While most of Central Florida sees decline in COVID-19 cases, Sumter and Marion counties see uptick

VIDEO: While most of Central Florida sees decline in COVID-19 cases, Sumter and Marion counties see uptick

MARION COUNTY, Fla. — As children prepare to return to school, most Central Florida counties have seen cases decline faster than epidemiologists originally expected.

But a few counties aren’t making progress – they’re going in the wrong direction.

While Seminole, Osceola and Orange counties show declines after driving the area’s spike in cases in July, Marion County has seen a lot of large-scale outbreaks.

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Marion County Department of Health Administrator Mark Lander said the county’s outbreaks were mostly in corrections and long-term care facilities.

He acknowledged that cases are still too high despite daily corrections cases dropping to almost zero.

“By the CDC guidance we’re probably on the border of moderate community transmission to what can be called substantial, controlled transmission,” Lander said. “What you’re seeing is people who are in contact with other people in a way that is not safe and allows the virus to spread.”

Sumter County has the worst infection rate in Central Florida at 1.3, according to COVIDActNow.

An infection rate of 1.3 means that each infected person will, on average, infect that many people.

In other words: If 10 people catch the virus, that group will likely infect about 13 more people.

Those 13 people would infect 17 more, bringing the total to 40 people infected.

Marion County Sheriff Billy Woods recently updated his mask policy after saying citizens would be required to remove their masks inside the sheriff’s office or leave. He has now walked back on that.