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July 13 update: 75 new positive tests, no new hospitalizations, no new deaths

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

According to the state dashboard, Alachua County has a cumulative total of 2,173 people with COVID-19-positive test results, an increase of 75 from yesterday on 844 test results for a test positivity rate of 8.9%. The median age of positive tests (overall) in Alachua County remains at 29. No new hospitalizations were reported.

Of the 1,060 people who tested positive between June 11 (the beginning of the “spike” in cases) and July 3 (cutting it off at July 3 allows a conservative 10 days from the positive test to hospitalization), only 12 (1.1%) overall have been hospitalized, and none have died.

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Around June 11, the number of new daily cases jumped about 10-fold, but then it stayed there. So we went from 4-8 per day to 50-80 per day. Scroll to the graphs at the bottom to see that the number of cases is now rising slowly; there has been no further jump.

This is a very different disease in young people than in the very old. The fear is that the increase in young cases will spread to older people, but so far that’s not happening (and the spike is now 32 days old).

Of the 55 people whose tests came back yesterday, 11 were 65 or older.

A total of twelve deaths have been reported in the county. Ten of the deaths were reportedly from one long-term care facility, Parklands Care Center. The 12 deaths were first reported as positive cases on April 9 (4), April 18 (2), April 20, April 21, April 23, May 10, May 12, and May 24.

103 people (total) have been hospitalized, no increase from yesterday. Seven people have been added to the hospitalization total in the past week. Note that hospitalizations are not necessarily people who seek care for COVID; everyone who is admitted to the hospital for any reason is now tested, and a hospital administrator said on Tuesday during the governor’s press conference that 30%-40% of “COVID admissions” are people who are admitted for other reasons and test positive after admission. He also said they are almost always asymptomatic.

The website with current numbers of long-term care cases in Alachua County shows 108 cases, down 4 from the previous report. 44 of the cases are from Parklands Care Center (it appears that these patients are finally beginning to test negative–that’s a drop of 4 from the previous report), and Tacachale is now at 41 (up 5). The chart says, “The data is not cumulative but reflects the information available for current residents and staff with cases as of yesterday’s date.” (The top line shows totals for the state.)

The county report shows a cumulative total of 78 cases in long-term care (the same for the past 6 days) and 9 cases in a correctional facility. 13 cases have been reported in the Alachua County Jail.

Available hospital bed capacity in Alachua County is 20.56%, and ICU capacity is 14.94%. You may have seen stories about hospital capacity around the state, tying the increased number of patients to COVID. The truth is that the increased number of patients is from elective procedures that were delayed during the pandemic.

North Florida Regional only has 3 ICU beds available, but Shands has 43 available. Since we’ve only had a few new hospitalizations in the past week, it appears that most of these patients are from out of the county.

The state has 282,435 cases (an increase of 12,624 from yesterday on 65,800 new test results for a positive rate of 19.2%) and 4,277 deaths (an increase of 35 from yesterday, 14 of which were from long-term care facilities). Deaths are delayed and may go all the way back to March. At the same time, the number of deaths that actually occurred yesterday could increase at any time in the next few months.

The state also publishes a chart of the percentage of new tests that are positive by day (this chart is for the whole state), and yesterday’s positive rate was 11.51%. (The state charts only count people who test positive for the first time, and they may assign results to a different date than the day the test result came back. Our calculations are just positives/total tests for new results.)

Dade County has 24% of the state’s cases. Broward has 11%; Palm Beach 8%; Hillsborough has 7%; and Orange has 7%. Alachua County represents about 1.2% of the state’s population and 0.77% of the state’s cases (this is dropping).

51,794 test results have come back so far in Alachua County (up 844 from yesterday). 4.2% of the local tests have come back positive so far, and 75 tests came back positive since yesterday’s report, for a positive test rate of 8.9%.

The University of Florida is reporting 38 positive tests out of 18,230 employees tested since May 6. This is a positive rate of 0.2%.

UF is also now reporting its testing of students, and it shows 144 positives out of 540 tests for a positive rate of 27%.

According to the daily report, there are 1,780 cases in Gainesville, 119 in Alachua, 85 in Newberry, 41 in High Springs, 39 in Archer, 21 in Hawthorne, 12 in Micanopy, 8 in Waldo, 7 in Santa Fe, 6 in Tioga, 5 in LaCrosse, and 2 in Earleton. 5 cases are listed in the city of “Missing” in Alachua County, and 1 case is erroneously listed in “Wesley Chapel” in Alachua County. Location data is not available for all cases.

The 7-day moving average of new cases is at 77.7 through yesterday’s cases. Here is the 7-day average of new cases for the past 14 days.

Testing information

Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing
The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County (DOH-Alachua) is offering drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Wednesdays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and Fridays from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. DOH-Alachua is offering COVID-19 testing to Alachua County residents, regardless of symptoms. Residents who want a COVID-19 test are asked to call 352-334-8810 for an appointment. A referral from a doctor is not required. If your insurance covers this, it will be billed (no copay is required). If not, it is free.

COVID-19 Testing Results Phone Line
The Department of Health in Alachua County has set up a dedicated line for residents to call for COVID-19 test results. The phone number is 352-334-8828, and it is staffed Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.