July 17 update: 68 new positive tests, 2 new hospitalizations, no new deaths


According to the state dashboard, Alachua County has a cumulative total of 2,465 people with COVID-19-positive test results, an increase of 68 from yesterday on 817 test results for a test positivity rate of 8.3%. The median age of positive tests (overall) in Alachua County changed from 29 to 30. Two new hospitalizations were reported, and no new deaths were reported.

The new hospitalizations are a 28-year-old female and a 54-year-old female who tested positive on July 13. It is not known whether the people who are hospitalized are admitted for COVID symptoms or tested positive after being admitted for other reasons. A few media outlets have published reports on a recent increase in the number of pregnant women who are testing positive for COVID.

Of the 1,343 people who tested positive between June 11 (the beginning of the “spike” in cases) and July 7 (cutting it off at July 7 allows a conservative 10 days from the positive test to hospitalization), only 19 (1.4%) 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 essentially flat; 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 36 days old).

Of the 68 people whose tests came back yesterday, 7 were 65 or older (the graphic shows 67 new positive tests; the state’s graphics and line list data don’t always match up).

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.

110 people (total) have been hospitalized, an increase of two from yesterday. Ten 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 114 cases. 43 of the cases are from Parklands Care Center (all staff members are now listed as negative), and Tacachale is now at 51. 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 80 cases in long-term care (no change from yesterday) and 20 cases in a correctional facility.

Available hospital bed capacity in Alachua County is 15.83%, and ICU capacity is 7.47%.

North Florida Regional has 2 ICU beds available (4% of capacity), and Shands has 21 available (8% of capacity). ICU beds are used for all intensive-care patients, not just COVID patients.

The state has 327,241 cases (an increase of 11,466 from yesterday on 65,245 new test results for a raw positive rate of 17.6%) and 4,805 deaths (an increase of 128 from yesterday, 47 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:

7/17 – 2
7/16 – 17
7/15 – 28
7/14 – 11
7/13 – 17
7/12 – 7
7/11 – 8
7/10 – 8
7/9 – 8
7/8 – 10
7/7 – 1
7/6 – 2
7/5 – 3
7/4 – 1
7/3 – 1
7/2 – 1
6/24 – 1
6/23 – 1
6/20 – 1

Here is a graph of fatalities by date for yesterday (left) and today (right). The drop in recent days is not real because, as you can see from the list above, significant numbers of reports arrive for 8-10 days. However, the number of deaths seems to have leveled off.

This graph smooths out the data by taking a 7-day average:

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 11.85%. (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 7%; Hillsborough has 7%; and Orange has 7%. Alachua County represents about 1.2% of the state’s population and 0.75% of the state’s cases (this is dropping).

54,829 test results have come back so far in Alachua County (up 817 from yesterday). 4.5% of the local tests have come back positive so far, and 68 tests came back positive since yesterday’s report, for a raw positive test rate of 8.3%. This chart is for Alachua County, so the official rate was 5.2%.

The University of Florida is reporting 48 positive tests out of 19,384 employees tested since May 6. This is a positive rate of 0.25%.

UF is also now reporting its testing of students, and it shows 151 positives out of 584 tests for a positive rate of 26%.

According to the daily report, there are 2,016 cases in Gainesville, 144 in Alachua, 94 in Newberry, 47 in Archer, 44 in High Springs, 28 in Hawthorne, 16 in Micanopy, 9 in Waldo, 8 in Santa Fe, 6 in Tioga, 5 in LaCrosse, and 2 in Earleton. 6 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 70.6 through yesterday’s cases. Here is the 7-day average of new cases for the past 14 days; it’s very close to flat, for the first time in weeks.

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.