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State's weekly first-time positivity rate drops to 3.8%, tied for lowest in 4 months

Deaths increase is 1,252, lowest in two months; cases' rise of 18,807 fewest in 4 months
Posted at 6:41 PM, Oct 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-16 10:05:18-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's weekly first-time coronavirus positivity rate dropped to 3.8%, tying for the lowest since June 11 and the second week in a row under the target 5%, as cases and hospitalizations are the lowest since early summer with deaths' increase, which lags in reporting, the fewest since mid-August.

Infections increased by 18,807, which is a 25.3% decline in one week, and one-eighth of a record 152,760 six weeks ago and the lowest since 15,684 on June 18. Deaths rose by 1,252 (178 daily), one week after 13,68 and half the the record 2,468 four weeks ago and the lowest since 1,071 on Aug. 13, according to the state Health Department's weekly report released Friday.

Also, the 3,257 hospitalizations are one-fifth of record 17,295 on Aug. 19 and much less than one week ago at 4,240. That current total is the lowest since mid-July. Nearly four-fifths of adults (79.8%) have at least one vaccination shot, a rise of 0.4 percentage point from 79.4. The weekly first-time infection positivity rate is 1 percentage point down in a week and one-fifth of a record 20.5% nine weeks ago.

But several South Florida Counties are reporting higher rates: Okeechobee at 5.9%, St. Lucie at 5.8%, Martin at 4.2%, Palm Beach 4.1 but Indian River at 3.2%, , Broward 3.4% and Miami-Dade at 2.2%, the lowest in the state though it leads in deaths with 8,648 with Broward second at 4,614 and Palm Beach third at 4,004.

The 30-39 age group has the most new cases at 3,138. The under 12 age groups has 2,978 new cases one week after having the most in the category at 4,140 with a 5.3% first-time positivity rate, the highest of the groups. In the 12-19 age group the positivity rate is second highest at 4.5% with 1,838 new cases a week after 2,580 and only 55% fully vaccinated (the youngest age to get the shots). Conversely, the positivity rate is 3.3% for those 65 and older with 89% fully vaccinated.

In data released by the Florida Department of Health, the cumulative death toll is 56,667, the fourth state to pass the 50,000 milestone and ahead of New York in third place. Cases are 3,601,755 with the state among only three topping the 3 million milestone.

And based upon a CDC cumulative death total of 57,711 from the previous day, the most recent daily increase is 148 .

Deaths can take several days or even weeks to be reported to the state so the figures will fluctuate.

The state set a record for most deaths in one day: 409 on Aug. 27. Until the recent spike, the record was 242 on Aug. 4, 2020.

The record increase was 276 on Aug. 11 when the state was giving daily reports.

The highest seven-day moving average is 381 daily (2,667 weekly) on Aug. 30. Until the spike, the record was 227 (1,589 weekly) only Aug. 5, 2020.

Last year the highest weekly seven-day increase was 1,266 (181 daily) on Aug. 16, 2020. The first-time daily positivity rate last year was 9.04%. Earlier this year it was less than 5%.

Until Friday's report three weeks ago, deaths had surpassed 2,000 four weeks in a row: 2,340 after 2,468, 2,448, 2,345. Last week it was 1,719.

The state listed 123 deaths occurred in the past week with 147 the week before, 355 previous, 384 before and 433 before. In newly reported deaths, children under 16 years old rose by 1 to 28 since the pandemic, with 11 more among those 16-29 for a total of 400.

The new cases in the state over one week were 19,512, the lowest since 15,997 on June 18 which is different than 18,807 increase because of revisions.

The daily cases record is 27,766 reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Aug. 26.

On Sept. 1 the new cases were 21,562, the last time it was above 21,000.

For 23 days in a row cases have been been below 10,000. That includes 2,821 most recently, one day after 3,361 and the 13th day in a row under 4,000. Four days ago it dropped to 1,878, the lowest since 1,741 July 5.

The CDC lists the seven-day moving average of 2,773, the lowest since 2,072 on July 7, with the record 2`1,744 on Aug. 16.

Cases weekly reached 109,816 (`15,688 daily) on Jan. 10 until the spike.

The CDC is now only reflecting the date of occurrence for cases and deaths rather than when reported to the Florida Department of Health. It can take several days or even weeks for the state to receive a report of a death. The CDC twice a week has been revising the previous cumulative totals as more data are reported.

The state has never listed increases on its since disbanded website and reports as media outlets, including WPTV, did the math each day.

On June 4, Florida switched to weekly reports from daily -- the first state in the nation reporting any data every seven days. In addition, the state's dashboard was removed, as well as current hospitalization data. Michigan and Ohio, which are in the top 10 for most deaths, reports fatalities only a few days per week.

According to data received by the CDC Thursday, U.S. deaths rose 1,393 and cases were up 87,870 with Florida accounting for 3.4%.

The first-time daily positivity rate was 7.8 13 weeks ago. The daily record was 23.38% on Dec. 28.

The state, which is the third most-populous with 16.5% of the population, is fourth in the nation, behind California with 70,150, with 140 in the past day reported, Texas with 67,477 including a daily increase of 275 and ahead of New York with 55,916, with a rise of 18.

