Weekly COVID Update 5/21: Vaccination rates increase, new COVID cases decline

Updates from May 14 through May 21 regarding COVID-19 at FAU, Palm Beach County, Florida, and the U.S.


Photo courtesy of Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Kendall Little, Managing Editor

Vaccination rates continue to increase this week while COVID cases continue to decrease. Palm Beach County notified students and parents that masks are no longer required in schools.


Currently, FAU has two active COVID-19 cases. Both reported cases are on the Boca Raton campus. As of May 21, no on-campus FAU employees are reported to have COVID-19.


The Palm Beach County school system announced that during the 2021-2022 school year, masks will be optional instead of required.

“It is important to note that if health conditions deteriorate, I reserve the authority to change course,” Superintendent Dr. Donald Fennoy said. “I cannot overstate that the health and safety of our students and staff is the School Board’s top priority.”

Masks are still required for students, faculty, and staff for the remainder of the 2020-2021 school year, which ends on June 18.

Following the CDC’s lead, Palm Beach County officials have ended their mask mandate within county buildings.

“However, the CDC further recommends that individuals who are not fully vaccinated continue to wear masks indoors and in large crowds,” the county website notes.

Businesses can still require masks inside their buildings.


The weekly average of new COVID-19 cases in Florida is still on the decline with 615 fewer cases than last week’s average. As of May 21, Florida’s weekly average of new cases is 2,839. 

Graph courtesy of the New York Times.

The state’s vaccination rate is steadily increasing with 7,792,426 fully vaccinated Floridians, or 37.83% of the population as of May 21 according to the Florida COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker.

Graph courtesy of the Florida COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker.


The United States is reporting fewer than 30,000 new COVID-19 cases per day for the first time in nearly a year according to CNBC News.

“The pace of daily infections is down 18% from one week ago, and a CNBC analysis of Hopkins data shows that daily case counts have declined by 5% or more in 40 states and the District of Columbia over the past week,” CNBC Data Visualization Journalist Nate Rattner said.

The new weekly average of COVID cases in the U.S. is just under 29,000 as of May 20.

Graph courtesy of the New York Times.

The vaccination rate in the United States has been on a steady increase since February. As of May 21, 126,605,166 Americans are fully vaccinated, or 38% of the country according to the U.S. Coronavirus vaccine tracker. 

Graph courtesy of the U.S. Coronavirus vaccine tracker.

Kendall Little is the Managing Editor for the University Press. For more information regarding this or other stories email [email protected] or tweet her @klittlewrites.