing in Milton Monday

On Monday, the Milton Community Center will be closed from 9:00 a.m. – 3:30  p.m. for all regularly scheduled activities. The only activities that will take place during this time  on Monday are COVID-19 vaccinations and drive-through COVID-19 testing.  

FDOH-Escambia To Suspend COVID Testing 

The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) will suspend COVID-19 testing to support ongoing COVID-19 contact tracing efforts needed to mitigate community spread and risk of infection to others.

According to a press release from FDOH-Escambia, the suspension will allow the agency to "focus efforts on contact tracing needs."  The county has sustained a 15% or higher positivity rate in the past week.

COVID-19 testing sites continue to be available at several locations in Escambia County.

In every COVID-19 epidemiological investigation, all individuals that may have been exposed are notified and given the proper guidance in order to care for themselves and to protect others.

FDOH-Escambia urges residents to participate in contact tracing efforts to include

  • Answer the phone when the health department calls.
  • Call the health department back if we leave you a voicemail.
  • If you have been around someone with COVID-19, stay at home and self-quarantine for 14 days, starting from the most recent day that you were possibly exposed to COVID-19.
  • Monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Notify those who you had close contact with recently if you become ill, so that they can monitor their health.
  • Seek medical care if symptoms become severe. Severe symptoms include trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face.

Santa Rosa County Vaccine Update

More than 5,000 vaccines have been administered in Santa Rosa County with 3,000 since Wed., Jan. 6. Additionally, 2,000 individuals are scheduled for vaccinations and more than 5,000 are on the waitlist. The waitlist is available for individuals 65 and over to complete (or have a caregiver complete on their behalf) and be assured that they will get an appointment as soon as more vaccines are received from the state and healthcare providers are able to schedule more clinics.

To read the entire update from the county, click here.

Thursday, Jan. 7

Nearly 20,000 Cases Added, Largest Single-Day Increase

The state added 19,816 cases according to Thursday's FDOH report, the highest single-day increase. An additional 170 deaths were also added, bringing the total to 22,817. Eleven of those deaths were local with seven reported in Escambia, one in Santa Rosa, two in Okaloosa and one in Walton County. 

Local numbers:

  • Escambia added 468 cases and has a 14.99% positivity rate
  • Santa Rosa added 222 cases and has a 25.08% positivity rate
  • Okaloosa added 185 cases and has an 18.71% positivity rate
  • Walton added 94 cases and has an 18.53% positivity rate

Wednesday, Jan. 6

COVID Vaccine Appointments In Okaloosa 

The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County (DOH-Okaloosa) is partnering with Okaloosa County Emergency Medical Services and local fire departments to begin offering COVID-19 vaccinations by appointment only to adults ages 65 and older and non-hospital health care workers with direct patient contact.

Monday, January 11

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Crestview Community Center 1446 Commerce Dr.

Tuesday, January 12

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

DOH-Okaloosa Fort Walton Beach 221 Hospital Dr. NE Fort Walton Beach

Wednesday, January 13

8:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Destin-Fort Walton Beach Convention Center 1250 Miracle Strip Pkwy SE Fort Walton Beach

Appointments are required for this vaccination clinic and will not be scheduled on site. Do not arrive at the vaccination site without an appointment. Anyone born in January 1956 or earlier and non-hospital health care workers with direct patient contact are eligible for a vaccine appointment. Appointments must be made in advance. To make an appointment visit myokaloosa.com/bcc/covid-19 to register online or by calling 850-344-0566. People are encouraged to register online. Please note callers may experience delays, dropped calls and busy signals due to high call volume.

Milton Community Center Closed Thursday For Vaccination Clinic

The Milton Community Center will remain closed to all regularly scheduled activities on Thursday, Jan. 7 for a vaccination clinic for seniors with appointments.Only individuals with a confirmed appointment to receive a vaccination will be allowed into the Community Center on Thursday. Only the person with the appointment will be allowed in the building. All others are requested to please stay away from the Byrom Street Area on Thursday. The Community Center will resume normal operations, including drive-through COVID-19 testing on Friday, January 8.  

Over 17,000 Cases Added

FDOH reported 17,783 cases were added to the state's total. Another 132 deaths were also reported, 18 of which occurred locally. All four local counties reported at least one death: six in Escambia, five in Santa Rosa, six in Okaloosa and one in Walton County. 

Local numbers:

  • Escambia added 460 cases and has a 20.84% positive rate
  • Santa Rosa added 212 cases and has a 29.25% positive rate
  • Okaloosa added 200 cases and has a 24.11% positive rate
  • Walton added 

Tuesday, Jan. 5

Over 15,000 Cases Added 

The state added 15,431 cases according to Tuesday's FDOH report, an addtional 100 deaths were also reported. Ten deaths were reported locally, three in Escambia and seven in Santa Rosa. No deaths reported in Okaloosa or Walton counties. 

Local numbers:

  • Escambia added 224 cases and has a 22.45% positivity rate
  • Santa Rosa added 107 cases and has a 25.87% positivity rate
  • Okaloosa added 103 cases and has a 21.53% positivity rate
  • Walton added 58 cases and has a 23.21% positivity rate

Monday, Jan. 4

State Adds More Than 11,000 Cases

The state added 11,256 cases and 105 deaths according to Monday's FDOH report. Only one death was reported locally, in Escambia County. 

Local numbers:

  • Escambia added 172 cases and has a 18.11% positivity rate
  • Santa Rosa added 116 cases and has a 24.14% positivity rate
  • Okaloosa added 56 cases and has a 18.33% positivity rate
  • Walton added 41 cases and has a 19.31% positivity rate

Okaloosa FDOH Vaccine Drive-Thru Reaches Capacity 

The Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County’s (DOH-Okaloosa) drive-thru vaccination clinic scheduled for January 4 and January 7 has reached appointment capacity, according to a press release from FDOH on Monday afternoon. No additional appointment slots are available.

DOH-Okaloosa will announce additional vaccination clinic events when details are finalized. Information about the statewide vaccination distribution plan can be found on the Department of Health’s website at healthyokaloosa.com.

Vaccine Information For Santa Rosa County Residents

The COVID vaccine is available for anyone age 65 years and older, or healthcare workers who provide direct patient care and who are not associated with a hospital system.

How to Register: For vaccine scheduling through the Florida Department of Health in Milton, Tues. through Fri. (Jan. 5-8) of this week, call 850-983-INFO (4636) from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fill out a consent form online and print/bring with you or forms will be provided at the location.

High call volumes are anticipated. Santa Rosa County has brought in extra staff to assist residents with calls. All the information you need regarding dates, times and locations will be provided to you during the registration process. More registration dates will be made available as more vaccines are received.