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June 30 update: 38 new positive tests, no new hospitalizations, no new deaths

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

According to the state dashboard, Alachua County has a cumulative total of 1197 people with COVID-19-positive test results, an increase of 38 from yesterday on 473 test results for a test positivity rate of 8%. The median age of positive tests (overall) in Alachua County remains at 29; it was 31 five days ago and 47 a few weeks ago.

This graph is for Alachua County:

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 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 28).

Comparing the 18 days before June 10 with the 18 days starting June 10 (hospitalizations and deaths are for people whose tests came back positive on these dates, not who were hospitalized or died on these dates):

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  • Before June 10: 57 cases, 7 hospitalizations, 1 death
  • After June 10: 713 cases, 9 hospitalizations, 0 deaths

Paul Myers from the Department of Health said the important thing is that the new cases have not led to a significant increase in hospitalizations. He said last Tuesday at the Alachua County Commission meeting that some of those who are testing positive may have been sick weeks ago: “We cannot differentiate between current infection with this test and, basically, a person who is continuing to excrete viral debris, which is not infectious. This test is very sensitive but not very specific, in that regard.”

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.

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

There is a lag between positive tests and hospitalizations, so if we look at the positive tests in Alachua County between June 10 and June 18, there are 196 positive tests and 5 hospitalizations, or 2.6%. The overall hospitalization rate so far in Alachua County is 8.3% of cases, so the hospitalization rate is clearly trending down.

The website with current numbers of long-term care cases in Alachua County shows 90 cases, up 15 from the previous report. Tacachale now has 8 positive residents and 7 positive staff. 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 74 cases in long-term care (no change in the past 6 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 16.14%. 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 152,434 cases (an increase of 6,093 from yesterday on 32,359 new test results for a positive rate of 18.8%) and 3,505 deaths (an increase of 58 from yesterday, 27 of which were from long-term care facilities). It is typical to see a spike in deaths on Tuesdays; this is generally attributed to a “catch-up” from weekend reporting.

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 14.57%. (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 10%; Palm Beach 9%; 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.

41,316 test results have come back so far in Alachua County (up 473 from yesterday), and 40,108 tests have come back negative. 2.9% of the local tests have come back positive so far, and 38 tests came back positive since yesterday’s report, for a positive test rate of 8.0%.

The University of Florida is reporting 23 positive tests out of 16,326 employees tested since May 6. This is a positive rate of 0.14%; 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%. 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%).

According to the daily report, there are 1006 cases in Gainesville, 48 in Alachua, 44 in Newberry, 21 in High Springs, 14 in Archer, 11 in Hawthorne, 7 in Waldo, 6 in Micanopy, 5 in Santa Fe, 4 in Tioga, and 1 in LaCrosse. 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 62.6 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.