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July 23 update: 81 new positive tests, 3 new hospitalizations, 1 new death

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

The 14-day trendline in cases continues to decrease.

According to the state dashboard, Alachua County has a cumulative total of 2,890 people with COVID-19-positive test results, an increase of 81 from yesterday on 734 test results for a raw test positivity rate of 11%. The median age of positive tests (overall) in Alachua County is 30. Three new hospitalizations were reported, and one new death was reported.

The new death is a 72-year-old female who previously visited the emergency room and was hospitalized. She tested positive on July 13 and reported first showing symptoms on July 8.

The new hospitalizations are the 72-year-old female who died, a 53-year-old female who tested positive on July 9, and a 68-year-old female who tested positive on July 9. 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:

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On Tuesday, Governor DeSantis said at a press conference that statewide emergency department visits peaked at 2500 per day on July 7 but are now at 1000 per day.

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

Of the 1,817 people who tested positive between June 11 (the beginning of the “spike” in cases) and July 13 (cutting it off at July 13 allows a conservative 10 days from the positive test to hospitalization), only 35 (1.9%) have been hospitalized, and 5 have died (0.3%).

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.

Of the 81 people whose tests came back yesterday, 8 were 65 or older (the chart shows 80 because the state data doesn’t always match up):

A total of sixteen deaths have been reported in the county. Ten of the deaths were reportedly from one long-term care facility, Parklands Care Center, and one was from Brookdale. The 16 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 1, July 7, July 8, and July 13.

120 people (total) have been hospitalized, an increase of three from yesterday. Twelve 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. 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 85 cases in long-term care (an increase of 4 from yesterday) and 24 cases in a correctional facility (no change from yesterday).

Available hospital bed capacity in Alachua County is 13.44%, and ICU capacity is 5.88%.

North Florida Regional has 1 ICU bed available (2% of capacity), and Shands has 17 available (6.5% of capacity). ICU beds are used for all intensive-care patients, not just COVID patients.

The state has 389,868 cases (an increase of 10,249 from yesterday on 56,444 new test results for a raw positive rate of 18.2%) and 5,518 deaths (an increase of 173 from yesterday, 62 of which were from long-term care facilities).

Here are the dates of the new deaths:

7/22 – 20
7/21 – 37
7/20 – 21
7/19 – 13
7/18 – 12
7/17 – 15
7/16 – 7
7/15 – 8
7/14 – 4
7/13 – 6
7/12 – 5
7/11 – 7
7/10 – 3
7/9 – 3
7/6 – 1
7/5 – 3
7/4 – 2
7/3 – 3
7/2 – 1
6/28 – 2

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 15:

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 12.31%. (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).

59,809 test results have come back so far in Alachua County (up 734 from yesterday). 4.8% of the local tests have come back positive so far, and 81 tests came back positive since yesterday’s report, for a raw positive test rate of 11%. This chart is for Alachua County, so the official rate was 5.9%.

The University of Florida is reporting 54 positive tests out of 20,323 employees tested since May 6. This is a positive rate of 0.27%. 4 of the last 446 tests were positive, for a positive rate of 0.9%.

UF is also now reporting its testing of students, and it shows 163 positives out of 686 tests for a positive rate of 24%. 1 out of the last 30 results have come back positive, for a positive rate of 3.3%. While employee tests are mandatory, students are only required to be tested if they “fail” the screening questionnaire; they can also opt to be voluntarily tested.

According to the daily report, there are 2,324 cases in Gainesville, 185 in Alachua, 125 in Newberry, 54 in High Springs, 53 in Archer, 36 in Hawthorne, 22 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, 1 case is erroneously listed in “Wesley Chapel” in Alachua County, and 1 case is in “Unk” in Alachua County. Location data is not available for all cases.

The 7-day moving average of new cases is at 70.7 through yesterday’s cases. Here is the 7-day average of new cases for the past 14 days; the trendline continues to trend downward.

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.

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