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September 24 update: 127 new positive tests, 2 deaths

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

According to the state dashboard, Alachua County has a cumulative total of 7,862 people with COVID-19-positive test results, an increase of 127 from yesterday, with an official test positivity rate of 8.6%. The median age of positive tests (overall) in Alachua County has dropped to 27 after 20 straight days of high numbers of positive results in the 15-24 age group. Two new deaths were reported.

The newly-reported deaths are an 85-year-old male who tested positive on August 27 and has “unknown” in the emergency room and hospital fields and a 69-year-old male who tested positive on August 20 and was hospitalized but has “unknown” in the emergency room field. One of them (but there is no way to know which) was in long-term care.

Of the people whose positive tests came back yesterday, 10 were 65 or older, and 52 (47%) 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 Irby Elementary, Newberry Elementary, Parker Elementary, Wiles Elementary, Howard Bishop Middle, Hawthorne Jr./Sr. High, Kanapaha Middle, Eastside High, Gainesville High, and Santa Fe High; 5 students at Buchholz High; 2 students at Newberry High; 1 staff each at Chiles Elementary, Hidden Oak Elementary, High Springs Community, Littlewood Elementary, Newberry Elementary, Norton Elementary, Talbot Elementary, Hawthorne Jr./Sr. High, Buchholz High, the District Office, and the Manning Center; and 2 staff at Newberry High.

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 51 deaths have been reported in the county, 19 of which were in long-term care. Nine of the deaths were reportedly from one long-term care facility, Parklands Care Center, and 10 were from other long-term care facilities. The 51 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 (3), 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 20, August 21, August 24 (2), August 27, and September 2.

398 people (total) have been hospitalized, an increase of 7 from the previous count; the total hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 (which includes non-residents) is 76, down 3 from yesterday.

The website with current numbers of institutional care cases in Alachua County shows 167 cases, down 1 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 319 cases in long-term care (up 1 from yesterday) and 155 cases in a correctional facility (no change from yesterday).

Available hospital bed capacity in Alachua County is 13.07%, and ICU capacity is 10.71%.

North Florida Regional has 13 ICU beds available (27% of capacity), and Shands has 20 available (7.7% 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 decreased from 79 to 76.

State COVID-19 hospitalizations dropped from 2,383 a week ago to 2,169 today.

The state has 693,040 cases (an increase of 2,541 from yesterday, 22% of which were in the 15-24 age group) and 13,795 deaths (a net increase of 177 from yesterday, 68 of which were from long-term care facilities).

Changes in the number of deaths were reported on 61 different dates, going back to July 17. 21 were from July, 83 were from August, and 73 were from September.

The peaks are on July 23 (210), July 30 (212), July 31 (212), and August 5 (212), and the 7-day moving average peak is July 25 (203), with a second peak on August 5 (204).

Here are the actual dates of death:

9/23 – 4
9/22 – 7
9/21 – 3
9/20 – 3
9/19 – 5
9/18 – 2
9/17 – 1
9/16 – 1
9/15 – 3
9/14 – 1
9/13 – 4
9/12 – 5
9/11 – 2
9/10 – 4
9/9 – 3
9/8 – 5
9/7 – 3
9/6 – 2
9/5 – 3
9/4 – 6
9/3 – 3
9/2 – 3
9/1 – 2
8/31 – 2
8/29 – 4
8/28 – 5
8/27 – 5
8/26 – 2
8/25 – 1
8/24 – 3
8/23 – 4
8/22 – 1
8/21 – 3
8/20 – 2
8/19 – 6
8/18 – 2
8/17 – 1
8/16 – 2
8/15 – 5
8/14 – 4
8/13 – 3
8/12 – 2
8/11 – 3
8/10 – 1
8/9 – 2
8/8 – 2
8/7 – 5
8/6 – 4
8/3 – 1
8/2 – 3
8/1 – 5
7/31 – 2
7/30 – 1
7/29 – 4
7/28 – 1
7/27 – 4
7/25 – 1
7/24 – 3
7/23 – 3
7/21 – 1
7/17 – 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 4.45%. (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 8.6%.

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

The University of Florida reported 3 positives out of 7 new tests on faculty and staff, 40 positives out of 165 new tests on students (without symptoms), and 5 positives out of 23 new tests on students (with or without symptoms) at the Student Health Care Center.

According to the daily report, there are 6,475 cases in Gainesville, 398 in Alachua, 301 in Newberry, 167 in High Springs, 110 in Archer, 101 in Hawthorne, 47 in Micanopy, 39 in “University of Fl.”, 34 in Waldo, 15 in Santa Fe, 13 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. 53 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 118.7 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.