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State's weekly first-time positivity rate drops to 4.8%, below target rate

Deaths increase is 1,719, lowest in two months; cases' rise of 25,184 fewest in 3 months
Posted at 6:44 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 22:13:03-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's weekly first-time coronavirus positivity rate dropped to 4.8%, the first time under the target 5% since late June, as cases and hospitalizations are the lowest in three months with deaths' increase, which lags in reporting, the fewest since late August.

Infections increased by 25,184, which is a 32.4% decline in one week, and a fraction of a record 152,760 five weeks ago and the lowest since 23,440 on July 2. Deaths rose by 1,368 (195 daily) and far less than the record 2,468 three weeks ago and the lowest since 1,071 on Aug. 13, according to the state Health Department's weekly report released Friday.

Also, the 4,240 hospitalizations are one-quarter of record 17,295 on Aug. 19 and much less than one week ago at 5,414.
Also nearly four-fifths of adults have at least one vaccination shot, a rise of 0.7 percentage point from 78.7. The weekly first-time infection positivity rate is 1.7 percentage points down in a week, a record 20.5% eight weeks ago and the lowest since 4.0% on June 25.

But several South Florida Counties are reporting higher rates: Okeechobee at 9.0%, St. Lucie at 7.8%, Martin at 6.9%, Indian River at 5.4%, but Palm Beach County at 5.0%, Broward 4.3% and Miami-Dade at 2.9%, the lowest in the state though it leads in deaths with 8,504 with Broward second at 4,522 and Palm Beach third at 3,933.

The under 12 age group has the most new cases at 4,140, down from 5,764 with a 6.6% first-time positivity rate, the highest of the groups. In the 12-19 age group the positivity rate is second highest at 5.9% with 2,580 new cases a week after 4,117 and only 55% fully vaccinated (the youngest age to get the shots). Conversely, the positivity rate is 4.0% 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 55,011 from the previous day, the most recent daily increase is 257.

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: 403 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 372 daily (2,604 weekly) on Sept. 1. 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 two 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 147 deaths occurred in the past week with 233 the week before, 355 previous, 384 before and 433 before. In newly reported deaths, children under 16 years old rose by 3 to 27 since the pandemic, with 12 more among those 16-29 for a total of 389.

The new cases in the state over one week were 25,792, the lowest since 23,365 on July 2, which is different than 25,184 increase because of revisions.

The daily cases record is 27,777 reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Aug. 26.

On Sept. 1 the new cases were 21,564, the last time it was above 21,000.

For 16 days in a row cases have been been below 10,000. That includes3,974 most recently, one day after 3,841 and the sixth day in a row under 4,000. Three days ago it dropped to 2,728, the lowest since 1,741 July 5.

The CDC lists the seven-day moving average of 3,669, the lowest since 3,665 on July 9, with the record 2`1,753 Aug. 16.

Cases weekly reached 109,823 (`15,689 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 deaths only a few days per week.

According to data received by the CDC Thursday, U.S. deaths rose 1,421and cases were up 99,055 with Florida accounting for 4.0%.

The first-time daily positivity rate was 7.8 12 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 69,507, with 156 in the past day reported, Texas with 66,057 including a daily increase of 367 ahead ahead of New York with 55,645, with a rise of 50.

Florida is third in cases behind California with 4,536,273, a rise of 5,438, and Texas with 4,0113,124 including 8,739 Friday.

The overall first-time positivity rate is 21.3%, the same as 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: 221,820 residents (1,744 new). First-time positivity average in past week: 5.0%.

St. Lucie County: Cases: 47,161 resident (397 new). First-daily positivity in past week: 7.8%

Martin County: Cases: 19,847 residents (194 new). First-daily positivity in past week: 6.9%

Indian River County: Cases: 21,956 residents (155 new). First-daily positivity in past week: 5.4%

Okeechobee County: 7,357 residents (60 new). First-daily positivity in past week: 9.0%.

Broward County: Cases: 352,257 residents (2,526 new). First-daily positivity in past week: 4.3%

Miami-Dade County: 665,202 residents (3,816 new). First-daily positivity in past week: 2.9%.

In other data, the state reported there are 27 deaths under 16 (increase of three) and 484,336 cases (479,000 previous week). At the other extreme, for 65 and older there are 42,790 deaths (41,929 previous week), which is 76.1% of total) and 463,998 cases (460,308 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 9.2% 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 2,626 (ninth in nation), U.S. 2,210, world 622.9. Mississippi is first at 3,297, New Jersey second at 3,104. New York, which had been second for most of the pandemic behind New Jersey, is now fifth at 2,888.

Florida's deaths are 8.0% of the total in the U.S. total and 8.2% 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 16.8% 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 119.6 (last week 31th) with Alaska No. 1 at 778.9, Montana No. 2 at 593.1, North Dakota No. 3 at 566.6, Wyoming at 546.3, according to the CDC. California is last at 65.2

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 40,253,195 with California No. 1 with 81,222,982. Some people have taken more than one test.

In one week, there were 553,093, which is 79,013 daily. Last week it was 612,574. On Dec. 23 there were a record 150,587 tests in one day.

Hospitalizations are 4,240 compared with 12,651 five 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 256 hospitals reporting, 7.4% are occupied with COVID-19 patients and 79.52% (46,250) with all patients of the 58,164 total beds. The day before 234 hospitals reported data. Florida is third behind Texas with 9,696 hospitalized with coronaviurus and California with 4,495.

The U.S. coronavirus occupancy is 67,321 at 8.76% compared with 75,555 one week ago.

In state vaccination data from the CDC, 79.4% of Florida's population 18 and older has had at least one dose (13,688,288) and 68.6% fully vaccinated (11,823,870). 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 78.1. Totally vaccinated is 67.7%.

Thirty-four states (one more in week) achieving the 70% standard are Hawaii (91.2%), Massachusetts (90.1%), Connecticut (89.5%), Vermont (89.4%), Rhode Island (87.9%), Pennsylvania (87.5%), New Mexico (87.2%), New Jersey (86.9%), Maine (86.3%), California (86.4%), New York (85.1%), Maryland (84.5%), New Hampshire (82.6%), Illinois (82.2%), Virginia (81.6%), Washington (80.9%), Delaware (79.7%), Florida (79.4%), Oregon (78.8%), Colorado (78.4%), Minnesota (77.2%), Utah (76.2%), Kentucky (74.5%), Kansas (74.3%), Nevada (74.1%), South Dakota (74.1%), Nebraska (73.8%), Texas (73.8%), Wisconsin (73.6%), North Carolina (73.2%), Arizona (71.8%), Iowa (71.3%), Alaska (71.0%), Oklahoma 70.6%.

The three worst percentages: West Virginia 57.6%, Wyoming 60.4%, Mississippi at 62.1%.

Also reaching the benchmark are Puerto Rico (89.8%), Guam (89.5%), District of Columbia (83.4%).

For those 12 and older in Florida, 77.6% had at least one dose (14,504,677) and the complete series is 66.8% (12,484,254).

For the total population, the percentage is 67.6% (14,512,783) and the complete series is 58.1% (12,485,973).