HomeHealthJune 18 update: 20 new positive tests, no new hospitalizations, one new death
June 18 update: 20 new positive tests, no new hospitalizations, one new death
June 18, 2020
BY JENNIFER CABRERA
According to the state dashboard, Alachua County has a cumulative total of 600 people with COVID-19-positive test results, an increase of 20 from yesterday on 162 test results. One new death has been reported, a 71-year-old woman who first tested positive on May 10.
82 of the last 100 positive tests were under the age of 50, the group that is least likely to have serious consequences of the illness.
Paul Myers from the Department of Health said the important thing is that the new cases have not led to an increase in hospitalizations. The new cases include household members of previous positive cases and students who were sick in May. Myers said that those who were sick in May have recovered and are not contagious, but the tests can still detect inactive virus. Because the dead/inactive virus can be present for so long, the new standard in health care situations is that people who test positive for COVID-19 can return to work 14 days after their last symptom; the previous standard of 2 negative tests was unnecessarily keeping people out of work because it was picking up inactive virus for a long time after recovery.
A total of eleven deaths have been reported in the county. Nine of the deaths were reportedly from one long-term care facility, Parklands Care Center. The 11 deaths were first reported as positive cases on April 9 (4), April 18 (2), April 20, April 21, April 23, May 10, and May 12.
84 people (total) have been hospitalized, a decrease of 1 from yesterday (meaning that yesterday’s increase was an error). 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 Alachua County Health Department typically reports a higher number that includes non-residents, which are not shown on the dashboard.
The website with current numbers of long-term care cases in Alachua County shows 71 cases, no change in the past 3 days. 58 of the cases are from Parklands Care Center. 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 71 cases in long-term care (same as the last report) 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 14.18%. 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 85,926 cases (an increase of 3,207 from yesterday on 25,556 new test results for a positive rate of 12.5%) and 3,061 deaths (an increase of 43 from yesterday, 24 of which were from long-term care facilities).
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 8.81%. Reportedly, testing in migrant farmworker communities with high positivity rates (because the workers live in close quarters) are driving up the percentage of positive tests. (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 28% of the state’s cases. Broward has 12%; Palm Beach 12%; Hillsborough has 5%; Orange has 5%, and Lee has 4%. Alachua County represents about 1.2% of the state’s population and 0.7% of the state’s cases.
32,348 test results have come back so far in Alachua County (up 162 from yesterday), and 31,738 tests have come back negative. Only 1.85% of the local tests have come back positive so far, and 20 tests came back positive since yesterday’s report, for a positive test rate of 12.35%.
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%):
According to the daily report, there are 483 cases in Gainesville, 26 in Alachua, 24 in Newberry, 13 in High Springs, 8 in Hawthorne, 5 in Waldo, 4 in Tioga, 4 in Micanopy, 4 in Archer, 1 in LaCrosse, and 1 in Santa Fe. 4 cases are listed in the city of “Missing” in Alachua County. Location data is not available for all cases.
The 7-day moving average of new cases is at 20.9 through yesterday’s cases (the agricultural outbreak will skew the numbers for a while). Here is the 7-day average of new cases for the past 14 days.
Cases by zip code
I’m not going to type out the cases by zip code any more. If you’re interested, you can find them on the “Cases by Zip Code” tab of the dashboard.
Drive-Thru COVID-19 Testing The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County (DOH-Alachua) is offering evening drive-thru COVID-19 testing on Wednesdays, from 4-7 p.m. This is in addition to their regular testing schedule. 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.