Florida’s COVID-19 cases, positivity rate and deaths still falling

Florida Department of Health continues to report fewer new COVID-19 cases in its weekly reports. For Oct. 1-7, DOH reported only 25,792 new cases (3,970 a day) the smallest number in more than three months.

DOH reported 37,772 new cases (5,376) for Sept. 24-30, 56,325 new cases (8,046 a day) for Sept. 17-23 and 75,906 (10,843 a day) from Sept. 10-16.

The cumulative total since March 2020 climbed to 3,601,755.

DOH reported 100,012 new cases for the week of Sept. 3-9, 129,240 for Aug. 27-Sept. 2, 151,749 for Aug. 20-26, 150,118 for Aug. 13-19, 151,415 for Aug. 6-12 and 134,506 for July 30-Aug. 5.

DOH added 73,199 more cases to the tally for July 16-22, 45,603 for July 9-15, 23,748 for July 2-8, 15,978 for June 25-July 1 and 11,873 for June 18-24.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the transmission rate statewide in Florida remains high. The rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 decreased by 33% compared to 24% the week before.

Hospital admissions decreased by 25%. Two percent of hospitals statewide were reporting supply shortages and 18% reported staff shortages.

Death rate

DOH reported a statewide death toll of 56,667 — 1,087 more than the week of Sept. 24-30 when deaths totaled 55,580, which were 2,000 more than the week before. According to the CDC, the rate of deaths per 100,000 in Florida decreased by 78% compared to 71% the week before.

As of Oct. 7, 27 deaths had been reported in children under age 16 (three more than the week before), 389 in the age group 16-29 (12 more than the week before), 987 for ages 30-39 (40 more than the week before), 2,414 for ages 40-49 (105 more than the week before), 5,476 for ages 50-59 (199 more than the week before), 4,584 for ages 60-64 (148 more than the week before) and 42,790 for ages 64 and up (861 more than the week before).

Positivity rate

The state’s new case positivity rate continues to fall coming in at 4.8% for the week of Oct. 1-7 compared to 6.5% for Sept. 24-30, 8.6% for Sept. 17-23 and 11.2% for Sept. 10-16.

DOH reported a rate of 13.5% for the week of Sept. 3-9 and 15.2% for Aug. 27-Sept. 2, which was a decrease from 16.8% from the week of Aug. 20-26 and the first decline in the positivity rate since July.

The highest positivity rate for Oct. 1-7, 6.6% for ages 12 and under, 5.9% for ages 12-19 and 4.8% for ages 30-39.

The lowest positivity rate, 4%, was reported in ages 65 and above with 4.1% for ages 60-64 and 4.3% for ages 50-59.

Pinellas County

In Pinellas County, the new case positivity rate for Oct. 1-7 was 5.2%, down from 6.8% for Sept. 24-30, 7.9% for Sept. 17-23, 11.8% for Sept. 10-16, 14.7% for Sept. 3-9, 16.3% for Aug. 27-Sept. 2 and 18% reported for Aug. 20-26.

Pinellas County’s new case count for Oct. 1-7 was 1,078 (154 a day) compared to 1,554 (222 a day) for Sept. 24-30, 2,147 (307 a day) for Sept. 17-23 and 3,506 for the week of Sept. 10-16. The cumulative case count rose to 132,651.

The CDC reports that the transmission rate in Pinellas is high with a 31% decrease in new cases over the past seven days. New hospital admissions totaled 281. New admissions decreased by 28%. CDC reported 58 deaths in the past seven days with a death rate of 5.95 per 100,000.

Pinellas County launched its new COVID-19 dashboard Sept. 17, visit https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/dashboard/.

The dashboard includes details on testing, vaccinations and information from local hospitals. As of Oct. 9, all hospitals in the county were reporting moderate or high or stress for the percent of inpatient beds being used for COVID patients except Palms of Pasadena Hospital reporting low stress. Moderate stress was being reported for ICU beds with several not reporting stress levels.

Countywide, 69% of regular beds were in use with 10% by COVID patients. Seventy-four percent of ICU beds were in use.

The highest occupancies reported were at Baycare Alliant Hospital in Dunedin with 20% of regular beds in use by COVID patients with 97% of beds overall in use.

Information about COVID in Pinellas is available at https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/.

Vaccination rate

DOH reported that the state’s vaccination rate increased by 1% for the week of Oct. 1-7 with 72% of ages 12 and older Sept. 17-23 12 and older receiving at least one dose.

As of Sept. 30, DOH reported that 13,718,950 Floridians had received a COVID-19 shot with 1,753,762 receiving a first-dose only and 11,339,967 completing the one- or two-shot series. DOH also reported that 625,221 had taken the additional booster shot.

According to DOH, 89% of those 65 and older had received at least one shot, 84% of ages 60-64, 77% of ages 50-59, 71% of ages 40-49, 63% of ages 30-39, 53% of ages 20-29 and 55% of ages 12-19.

In Pinellas County, 597,077 had received at least one dose of vaccine out of a population of 992,298, or 67%, the same as last week. According to the county’ dashboard, 64.7% have received at least one shot, and 57.9% of residents are fully vaccinated, meaning they have received either one or two-shots as required.

United States and global numbers

According to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of 1:21 p.m. Oct. 9, 44.3 million cases and 712,856 deaths had been reported in the United States, and 237.46 million cases had been reported worldwide with 4.84 million deaths. According to the resource center, 57% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated.

Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at sporter@tbnweekly.com.