As COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to spike in Volusia County, vaccination is on the rise, too.
“There’s been a notable increase in the number of individuals trying to get vaccinated,” Ethan Johnson, a spokesman for the Florida Department of Health in Volusia County, told The Beacon. “… I guess that’s the silver lining.”
As of Aug. 5, some 58 percent of Volusia County’s 552,238 residents eligible to be vaccinated for COVID-19 had gotten at least one shot.
From July 30 to Aug. 5, a total of 7,819 people received COVID-19 vaccines in Volusia County, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The week before, 6,458 people got COVID-19 shots. During the week of June 11-16, that number was just over 2,000.
“It does appear this spike of cases and the delta variant has increased the number of people looking to get vaccinated,” Johnson said.
The COVID spike has been dramatic in Volusia County.
From June 1 to Aug. 4, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 33-percent increase in the number of hospital admissions for COVID-19 in Volusia County.
From July 23 to 29, Volusia County reported 3,495 new cases of COVID-19. That was down slightly during the week of July 30 to Aug. 5, when Volusia County registered 3,255 new cases.
Statewide as of Aug. 9, a new record was broken on Aug. 8 when Florida reported 28,317 new COVID-19 cases in one day. The previous record was set just two days prior, on Aug. 6, when the CDC recorded 23,903 new cases.
As hospitals fill up, local doctors and hospital systems are urging people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Both AdventHealth Central Florida and Halifax Health reported that unvaccinated hospital patients make up roughly 90 percent of all COVID-19 hospitalizations.
Local pharmacies, including those at Publix, CVS and Walgreens, are offering vaccines on a walk-in basis. Those wanting vaccines should bring identification and insurance cards, if they have insurance.
The vaccines are free, regardless of insurance.
Where can I get tested?
With the spike in COVID-19 cases locally, the demand for tests has also risen.
COVID-19 testing is still available in Volusia County, but not as readily as before vaccines were widely available.
The Volusia County Department of Health offers testing by appointment only from 7:30 to 10:30 a.m. Mondays and Thursdays at 1845 Holsonback Drive in Daytona Beach.
Due to a limited number of tests, individuals must be experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with an individual who has tested positive.
The Volusia County Department of Health’s Ethan Johnson told The Beacon they hope to offer additional days for testing in the coming weeks.
To make an appointment, call the Volusia County Department of Health at 386-274-0500 and press the pound sign to reach the COVID-19 Call Center. COVID-19 testing at the Volusia County Department of Health is free.
Family Health Source clinics offer tests by appointment. Call 386-202-6025 to schedule.
Local pharmacies and other health agencies are also offering COVID-19 tests.
Walgreens and CVS pharmacies offer free COVID-19 testing by online appointment only for individuals with health insurance. Appointments may be limited.
More information about COVID-19 testing locations can be found online at the Florida Department of Health, www.floridahealthcovid19.gov/testing-sites/.