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Palm Beach County's daily coronavirus positivity rate is dropping, health director says

Dr. Alino Alonso says entering Phase Two of Florida's reopening plan would be a 'disaster'
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Posted at 9:19 AM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 17:53:56-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Palm Beach County's health director shared some cautiously optimistic news on Tuesday about COVID-19 cases in the county.

During a virtual county commission meeting, Dr. Alina Alonso said the county's daily lab positivity rate, which measures the amount of virus in the community on a given day, has dropped from 11% on July 27 to 7.3% on August 9.

In addition, Alonso said the lab is returning results quicker and contract tracing has improved.

Despite that, the health director urged county commissioners to not rush to reopen more sectors of the local economy.

"I want to let everybody think about not getting too excited to thinking about going into Phase Two because it would be a disaster," Alonso said. "We would be back in the hole as fast as we open up."

Palm Beach County is currently in Phase One of Florida's reopening plan, meaning restaurants, retail stores, fitness centers and gyms, and museums and libraries can operate at 50% capacity indoors.

"The moment we let our foot off that pedal, people will naturally continue to party," Alonso said.

Alonso added that the majority of new COVID-19 cases in Palm Beach County are among people between 25 and 44 years old, and most of the coronavirus-related deaths are in the 65 and older age group.

WATCH MEETING:

SPECIAL COVERAGE: Coronavirus

According to the latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, there are 37,641 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Palm Beach County and 940 deaths.