July 5 update: 72 new positive tests, no new hospitalizations, no new deaths


According to the state dashboard, Alachua County has a cumulative total of 1578 people with COVID-19-positive test results, an increase of 72 from yesterday on 517 test results for a test positivity rate of 13.9%. The median age of positive tests (overall) in Alachua County remains at 29.

These charts show the age distribution of cases in Alachua County and a comparison of the ages of cases before and after June 10. The migrant worker tests first started coming in on June 10, and protests with large numbers of participants occurred on the weekend of June 13. (Scroll down to the graphs at the bottom to see how they change around June 18-19, which is when you would expect to start seeing infections from a June 13 event.)

The age distribution changed markedly around June 10. Before June 10, 36% of positive tests were 35 or under; after June 10, 73% of positive tests were 35 or under.

As of June 30, the case fatality rate for those 35 and under in Alachua County is 0%; in Florida, it’s 0.04%, less than half the accepted fatality rate of flu (which ranges from 0.1% to 0.18%). The hospitalization rate for those who test positive and are 35 or under in Alachua County is 1.8%; in Florida, it’s 2.1%.

Of the 503 cases between June 11 and June 25 (cutting it off at June 25 allows a conservative 10 days from the positive test to hospitalization), only 8 (1.6%) overall have been hospitalized, and none have died.

The top chart shows the number of cases overall in each age group; the bottom one shows the percentage of cases in each age group before and after June 10 (as of June 30).

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 25 days old).

This graph (data through June 30) shows the actual number of daily cases by age group. You can see the spike around June 11 from the migrant farm workers and a second one around June 18, possibly from the large student gatherings in protests on the weekend of June 13. You can also see that the number of positive tests in older people is unchanged.

This is the same graph, but using a 7-day moving average:

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.

96 people (total) have been hospitalized, no increase in the past 3 days. Three 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.

The website with current numbers of long-term care cases in Alachua County shows 108 cases. 63 of the cases are from Parklands Care Center, and Tacachale is now up to 26. 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 76 cases in long-term care (no change in the past 2 days) and 2 cases in a correctional facility (I’ve been told that both of these are related to correctional facilities in other counties).

Available bed capacity in Alachua County is 24.15%. 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.

The state has 200,111 cases (an increase of 10,059 from yesterday on 53,768 new test results for a positive rate of 18.7%) and 3,731 deaths (an increase of 29 from yesterday, 16 of which were from long-term care facilities). There are delays in reporting deaths, and I haven’t figured out how to tell the actual date of death, but there is some evidence that not all of the deaths that are currently being reported are recent.

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 15.04%. (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 0.79% of the state’s cases.

45,208 test results have come back so far in Alachua County (up 517 from yesterday), and 43,619 tests have come back negative. 3.5% of the local tests have come back positive so far, and 72 tests came back positive since yesterday’s report, for a positive test rate of 13.9%.

The University of Florida is reporting 34 positive tests out of 17,290 employees tested since May 6. This is a positive rate of 0.2%; it is unclear whether these negative test results are included in the overall numbers for Alachua County (positive test results are required to be reported). If they’re not included, the overall positivity rate for Alachua County (assuming these employees are Alachua County residents) drops to 2.5%. We are trying to get more information about this, but officials at UF are unsure whether their negative test results are included in the DOH results, and DOH hasn’t answered our question about the number of tests they’ve done in Alachua County.

Here is the official graph for Alachua County:

Also, here is the graph for the percentage of emergency department visits for cough, fever, and shortness of breath (normal baseline is around 2%). The line list of cases confirms what this graph shows: many more people are going to the emergency room than are being admitted to the hospital.

According to the daily report, there are 1303 cases in Gainesville, 82 in Alachua, 60 in Newberry, 31 in High Springs, 21 in Archer, 16 in Hawthorne, 8 in Micanopy, 8 in Waldo, 5 in Santa Fe, 4 in Tioga, 3 in LaCrosse, and 2 in Earleton. 4 cases are listed in the city of “Missing” in Alachua County, 1 each is listed in “Port Richey” and “Wesley Chapel” in Alachua County. Location data is not available for all cases.

The 7-day moving average of new cases is at 66.1 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.

    The COVID-19 RT-PCR test is a real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (rRT-PCR).

    The RT-PCR test can be easily manipulated. The virus can be made to go away (test negative) by reducing the number of chain reaction amplification cycles. The test can also be manipulated to show false positives by increasing the number of chain reaction amplification cycles.

    COVID19 PCR Tests are Scientifically Meaningless – Though the whole world relies on RT-PCR to “diagnose” Sars-Cov-2 infection, the science is clear: they are not fit for purpose

    MIQE stands for “Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments”, a set of guidelines that describe the minimum information necessary for evaluating publications on Real-Time PCR, also called quantitative PCR, or qPCR.

    The inventor himself, Kary Mullis, agreed, when he stated: “If you have to go more than 40 cycles to amplify a single-copy gene, there is something seriously wrong with your PCR.”

    The MIQE guidelines have been developed under the aegis of Stephen A. Bustin, Professor of Molecular Medicine, a world-renowned expert on quantitative PCR and author of the book A-Z of Quantitative PCR which has been called “the bible of qPCR.”

    In a recent podcast interview Bustin points out that “the use of such arbitrary Cq cut-offs is not ideal, because they may be either too low (eliminating valid results) or too high (increasing false “positive” results).”


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