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All of South Florida listed in 'high' COVID-19 community category

Okeechobee joins other counties week after 'medium'
Posted at 10:59 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-09 23:34:40-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — All South Florida counties are in the highest of three COVID-19 community levels, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its weekly update posted Thursday.

Okeechobee has joined Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Broward and Miami-Dade "high" one week after being in the "medium" category.

The only counties in central to South Florida in medium are Manatee, Hardee, Glades, Henry. The only counties "low" are in Panhandle:

The levels have different commendations to halt the spread out coronavirus, including mask wearing indoors recommended for the most severe level and additional measures for high-risk people.

For medium and low, you are encouraged to "wear a mask if you have symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19." At the medium level, "if you are at high risk for severe illness, consider wearing a mask indoors in public and taking additional precaution.

The first criteria is cases per 100,000 people in the past week with 200 or more considered high. Palm Beach County is 344.74 up from 315.35, St. Lucie 227.95 vs. 207.84; Martin 196.27 vs. 226.71, Indian River 271.38 vs. 263.88; Okeechobee 116.2 vs. 59.29; Broward 439.94 vs. 416.48, Miami-Dade 634.61vs. 667.52.

Another criteria s hospital admissions per 100,000, which is high if 20 or more. Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Okeechobee are 21.7; Browand and Miami-Dade 21.1; Indian River 13.0, Martin 12.1.

And the percent of staffed inpatient beds with covid for a weekly average is 15% or more. Palm Beach is 4.8%, St. Lucie, Martin, Indian River 5.3%; Martin 4.2%; Broward, Miami-Dade 5.9%.

The CDC determines an overall high level by counting the higher of the two hospitalization rates.

The high categories in three counties reflect surging cases, positivty rates and hospitalizations.

Cases statewide are at the highest level since mid-February (73,610 last week according to CDC), the positivity rate of 13.4% (two weeks ago) is greatest since early February, hospitalizations (3,105 Thursday) are the most since March 1 and deaths' increase (270 for 14 days two weeks ago) is up from 230 two weeks ago.

In the state report last released, cases' latest figure is 73,797 compared with 66,625 the week before but 8,040 nine weeks ago, which is the lowest since the weekly reports began. The last time the weekly figure was this high: 102,953 the week ending Feb. 11. The record is 400,000.

The current seven-day rolling daily average is 10,930 with Wednesday 11,068, most since 12,359 Feb. 12;. The figure 1,127 on March 22 is the lowest since 1,106 June 8, 2020. The record: 65,277 Jan. 11 (456,946 in a week).

On Thursday, 12,174 cases were posted with 14,028 Friday, the most since 19,223 Feb. 8. One week ago it was 13,144 The daily record: 76,609 Jan. 8.

The CDC lists overall positivity rates, with the target 5.0% or less, as Palm Beach 20.4%, St. Lucie 20.07%, Martin 17.76%, Indian River 15.49%, Okeechobee 8.16%, Broward 23.25%, Miami-Dade 21.91%.

Hospitalizations are the most since 3,146 (5.37%) Feb. 26. One week ago it was 2,806 (4.79%) and April 11 it was 892 (1.58%), least since record-keeping began July 2020, according to Department of Health and Human Services. The record was 17,295 (2.35%) on Aug. 29 during the delta variant surge.

Nonresidents' deaths are 74,818, which is a one-week increase of 138 compared with 170 a week ago, according to CDC data from Florida.

The state report doesn't list county deaths' data but the CDC issues weekly reports less than 10 in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Okeechobee, Broward and 17 in Miami-Dade.

In March, the CDC started designating "community levels." Since the pandemic, the CDC had "community transmission," which is based on cases and tests, and is broken into "low," "moderate," "substantial" and "high." The entire state, including all of South Florida is listed as "high" except Franklin and Hamilton "substantial."