Okaloosa County's COVID cases up 6%; Florida cases surge 122.1%

Mike Stucka
Falmouth Town Crier David Vieira makes his way down the parade route in Falmouth, Mass., on Dec. 5. The parade returned this year after a COVID-driven hiatus in 2020. Town criers are a centuries-old tradition from England and New England.

New coronavirus cases leaped in Florida in the week ending Sunday, rising 122.1% as 28,841 cases were reported. The previous week had 12,984 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Florida ranked 39th among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week coronavirus cases in the United States increased 9.6% from the week before, with 913,491 cases reported. With 6.45% of the country's population, Florida had 3.16% of the country's cases in the last week. Across the country, 22 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

Okaloosa County reported 124 cases in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 117 cases. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 35,319 cases.

Walton County reported 28 cases in the latest week. A week earlier, it had reported 24 cases. Throughout the pandemic it has reported 13,031 cases.

Florida does not directly publish county-level death data.

Within Florida, the worst weekly outbreaks on a per-person basis were in Miami-Dade County with 425 cases per 100,000 per week; Broward County with 241; and Palm Beach County with 159. The Centers for Disease Control says high levels of community transmission begin at 100 cases per 100,000 per week.

Adding the most new cases overall were Miami-Dade County, with 11,543 cases; Broward County, with 4,705 cases; and Palm Beach County, with 2,384. Weekly case counts rose in 49 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.

>> See how your community has fared with recent coronavirus cases

Florida ranked 19th among states in share of people receiving at least one shot, with 73.6% of its residents at least partially vaccinated. The national rate is 72.8%, a USA TODAY analysis of CDC data shows. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, which are the most used in the United States, require two doses administered a few weeks apart.

In the week ending Sunday, Florida reported administering another 583,296 vaccine doses, including 127,066 first doses. In the previous week, the state administered 2,225,405 vaccine doses, including 485,108 first doses. In all, Florida reported it has administered 32,827,218 total doses.

Across Florida, cases fell in 14 counties, with the best declines in Volusia County, with 295 cases from 356 a week earlier; in Santa Rosa County, with 65 cases from 86; and in Highlands County, with 45 cases from 60.

In Florida, 194 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 325 people were reported dead.

A total of 3,782,883 people in Florida have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 62,220 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 50,846,828 people have tested positive and 806,439 people have died.

>> Track coronavirus cases across the United States

Florida's COVID-19 hospital admissions rising

USA TODAY analyzed federal hospital data as of Sunday, Dec. 19.

Likely COVID patients admitted in the state:

  • Last week: 2,954
  • The week before that: 2,711
  • Four weeks ago: 2,468

Likely COVID patients admitted in the nation:

  • Last week: 92,085
  • The week before that: 91,676
  • Four weeks ago: 75,048


Hospitals in 28 states reported more COVID-19 patients than a week earlier, while hospitals in 30 states had more COVID-19 patients in intensive-care beds. Hospitals in 23 states admitted more COVID-19 patients in the latest week than a week prior, the USA TODAY analysis of U.S. Health and Human Services data shows.

The USA TODAY Network is publishing localized versions of this story on its news sites across the country, generated with data from Johns Hopkins University and the Centers for Disease Control. If you have questions about the data or the story, contact Mike Stucka at