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September 22 update: 70 new positive tests, 2 new deaths

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

According to the state dashboard, Alachua County has a cumulative total of 7,651 people with COVID-19-positive test results, an increase of 70 from yesterday, with an official test positivity rate of 5.75%. The median age of positive tests (overall) in Alachua County has dropped to 27 after 18 straight days of high numbers of positive results in the 15-24 age group. 2 new deaths were reported.

The people who died were a 67-year-old male who tested positive on June 9, visited an emergency room, and was hospitalized; and an 81-year-old female who tested positive on July 20 and has “unknown” emergency room and hospitalization information.

Of the people whose positive tests came back yesterday, 10 were 65 or older, and 25 (43%) were college-aged.

Alachua County Public Schools now has a dashboard for positive tests in the school system. The section for active cases shows 1 student each at Stephen Foster Elementary, Irby Elementary, Littlewood Elementary, Terwilliger Elementary, Wiles Elementary, Howard Bishop Middle, Hawthorne Jr./Sr. High, Kanapaha Middle, Eastside High, Newberry High, and Santa Fe High; 4 students at Buchholz High; 1 staff each at Chiles Elementary, High Springs Community, Littlewood Elementary, Norton Elementary, Talbot Elementary, Ft. Clarke Middle, Hawthorne Jr./Sr. High, Buchholz High, Newberry High, the District Office, and the Manning Center; and 2 staff at Hidden Oak Elementary,

The weekly report on emergency room visits for COVID-like illness is out and shows that while the number of positive tests increased sharply during the weeks of September 6 and September 13, the number of people visiting emergency rooms for COVID-like symptoms actually decreased, meeting the criteria for 14-day declining ED visits:

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A total of 48 deaths have been reported in the county, 18 of which were in long-term care. Nine of the deaths were reportedly from one long-term care facility, Parklands Care Center, and 9 were from other long-term care facilities. The 48 deaths were first reported as positive cases on April 9 (4), April 18 (2), April 20, April 21, April 23, May 10, May 12, May 24, June 9, June 23, June 28, June 29, July 1, July 6 (2), July 7, July 8, July 9 (2), July 13, July 16, July 20, July 21, July 22, July 24 (2), July 27, August 2, August 4, August 5, August 8, August 10 (2), August 12, August 13, August 14, August 15 (2), August 16, August 17, August 21, August 24 (2), and September 2.

380 people (total) have been hospitalized, an increase of 5 from the previous count; the total hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 (which includes non-residents) is 77, up 5 from yesterday.

The website with current numbers of institutional care cases in Alachua County shows 171 cases, up 2 from the previous report. 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 313 cases in long-term care (up 4 from yesterday) and 155 cases in a correctional facility (up 1 from yesterday).

Available hospital bed capacity in Alachua County is 12.73%, and ICU capacity is 9.09%.

North Florida Regional has 7 ICU beds available (14.6% of capacity), and Shands has 21 available (8% of capacity). ICU beds are used for all intensive-care patients, not just COVID patients.

The overall number of people (from all counties) hospitalized here for COVID-19 increased from 72 to 77.

State COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped from 2,574 a week ago to 2,319 today.

The state has 687,909 cases (an increase of 2,470 from yesterday, 20% of which were in the 15-24 age group) and 13,417 deaths (a net increase of 99 from yesterday, 44 of which were from long-term care facilities).

Changes in the number of deaths were reported on 43 different dates, going back to July 4. The peaks are on July 23 (208), July 30 (211), and August 5 (210), and the 7-day moving average peak is July 25 (201), with a second peak on August 5 (201).

Here are the actual dates of death:

9/22 – 1
9/21 – 12
9/20 – 10
9/19 – 4
9/18 – 6
9/17 – 3
9/16 – 2
9/15 – 3
9/14 – 3
9/13 – 1
9/12 – 1
9/11 – 2
9/7 – 2
9/6 – 2
9/5 – 5
9/4 – 1
9/3 – 2
9/1 – 1
8/31 – 3
8/29 – 3
8/28 – 4
8/27 – 1
8/26 – 3
8/21 – 1
8/20 – 1
8/19 – 4
8/18 – 3
8/17 – 1
8/15 – 1
8/14 – 4
8/9 – 1
8/8 – 1
8/4 – 1
8/2 – 1
7/30 – 1
7/29 – removed 1
7/28 – 1
7/27 – 1
7/25 – 1
7/24 – 1
7/23 – removed 1
7/21 – 1
7/4 – 1

These are not totals by day; they’re increments added today.

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 5.88%. (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.)

In Alachua County, the official positivity rate yesterday was 5.75%.

This chart shows the number of negative tests reported in Alachua County by day:

The University of Florida reported 1 positive out of 8 new tests on faculty and staff, 3 positives out of 30 new tests on students (without symptoms), and 3 positives out of 14 new tests on students (with or without symptoms) at the Student Health Care Center.

According to the daily report, there are 6,267 cases in Gainesville, 393 in Alachua, 297 in Newberry, 163 in High Springs, 107 in Archer, 97 in Hawthorne, 47 in Micanopy, 38 in “University of Fl.”, 32 in Waldo, 15 in Santa Fe, 12 in Tioga, 12 in LaCrosse, 6 in “Univ of Fl Student Dorms,” 6 in Evinston, 6 in Earleton, 2 in Jonesville, and 1 in Island Grove. 47 cases are listed with the city “Missing” in Alachua County, 1 case is erroneously listed in “Wesley Chapel” in Alachua County, 1 case is in “Garden City,” and 1 case is in “Unk” in Alachua County. Location data is not available for all cases.

The 7-day moving average of new cases is at 138.6 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.