COVID Bits

* Numerous countries in Europe are increasingly returning to remote-work mandates as the continent is hammered by a brutal fourth wave of the pandemic.

* Scientists acknowledge that those previously infected with COVID have some level of immunity—but that vaccines offer a more consistent level of protection. In short, natural immunity is hardly a one-size-fits-all scenario.

* The total number of Florida pandemic deaths now exceeds 61,000. Those over 65 make up 75 percent COVID deaths in the state.

* According to the World Health Organization, states should still maintain a positivity rate of 5 percent or less for at least two weeks before fully reopening. Florida’s rate was 2.5 percent in the past week. In Hillsborough County, the rate was 4.9 percent.

* Nearly 6.6 million Floridians ages 5 and up remain unvaccinated.

* In Hillsborough County, 62 percent of eligible residents 5 and up have been vaccinated.

* “I think with vaccines on board and a large proportion of the U.S. population being vaccinated, it’s a safer Thanksgiving than it was last year. But it certainly depends on where you’re going and who you’re going to be with.”–George Washington University epidemiology professor Amanda Castel.

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