Florida’s COVID-19 new cases and positivity rate keep going down

Florida’s new COVID-19 case count continues to go down. The Department of Health reported 19,519 (2,788 a day) for the week of Oct. 8-15, compared to 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.

The cumulative total since March 2020 climbed to 3,620,562.

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 32% compared to 33% the week before.

Hospital admissions decreased by 26%. Two percent of hospitals statewide were reporting supply shortages and 18% reported staff shortages.

Death rate

DOH reported a statewide death toll of 57,859 — 1,192 more than the week of Oct. 1-7 when deaths totaled 56,667 — 1,087 more than the week of Sept. 24-30. According to the CDC, the rate of deaths per 100,000 in Florida decreased by 86% compared to 78% the week before.

As of Oct. 14, 28 deaths had been reported in children under age 16 (one more than the week before), 400 in the age group 16-29 (11 more than the week before), 1,031 for ages 30-39 (44 more than the week before), 2,493 for ages 40-49 (79 more than the week before), 5,663 for ages 50-59 (187 more than the week before), 4,712 for ages 60-64 (128 more than the week before) and 43,532 for ages 64 and up (742 more than the week before).

Positivity rate

The state’s new case positivity rate went down again for the week of Oct. 8-14 coming in at 3.8% compared to 4.8% for the week of 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 the week of Aug. 20-26 and the first decline in the positivity rate since July.

The highest positivity rate for Oct. 8-14 was 5.3% for ages 12 and under, 4.5% for ages 12-19 and 3.7% for ages 30-39 and ages 40-49.

The lowest positivity rate, 3.3%, was reported in ages 65 and above with 3.5% for ages 60-64 and 3.4% for ages 50-59 and 20-29.

Pinellas County

In Pinellas County, the new case positivity rate for Oct. 8-14 was 3.7%, down from 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, 16.3% for Aug. 27-Sept. 2 and 18% reported for Aug. 20-26.

Pinellas County’s new case count for Oct. 8-14 was 790 (113 a day) compared to 1,078 (154 a day) for Oct. 1-7. The cumulative case count rose to 133,436.

The numbers have been declining for the past few weeks. The new case count was 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 CDC reports that the transmission rate in Pinellas is substantial instead of high as it has been for the last few months. CDC reported a 27% decrease in new cases over the past seven days. New hospital admissions totaled 266. The rate of new admissions remained the same.

CDC reported 49 deaths in the past seven days with a death rate of 5.03 per 100,000 — a 15.5% decrease from the week before.

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. 16, most hospitals in the county were reporting moderate stress with only two reporting high stress and two reporting low stress for the percent of inpatient beds being used for COVID patients. Moderate stress was being reported for ICU beds with several not reporting stress levels.

Countywide, 65% of regular beds were in use with 8% by COVID patients. Seventy percent of ICU beds were in use with 15% by a COVID patient.

The highest occupancies reported were at Baycare Alliant Hospital in Dunedin with 17% of regular beds in use by COVID patients with 96% 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 remained the same for Oct. 8-14 with 72% of ages 12 and older receiving at least one dose.

As of Oct. 14, DOH reported that 13,790,450 Floridians had received a COVID-19 shot with 1,726,325 receiving a first-dose only and 11,315,689 completing the one- or two-shot series. DOH also reported that 748,436 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, 72% of ages 40-49, 63% of ages 30-39, 54% of ages 20-29 and 55% of ages 12-19.

In Pinellas County, 599,612 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, 65.1% have received at least one shot, and 58.3% 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 2:21 p.m. Oct. 16, 44.9 million cases and 724,105 deaths had been reported in the United States, and 240.29 million cases had been reported worldwide with 4.89 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.