Florida is third in cases behind California with 4,571,467, a rise of 6,188nd Texas with 4,04,156,151 including 6,k839 Friday.

The overall first-time positivity rate is 21.1%, which is 2 percentage points less than last week.

The state reports don't include nonresidents' deaths and cases.

The weekly reports don't list deaths for each county though it is now available by the CDC but include other data:

Palm Beach County: Cases: 223,197 residents (1,430 new, 1,744 last week). First-time positivity average in past week: 4.1%.

St. Lucie County: Cases: 47,433 resident (283new, 397 last week). First-daily positivity in past week: 5.8%

Martin County: Cases: 19,952 residents (110 new, 194 last week). First-daily positivity in past week: 4.2%

Indian River County: Cases: 22,036 residents (83 new, 155 last week). First-daily positivity in past week: 3.2%

Okeechobee County: 7,370 residents (32 new, 60 last week). First-daily positivity in past week: 5.9%.

Broward County: Cases: 354,108 residents (1,903 new, 2,526 last week). First-daily positivity in past week: 3.4%

Miami-Dade County: 667,933 residents (3,033new, 3,816 last week). First-daily positivity in past week: 2.2%.

In other data, the state reported there are 28 deaths under 16 (increase of one) and 488,131 cases (484,336 previous week). At the other extreme, for 65 and older there are 43,532 deaths (42,790 previous week), which is 75.2% of total) and 466,783 cases (463,998 previous week), which is 12.9% of total.

The state's mortality rate (cases vs. deaths) was 1.6% (up 0.1 in a week) including 9.4% for 65 and older but less than 1% in younger ages except 2.4% for 60-64. It is 1.6% in the United States and 2.0% worldwide.

In deaths per million, Florida is 2,687 (10th in nation), U.S. 2,247, world 629.1. Mississippi is first at 3,332, New Jersey second at 3,118. New York, which had been second for most of the pandemic behind New Jersey, is now fifth at 2,902.

Florida's deaths are 8.0% of the total in the U.S. total and 8.1% of the cases. The state comprises 6.6% of the U.S. population.

Since the first two cases were announced on March 1, 2020, Florida's total has surged to 16.9% of the state's 21.48 million population, fourth in cases per million behind No. 1 Tennessee. In cases per 100,000 for seven days, Florida is 47th at 90.4 (last week 47th) with Alaska No. 1 at 843.0, Montana No. 2 at 575.9, No.3 Wyoming at 501.1 according to the CDC. California is last at 54.7.

The CDC has directed states to generally count one case per person unless the virus was contracted again more than 90 days.

Florida is third in total tests at 40,811,634 with California No. 1 with 83,393,939. Some people have taken more than one test.

In one week, there were 523,935, which is 78,048 daily. Last week it was 553,093. On Dec. 23 there were a record 150,587 tests in one day.

Hospitalizations are 3,257 compared with 12,651 six weeks ago. It was 4,262 on July 10 with the record until recently 10,179 on July 23, 2020, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health. Of the 255 hospitals reporting, 5.83% are occupied with COVID-19 patients and 79.69% (45,265) with all patients of the 56,804 total beds. The day before 255 hospitals reported data. Florida is fifth behind Texas with 6,461 hospitalized with coronaviurus, California second with 4,080, Ohio third with 3,720 and Pennsylvania fourth with 3,508.

The U.S. coronavirus occupancy is 60,673 at 7.88% compared with 67,321 one week ago.

In state vaccination data from the CDC, 79.8% of Florida's population 18 and older has had at least one dose (13,772,178) and 69.2% fully vaccinated (11,928,061). President Joe Biden had set a nationwide goal of 70% vaccinated by July 4 with at least one dose by adults and the current figure is 78.7. Totally vaccinated is 68.3%.

Thirty-four states (no changes) achieving the 70% standard are Hawaii (91.6%), Massachusetts (90.7%), Connecticut (90.1%), Vermont (89.8%), Pennsylvania (88.8%),Rhode Island (88.6%), New Mexico (87.8%), New Jersey (87.5%), California (87.1%), Maine (86.9%), New York (85.9%), Maryland (85.1%), New Hampshire (83.9%), Illinois (82.5%), Virginia (82.3%), Washington (81.4%), Delaware (80.3%), Florida (79.8%), Oregon (79.3%), Colorado (78.9%), Minnesota (77.6%), Utah (76.8%), Kentucky (75.0%), Kansas (74.9%), Texas (74.9%), Nevada (74.7%), North Carolina (74.3%), South Dakota (74.1%), Nebraska (74.1%), Wisconsin (74.0%), Arizona (72.3), Iowa (71.6%), Alaska (71.5%), Oklahoma (71.3%).

The three worst percentages: West Virginia 57.8%, Wyoming 61.0%, Mississippi at 62.6%.

Also reaching the benchmark are Puerto Rico (90.2), Guam (90.1%), District of Columbia (84.1%).

For those 12 and older in Florida, 78.1% had at least one dose (14,595,681) and the complete series is 67.4% (12,599,774).

For the total population, the percentage is 68.0% (14,603,834, and the complete series is 58.7% (12,601,523).