COVID-19 fatality rate is still dropping rapidly in Florida


This is an update of the information in our July 10July 15, July 24 , and July 30 articles on this topic. The graph above shows that even with the deaths through August 10 added to the data, the death rate for people who tested positive for COVID in June or July was much lower than it was in April.

There has been a great deal of concern about rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in Florida, but the real question is whether these cases translate into correspondingly large numbers of deaths; as we’ll show below, this is unlikely because people who get sick now are far less likely to suffer adverse consequences than they were in April or May.

We used Florida’s case line data (August 10 update), which does not exaggerate the number of cases because it includes one line per person. It also shows whether or not that person was hospitalized or passed away (but not the date of either). Using this data allows a comparison of cases to deaths without worrying about a specific lag time for the disease process. The graphs include the entire state instead of Alachua County because the county didn’t have enough COVID-19 deaths over that period to make the data meaningful.

The graphs below show the percentage of daily cases that later died, regardless of death date (i.e., the graph shows the percentage of people who tested positive on each date who later died). The overall rate has dropped dramatically since the start of May. The 65+ rate has been dropping since mid-April and started dropping even faster after May 27. Note that these graphs stop with people who tested positive on July 15, allowing two weeks for the cases to resolve.

This table shows how the overall average COVID-19 death rate has dropped by 71%, from 6.56% in April to 1.91% in June (up from 1.44% in the July 15 update); the death rate for those over 65 has dropped by 42%, from 20.74% to 11.99%; and the death rate for people under 65 has dropped by 65%, from 1.39% to 0.49%.

Jul (1-26)1.18%7.43%0.26%

The following graphs show how the case fatality rate has changed since the beginning of April for all cases, for people over 65, and for people under 65.

  • So, if your parents both get it, the chance of one of them dying is only 1 in 10. I imagine that they are fine with that. And the chance of both of them dying is a mere one in 400, so one of them is very likely to survive. Is that a chance you’re willing to take? I guess they’ve had good lives. Also, are the rates really going down, or is it only because we have marginally better testing? What is the source of your data? I don’t see any footnotes.

    • And here we go with the very tired: “So you’re okay with people dying?” so-called “argument”.

  • All data is linked to (green text). Obviously elderly people should take precautions. Even in the elderly, though, a large percentage of cases are asymptomatic and never identified, so the fatality rate is 6-24 times lower than the case fatality rates here. We don’t know why the fatality rate is going down, but it likely has a lot to do with better treatments and possibly a different strain of the virus (more contagious, less lethal).

  • It has already killed the ones that were most susceptible…..if we hadn’t shut down this would have all taken place a lot sooner and we could move on.

    • What an ignorant statement with such disregard for human life. Would you be saying the same if your friends and family had been on a ventilator for 6 weeks before they died? Your wife, mother, child? But that’s ok, cause now they have finally died we can move on. We have a family member who is dying from this now and I can tell you we aren’t ready to move on. And we will do everything we can to make sure we stay shut down to protect our loved ones. It’s a shame you aren’t willing to do the same.

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