July 9 update: 79 new positive tests, 2 new hospitalizations, no new deaths


According to the state dashboard, Alachua County has a cumulative total of 1,871 people with COVID-19-positive test results, an increase of 79 from yesterday on 727 test results for a test positivity rate of 10.9%. The median age of positive tests (overall) in Alachua County remains at 29. Two new hospitalizations were recorded: one was a 74-year-old woman who tested positive on July 6, and the other was a 102-year-old woman who tested positive on July 5.

You may recall that an important metric in the early part of the pandemic was “doubling time”: the time it took for the number of cases to double. Although Alachua County’s number of positive tests is much higher than it was before June 11, the trendline has been flat at around 75 cases per day since June 25. There is no doubling or exponential growth.

Of the 754 people who tested positive between June 11 and June 29 (cutting it off at June 29 allows a conservative 10 days from the positive test to hospitalization), only 11 (1.5%) overall have been hospitalized, and none have died.

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 28 days old).

This graph (data through July 5) 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 creeping up but hasn’t changed drastically.

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.

98 people (total) have been hospitalized, an increase of 2 from yesterday. Two 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 on 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 115 cases. 63 of the cases are from Parklands Care Center, and Tacachale is now up to 30. 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 3 days) and 6 cases in a correctional facility. 12 cases have been reported in the Alachua County Jail.

Available hospital bed capacity in Alachua County is 16.37%. 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 232,718 cases (an increase of 8,935 from yesterday on 37,247 new test results for a positive rate of 24%) and 4,009 deaths (an increase of 120 from yesterday, 35 of which were from long-term care facilities). It is normal for deaths to be high on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and perhaps particularly this week because of the 3-day weekend. There are delays in reporting deaths, and the actual date of death is not available in the state data.

A side-by-side look at the deaths-by-date chart today and the chart from a week ago shows that the new deaths in the past week aren’t all attributed to any single day but spread over at least the past month. Justin Hart has reported that 4 of the “news” deaths were in April in May, 75 in June, and 31 in July.

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 18.39%. (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 0.8% of the state’s cases.

47,777 test results have come back so far in Alachua County (up 727 from yesterday), and 45,895 tests have come back negative. 3.9% of the local tests have come back positive so far, and 79 tests came back positive since yesterday’s report, for a positive test rate of 10.9%.

The University of Florida is reporting 36 positive tests out of 17,631 employees tested since May 6 (Tuesday they said they had tested 20,817 employees). This is a positive rate of 0.2%.

According to the daily report, there are 1,549 cases in Gainesville, 93 in Alachua, 71 in Newberry, 34 in High Springs, 28 in Archer, 18 in Hawthorne, 9 in Micanopy, 8 in Waldo, 7 in Santa Fe, 6 in Tioga, 4 in LaCrosse, and 2 in Earleton. 4 cases are listed in the city of “Missing” in Alachua County, 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 77.1 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.