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Palm Beach County doing 'very well' with COVID-19 cases, health director says

'We have continued to go down,' Dr. Alina Alonso tells county commissioners
Palm Beach County health director Dr. Alina Alonso gives a COVID-19 update on June 8, 2021.jpg
Posted at 8:00 AM, Jun 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 16:09:29-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — In what was her most optimistic and hopeful presentation since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020, Palm Beach County's top health official on Tuesday delivered encouraging news about the state of the coronavirus in our community.

"We're doing very well with new cases," Dr. Alina Alonso told county commissioners. "They go up and down, but definitely a big change."

WATCH HEALTH DIRECTOR'S COMMENTS:

Palm Beach County health director gives COVID-19 update

In perhaps the most reassuring sign, Alonso said the level of COVID-19 community transmission in Palm Beach County has dropped from "substantial" to "moderate." The next level below that is "low."

COVID-19 community transmission data on June 8, 2021.jpg
COVID-19 community transmission data on June 8, 2021.

"We have continued to go down, and so has the rest of the state," Alonso said. "So that's really good."

Alonso said Palm Beach County's most recent daily COVID-19 positivity rate on June 5 was 2.8%. From May 28 through June 3 -- which includes Memorial Day weekend -- Palm Beach County's average daily positivity rate was 3.2%

Health officials aim to keep that number below 5% because that allows for more effective contact tracing.

"We have maintained that low positivity," Alonso said.

The health director said she expects to see "small increases" in cases around the July 4th holiday, as well as the holiday season later in the year, but nothing of major concern.

"Little bumps along the road, but not sustained curve going straight up because of the vaccinations and what a great job we have been doing with vaccines across the entire state of Florida," Alonso said.

According to the Florida Department of Health, 752,237 people in Palm Beach County have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, which represents 58% of the county's population.

Statewide, more than 10 million people -- or 53% of Florida's population -- have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In an effort to vaccinate as many people as possible, the Palm Beach County health department is deploying mobile vaccination units to businesses, churches, community organizations, and homebound residents.