Health officials say Marion County seeing drop in COVID-19 cases


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Ocala, Florida — The Florida Department of Health says that Marion County is moving in a positive direction as far as local COVID-19 cases. The department says they are seeing a drop in the number of new cases reported each day and a reduction in the daily positivity rate.

“We’re seeing a 50% or more reduction in the average daily positivity rate and in the number of new cases announced each day compared to where we were one month ago,” said Department of Health in Marion County Administrator Mark Lander. “This is encouraging to see, and it shows how well mitigation measures work in minimizing the transmission of the virus.”

From cases reported Sept. 16 to 22, Marion saw an average of:

· 39 new cases per day

· 1.14 COVID-19 related deaths per day

· 4.44% daily positivity rate

In comparison, from cases reported Aug. 16 to 22, Marion saw an average of:

· 109 new cases per day

· 3 COVID-19 related deaths per day

· 11.94% daily positivity rate

“Although we are moving in the right direction in terms of COVID-19 numbers, it’s important that we don’t become complacent in fighting the spread of COVID-19,” Lander said. “We need to continue to wear masks when in public, practice social distancing, stay home when sick and follow other basic precautions to protect ourselves and others from the virus.”

Marion County is reporting 9,491 cumulative cases of COVID-19 as of this afternoon. This is an increase of 38 cases since yesterday (Sept. 21). Of Marion COVID-19 tests from Sept. 21, 5.87% were positive; the county’s cumulative positive test rate is 13.3%. The daily positivity rate for all new COVID-19 tests in Florida on Sept. 21 was 5.83%; the state’s cumulative positive rate is 13.38%.

Testing still being offered locally

The department continues to offer COVID-19 testing at the Southeastern Livestock Pavilion (2232 NE Jacksonville Road, Ocala) several days a week. Available dates are posted at

Testing runs from 8 to 10 a.m. on the scheduled dates. People who would like to be tested can line their vehicles up starting at 7:30 a.m. on each testing day. Testing will run until 10 a.m. or until the day’s available samples are used, whichever comes first. To be tested, individuals should bring a valid photo ID; minors under age 18 will only be tested if they are accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.

People should be prepared for to stay in their vehicles while waiting for testing; restroom facilities will not be available. Only people who are being tested should be in the vehicle, with the exception of parents, guardians or caregivers. No pets are permitted in the vehicle during tests. For more information, call the Marion County COVID-19 Hotline at 352-644-2590.

Residents and visitors can also be tested for COVID-19 at other local health facilities, including:

· Heart of Florida Health Center

· Langley Health Services

· Local urgent/express care facilities

· Some primary care providers

· Some pharmacies/labs

Before visiting a specific facility for a COVID-19 test, contact the business to let them know you would like to be tested. Each site may have its own procedures or availability windows for testing.

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