COVID hospitalizations continue to decline

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Gulf County were down by 20 percent last week, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Saturday. 


Ascension Sacred Heart reported there were 58 patients hospitalized with the coronavirus in their their Emerald Coast hospitals in a release sent out Tuesday. 


This marks the fourth consecutive week that hospitalizations have decreased, after Ascension marked 154 hospitalized patients in Bay, Gulf and Walton counties on August 19.  


“On July 4, shortly before the COVID-19 surge began, the three hospitals had a total of six patients hospitalized with COVID-19,” the release read. 


According to the CDC, the seven-day change in tests administered also decreased last week as they have been since the August peak. Of those tested last week, the positivity rate was 21.47 percent. 


COVID cases in the county have decreased by about 47 percent over the past two weeks, according to data compiled by the New York Times, with an average of eight cases reported per day last week


There have been 2,897 cases reported since the beginning of the pandemic, or about one in five residents. 


The CDC did not publish data on the number of COVID-related deaths in Gulf County last week, since the number was under 10. 


About 51.5 percent of the county’s total population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 43.3 percent of the population is fully vaccinated. Statewide, 56 percent of residents have been fully vaccinated. 


More than 75 percent of the county’s residents older than 65 have been fully vaccinated. 


Ascension said that “Of all COVID-19 patients coming to us for care, including visits to the Emergency Department, 54 percent are under age 50.” 

Meet the Editor

Wendy Weitzel, The Star’s digital editor, joined the news outlet in August 2021, as a reporter covering primarily Gulf County.

Prior to then, she interned for Oklahoma-based news wire service Gaylord News and for Oklahoma City-based online newspaper during her four years at the University of Oklahoma, from which she graduated in May with degrees in online journalism and political science.

While at OU, Weitzel was selected as Carnegie-Knight News21 Investigative Fellow among 30 top journalism students from around the country. She also was senior editor managing a 12-person newsroom in coordination with Oklahoma Watch, a non-profit news organization in eastern Oklahoma.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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