Downward trend continues with Florida’s COVID-19 cases, positivity rates

Florida Department of Health reported 12,280 (about 1,754 a day) new COVID-19 cases for the week of Oct. 22-28, bringing the cumulative total since March 2020 to 3,647,277.

Case numbers were down as they have been for the past several weeks. DOH reported 15,314 (about 2,187 a day) for the week of Oct. 15-21, 19,519 (2,788 a day) for the week of Oct. 8-14 and 25,792 (3,970 a day) for Oct. 1-7.

DOH reported 37,772 new cases (5,376 a day) 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, 100,012 new cases for the week of Sept. 3-9 and 129,240 for Aug. 27-Sept. 2,

Previously DOH reported 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 substantial.

Death rate

DOH reported a statewide death count of 59,670 for Oct. 22-28 — 868 more than the week of Oct. 15-21. As of Oct. 28, 29 deaths had been reported in children under age 16 (the same number as the week before), 412 in the age group 16-29 (four more than the week before), 1,088 for ages 30-39 (33 more than the week before), 2,620 for ages 40-49 (56 more than the week before), 5,927 for ages 50-59 (120 more than the week before), 4,876 for ages 60-64 (80 more than the week before) and 44,718 for ages 64 and up (574 more than the week before).

Positivity rate

The state’s new case positivity rate continues to go down, coming in at 3.0% for Oct. 22-28 compared to 3.4% for Oct. 15-21, 3.8% for 8-14, 4.8% for Oct. 1-7, 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 Aug. 20-26 and the first decline in the positivity rate since July.

By age group, the highest new case positivity rate for Oct. 22-28 was 3.8% for ages 12 and under, 3.5% for ages 12-19 and 3.1% for ages 30-39.

The lowest positivity rate, 2.5%, was reported in ages 65 and above with ages 60-64 and ages 50-59 coming in at 2.8%.

Pinellas County

In Pinellas County, the new case positivity rate for Oct. 22-28 fell to 2.1% compared to 3% for Oct. 15-21, 3.7% for Oct. 8-14, 5.2% for Oct. 1-7, 6.8% for Sept. 24-30, 7.9% for Sept. 17-23, 11.8% for Sept. 10-16, 14.7% for Sept. 3-9 and 16.3% for Aug. 27-Sept.

Pinellas County’s new case count for Oct. 22-28 was 397 (about 57 a day) compared to 559 (about 80 a day) for Oct. 15-21, 790 (113 a day) for Oct. 8-14, 1,078 (154 a day) for Oct. 1-7.

The cumulative case count rose to 134,378.

The CDC reports that the transmission rate in Pinellas is moderate down from substantial as of last week. It had been high for most of the summer months. CDC reported a 27% decrease in new cases over the past seven days. New hospital admissions totaled 206. The rate of new admissions went down by 12%. CDC reported 20 deaths in the past seven days with a death rate of 2.05 per 100,000 — a 52% decrease from the week before.

Pinellas County launched its new COVID-19 dashboard in mid-September, visit https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/dashboard/.

The dashboard includes details on testing, vaccinations and information from local hospitals. As of Oct. 21, four of the county’s hospitals were reporting moderate stress and four were reporting low stress.

Countywide, the stress level was low with 66% of regular beds in use with 3% by COVID patients. Sixty-nine percent of ICU beds were in use with 9% by a COVID patient.

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

Vaccination rate

DOH reported that the state’s vaccination rate remained the same for Oct. 22-28 with 73% of ages 12 and older receiving at least one dose.

As of Oct. 28, DOH reported that 13,932,791 Floridians had received a COVID-19 shot with 1,727,187 receiving a first-dose only and 11,089,145 completing the one- or two-shot series. DOH also reported that 1,116,459 had taken the additional booster shot.

According to DOH, 89% of those 65 and older had received at least one shot, 85% of ages 60-64, 78% of ages 50-59, 73% of ages 40-49, 64% of ages 30-39, 55% of ages 20-29 and 56% of ages 12-19.

In Pinellas County, 604,459 had received at least one dose of vaccine out of a population of 992,298, or 68%, the same percentage as last week. According to the county’ dashboard, 65.9% have received at least one shot, and 59% 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 4:22 p.m. Oct. 30, 45.9 million cases and 745,672 deaths had been reported in the United States, and 246.3 million cases had been reported worldwide with 4.99 million deaths. According to the resource center, 58% of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated.

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