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June 5 update: 5 new positive test results; 0.51% of tests are positive

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

The big headline in other outlets yesterday was that Florida had a record-high number of positive test results in a single day. The context they left out is that Florida is doing a very large number of tests; only 3.37% of yesterday’s test results were positive.

According to the state dashboard, Alachua County has a cumulative total of 392 people with COVID-19-positive test results, an increase of 5 from yesterday on 974 test results, for a positive test rate of 0.51%.

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Eight deaths have been reported in the county. Seven of the eight deaths were reportedly from one long-term care facility, Parklands Care Center. The 8 deaths were first reported as positive cases on April 9 (3), April 18 (2), April 20, April 21, and April 23.

79 people (total) have been hospitalized, an increase of 2 from yesterday. The Alachua County Health Department typically reports a higher number that includes 4 non-residents, which are not shown on the dashboard.

The website with current numbers of long-term care cases in Alachua County shows 72 cases in these facilities, down 2 from yesterday. 58 of the cases are from Parklands Care Center. The 92 cases at Signature Healthcare are a typographical error. 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 69 cases in long-term care (same as the last report) and 3 cases in a correctional facility (I’ve been told that all of these are related to correctional facilities in other counties).

Available bed capacity in Alachua County is 14.1%.

The state has 61,488 cases (an increase of 1,305 from yesterday on 27,913 new test results for a positive rate of 4.7%) and 2,660 deaths (an increase of 53 from yesterday, 36 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 3.37%. (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 31% of the state’s cases. Broward has 12%; Palm Beach 11%; Orange has 4%, and Hillsborough has 4%. Alachua County represents about 1.2% of the state’s population and 0.64% of the state’s cases.

23,399 test results have come back so far in Alachua County (up 974 from yesterday), and 23,000 tests have come back negative. Only 1.7% of the local tests have come back positive so far, and 5 of yesterday’s tests came back positive, for a positive test rate of 0.51%.

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 306 cases in Gainesville, 18 in Newberry, 15 in Alachua, 9 in Hawthorne, 8 in High Springs, 4 in Waldo, 4 in Tioga, 4 in Micanopy, 1 in LaCrosse, 1 in Santa Fe, and 1 in Archer. 1 case is 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 1.7 through yesterday’s cases. Here is the 7-day average of new cases for the past 14 days. Note that when the average is around 2-4 new cases per day, as it is now (the 7-day moving average has not been over 4 since May 13 and has not been over 5 since April 26), it’s unlikely that we’ll see sustained declines from that number, particularly when we’re doing a lot of testing, as we have been.

Also, we are learning more about the prevalence of false positives in COVID-19 PCR testing; this paper (not yet peer-reviewed) calculates a conservative false positive rate (FPR) of 0.8% and states “The reliability of positive results dropped to near zero in these cases when test positivity approached the estimated FPR.” Our test positivity (see bar chart above) has hovered in the 1% range.

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.

Testing information

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.