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July 14 update: 85 new positive tests, one new hospitalization, no new deaths

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

According to the state dashboard, Alachua County has a cumulative total of 2,258 people with COVID-19-positive test results, an increase of 85 from yesterday on 590 test results for a test positivity rate of 14.4%. The median age of positive tests (overall) in Alachua County remains at 29. One new hospitalization was reported, and no new deaths were reported.

The new hospitalization is a 43-year-old male who tested positive on July 12. It is not known whether that person was admitted for COVID symptoms or tested positive after being admitted for other reasons.

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Of the 1,131 people who tested positive between June 11 (the beginning of the “spike” in cases) and July 4 (cutting it off at July 4 allows a conservative 10 days from the positive test to hospitalization), only 12 (1.1%) overall have been hospitalized, and none have died.

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 33 days old).

In the state, 21% of the total cases (61,422 cases) have been in people under the age of 25. In that group, there have been 14 deaths, for a case fatality rate of 0.023%. Not 2%, but one-tenth of that. That is about 1/6 of the average fatality rate of the flu.

Of the 85 people whose tests came back yesterday, 9 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.

104 people (total) have been hospitalized, an increase of one from yesterday. Eight 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 last 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. 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. 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 7 days) and 18 cases in a correctional facility.

Available hospital bed capacity in Alachua County is 19.04%, and ICU capacity is 8.44%. 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 2 ICU beds available, but Shands has 24 available. ICU beds are used for all intensive-care patients, not just COVID patients.

The state has 291,629 cases (an increase of 9,194 from yesterday on 45,753 new test results for a raw positive rate of 20%) and 4,409 deaths (an increase of 132 from yesterday, 44 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.

Here are the dates of the new deaths:

7/13 – 10
7/12 – 26
7/11 – 21
7/10 – 21
7/9 – 14
7/8 – 9
7/7 – 5
7/6 – 7
7/5 – 8
7/4 – 5
7/2 – 1
7/1 – 1
6/30 – removed 1
6/29 – 1
6/27 – 1
6/26 – 1
6/21 – 1
6/13 – 1

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 15.02%. (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).

52,384 test results have come back so far in Alachua County (up 590 from yesterday). 4.3% of the local tests have come back positive so far, and 85 tests came back positive since yesterday’s report, for a positive test rate of 14.4%.

The University of Florida is reporting 48 positive tests out of 18,626 employees tested since May 6. This is a positive rate of 0.2%. 10 of the latest 396 tests were positive, for a positive rate of 2.5%.

UF is also now reporting its testing of students, and it shows 149 positives out of 559 tests for a positive rate of 27%. 5 of the latest 19 tests were positive, for a positive rate of 26.3%.

According to the daily report, there are 1,850 cases in Gainesville, 127 in Alachua, 88 in Newberry, 41 in High Springs, 40 in Archer, 22 in Hawthorne, 12 in Micanopy, 9 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 80.7 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.