July 21 update: 54 new positive tests, 1 new hospitalization, no new deaths


The 14-day trendline in cases continues to decrease.

According to the state dashboard, Alachua County has a cumulative total of 2,737 people with COVID-19-positive test results, an increase of 54 from yesterday on 657 test results for a raw test positivity rate of 8.2%. The median age of positive tests (overall) in Alachua County is 30. One new hospitalization was reported, and no new deaths were reported.

The new hospitalization is a 24-year-old female who visited an emergency room. She first tested positive on July 18. Keep in mind that everyone who is admitted to the hospital is tested and will be listed as a COVID hospitalization, regardless of whether COVID is their primary reason for being in the hospital.

Perhaps the best news is that data from county emergency rooms (which is delayed – it currently only goes to July 12) shows that visits peaked around July 5:

FDOH-Alachua County Administrator Paul Myers told the county commission this week that test results are taking up to 14 days to come back, so some of the 53 tests that came back today could date back to the peak on the graphs above.

Of the 1,642 people who tested positive between June 11 (the beginning of the “spike” in cases) and July 11 (cutting it off at July 11 allows a conservative 10 days from the positive test to hospitalization), only 25 (1.5%) have been hospitalized, and two have died (0.1%).

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 declining.

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 40 days old).

Of the 53 people whose tests came back yesterday, 14 were 65 or older.

A total of fourteen deaths have been reported in the county. Ten of the deaths were reportedly from one long-term care facility, Parklands Care Center. The 14 deaths were first reported as positive cases on April 9 (4), April 18 (2), April 20, April 21, April 23, May 10, May 12, May 24, July 7, and July 8.

114 people (total) have been hospitalized, an increase of one 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 92 cases, an increase of 5 from the previous report. Only 10 of the current cases are from Parklands Care Center (all staff members are now listed as negative), and Tacachale is now at 52. 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 81 cases in long-term care (no change from yesterday) and 24 cases in a correctional facility (up 4 from the last report).

Available hospital bed capacity in Alachua County is 17.69%, and ICU capacity is 10.71%.

North Florida Regional has 3 ICU beds available (6% of capacity), and Shands has 30 available (11.5% of capacity). ICU beds are used for all intensive-care patients, not just COVID patients.

The state has 369,834 cases (an increase of 9,440 from yesterday on 47,752 new test results for a raw positive rate of 19.8%) and 5,206 deaths (an increase of 134 from yesterday, 45 of which were from long-term care facilities). It is normal to see a spike in deaths on Tuesdays as a catch-up from low weekend reporting.

Here are the dates of the new deaths (I could only find 129 on the list):

7/21 – 1
7/20 – 18
7/19 – 18
7/18 – 20
7/17 – 19
7/16 – 9
7/15 – 5
7/14 – 5
7/13 – 5
7/12 – 9
7/11 – 3
7/10 – 2
7/9 – 6
7/8 – 2
7/5 – 2
7/3 – 1
7/1 – 2
6/29 – 1
6/23 – 1
5/2 – 1 removed
4/28 – 1

Here is a graph of fatalities by date through 7 days ago (although small numbers of deaths are being added to dates older than 7 days ago, recent dates will continue to have large increases for at least a week, so it’s cut off to remove large drops that will not hold up):

This graph smooths out the data by taking a 7-day moving average; it cuts off at July 14:

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 13.62%. (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 12%; Palm Beach 7%; Hillsborough has 7%; and Orange has 6%. Alachua County represents about 1.2% of the state’s population and 0.74% of the state’s cases (this is dropping).

58,340 test results have come back so far in Alachua County (up 657 from yesterday). 4.7% of the local tests have come back positive so far, and 54 tests came back positive since yesterday’s report, for a raw positive test rate of 8.2%. This chart is for Alachua County, so the official rate was 5.3%.

The University of Florida is reporting 50 positive tests out of 19,877 employees tested since May 6. This is a positive rate of 0.25%. 2 of the last 493 tests were positive, for a positive rate of 0.4%.

UF is also now reporting its testing of students, and it shows 162 positives out of 656 tests for a positive rate of 25%. 11 out of the last 72 results have come back positive, for a positive rate of 15%.

According to the daily report, there are 2,213 cases in Gainesville, 168 in Alachua, 114 in Newberry, 49 in Archer, 49 in High Springs, 34 in Hawthorne, 21 in Micanopy, 10 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 68.3 through yesterday’s cases. Here is the 7-day average of new cases for the past 14 days; the trendline is still decreasing.

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.