South Florida sees another 37 COVID-19 deaths as Broward adult ICU beds now at 92% capacity

Infected patient in quarantine lying in bed in hospital, coronavirus concept.
The median age of new cases is at or above its previous two-week high in all three major South Florida counties.

Hospital beds in Broward have just 8% of adult intensive care unit (ICU) beds available as South Florida continues to bear the brunt on the COVID-19 resurgence in the state.

Another 37 people died from the virus across South Florida’s tri-county area according to Wednesday’s report from the Department of Health. That report covers data from Tuesday morning to Wednesday morning.

The region’s three major counties — Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade — have seen an average of 40 deaths per day over the previous week. That number has been steadily increasing in all three counties.

While the virus has mostly been spreading among younger Floridians in recent weeks, the median age of new cases is at or above its previous two-week high in all three major South Florida counties. The median age sat at 40 in Broward, 43 in Miami-Dade and 44 in Palm Beach.

There is not yet a consistent upward trend in that number, meaning Wednesday’s rise may just be a one-day blip. If that uptick remains consistent, however, that could worry officials who had largely been betting on the virus remaining within the younger cohort.

South Florida’s tri-county area has around 85% of its adult ICU beds filled as of Wednesday morning. In Broward, that number is nearly 92%. An 11 p.m. curfew remains in effect in the county, along with several other restrictions.

Hospitalizations are continuing to rise week over week in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach. While Broward’s ICU beds are in the worst shape of the three counties, its average number of daily hospitalizations has not trended as sharply upward. In fact, that number has dropped slightly since the beginning of July.

The share of tests coming back positive in the region has mostly trended downward over the past three weeks. That can be a sign the virus’s spread is slowing.

Deaths and hospitalizations are lagging indicators, however, as those who contract the virus often feel the worst effects days or weeks later. That means those two metrics may continue to rise even if the virus is spreading more slowly.

The average number of newly confirmed cases is continuing to climb in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties. That is largely a function of increased testing capacity catching more cases, as the positivity rate has showed the opposite trend.

Here are some of the weekly numbers for the previous three weeks throughout the South Florida tri-county area:

Miami-Dade

— July 1-7: 31 new hospitalizations per day, 10 deaths per day, 2,282 new confirmed cases per day, 20.5% positivity rate

— July 8-14: 45 new hospitalizations per day, 19 deaths per day, 2,613 new confirmed cases per day, 20.3% positivity rate

— July 15-21: 50 new hospitalizations per day, 20 deaths per day, 2,852 new confirmed cases per day, 18.9% positivity rate

Broward

— July 1-7: 43 new hospitalizations per day, 5 deaths per day, 1,076 new confirmed cases per day, 14.8% positivity rate

— July 8-14: 37 new hospitalizations per day, 6 deaths per day, 1,477 new confirmed cases per day, 15.4% positivity rate

— July 15-21: 38 new hospitalizations per day, 9 deaths per day, 1,380 new confirmed cases per day, 14.6% positivity rate

Palm Beach

— July 1-7: 19 new hospitalizations per day, 8 deaths per day, 535 new confirmed cases per day, 13.6% positivity rate

— July 8-14: 25 new hospitalizations per day, 9 deaths per day, 644 new confirmed cases per day, 12% positivity rate

— July 15-21: 31 new hospitalizations per day, 11 deaths per day, 671 new confirmed cases per day, 10.9% positivity rate

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Editor’s note on methodology: The Florida Department of Health releases new data every morning around 10:45 a.m. The total number reported in those daily reports include the previous day’s totals as well as the most up to date data as of about 9:30 a.m.

Florida Politics uses the report-over-report increase to document the number of new cases each day because it represents the most up-to-date data available. Some of the more specific data, including positivity rates and demographics, considers a different data set that includes only cases reported the previous day.

This is important to note because the DOH report lists different daily totals than our methodology to show day-over-day trends. Their numbers do not include non-residents who tested positive in the state and they only include single-day data, therefore some data in the DOH report may appear lower than what we report.

Our methodology was established based on careful consideration among our editorial staff to capture both the most recent and accurate trends.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.



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