To stay connected with our comprehensive coverage of COVID-19 in Florida, sign up for our Coronavirus Watch newsletter.
As new coronavirus infections plummet across Florida, the state's death toll ramped up for the second week in a row, but not as fast as during last year's summertime surge.
Florida logged 288,638 COVID-19 infections this week, state health officials reported Friday. That's a big drop from last week, but still 32 times higher than the mid-November lull in new cases.
Florida's total case count stands at 5,280,903. More than 1 million of those came since Dec. 31.
Meanwhile, 26.8% of new tests have come back positive, a fall from 31.2% recorded Jan. 7.
COVID-19 charts: Latest data for Florida
Is the omicron wave over? COVID-19 omicron wave nearly over in northern Palm Beach County, sewage tests show
In Palm Beach County, positivity levels have fallen to 24.8% from 31.2% in the same time period.
As the latest wave of coronavirus infections driven by the pathogen's omicron variant recedes, Florida's death toll is rising slower than the summer surge triggered by the delta strain.
It has been eight weeks since weekly COVID-19 cases began rising again. The state added 605 people to its fatality count this week. Deaths can take weeks to be processed and make their way into state statistics.
In the eighth week of the delta surge, Aug. 13, Florida's death toll rose by 1,071.
COVID deaths in Florida nearing 64,000
At least 63,763 residents have succumbed to the respiratory disease so far, the state reported. That number in Palm Beach County is 4,481, according to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. State health officials stopped publishing county-level fatality data in June.
The effects of omicron have been milder than delta, in part because millions more Florida residents are vaccinated now than five months ago.
At least 15,141,101 of Florida's 21.5 million residents have gotten at least one shot, health officials reported, covering 73% of the eligible population.
The state recorded just 73,458 newly vaccinated people this week, the lowest level since Nov. 12.
At least 4,776,938 residents have received booster shots, the highest level of protection against the omicron variant.
Unvaccinated COVID-19 patients continue to fill hospital beds.
Support local journalism. Become an all access-digital subscriber to any of our Florida publications.
Medical staff in Florida are tending to 11,121 patients, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported Friday. That includes 1,607 in intensive-care units.
Hospitalizations have hovered above 11,000 for about a week after skyrocketing by more than 1,000% since late November, suggesting they're peaking.
About 72% of patients in Miami-Dade County lacked vaccination, the county reported Friday. Palm Beach County stopped collecting such details from hospitals in October.
Just 28% of patients in Miami-Dade had been vaccinated, including 3.6% who received booster shots.
Chris Persaud is a data reporter for The Palm Beach Post.
This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Florida COVID deaths rise for second week as omicron wave recedes