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South Florida hospital space begins freeing up as COVID-19 death toll, positivity rates trend downward

The region recorded another 2,069 cases in Monday’s report.

Hospital beds in the South Florida tri-county area are beginning to free up, adding another positive trend in the region’s battle against COVID-19.

As of Monday morning, 71% of Palm Beach County’s adult intensive care unit (ICU) beds were occupied, according to Department of Health (DOH) data. That number includes all hospital patients and is not limited to only those admitted for COVID-19.

That number was higher in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Broward has 86.5% of its adult ICU beds occupied, while that number is 85.5% in Miami-Dade. However, those numbers had routinely sat near or above 90% in both counties over the previous few weeks.

Broward and Miami-Dade still remain above the statewide number, which shows 79% of all adult ICU beds occupied, but Monday’s numbers show the situation improving.

The daily death toll in the region also dropped for the third straight day. Broward County recorded an additional 18 deaths in Monday’s DOH report. Miami-Dade recorded nine additional deaths. Another five died in Palm Beach. That comes just three days after Palm Beach County recorded its highest daily death toll of the pandemic, adding 27 deaths in Friday’s report.

The share of positive COVID-19 tests continues to drop week-to-week in all three counties. That’s a strong sign that strict social distancing measures are continuing to have an effect. Both Palm Beach and Broward counties posted a positivity rate below 10% over the previous seven days.

Miami-Dade has shown 13.2% of its tests coming back positive over that same one-week span. That’s still well above a safe level, according to health experts. But it represents a significant drop from the nearly 19% rate seen just two weeks prior.

Hospitalizations are still trending up in the week-to-week averages in all three counties. However, that’s partly due to a surge in hospitalizations seen early last week, which continues to affect the seven-day rolling average. The past few days have seen a reduction from that surge.

The region recorded another 2,069 cases in Monday’s report. Miami-Dade added 1,162 cases, Broward recorded 630 new cases, while Palm Beach tallied 277 new cases.

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

Miami-Dade

— July 20-26: 61 new hospitalizations per day, 14 deaths per day, 2,876 new confirmed cases per day, 18.8% positivity rate

— July 27-Aug. 2: 66 new hospitalizations per day, 41 deaths per day, 2,330 new confirmed cases per day, 16.2% positivity rate

— Aug. 3-9: 93 new hospitalizations per day, 26 deaths per day, 1,427 new confirmed cases per day, 13.2% positivity rate

Broward

— July 20-26: 40 new hospitalizations per day, 14 deaths per day, 1,398 new confirmed cases per day, 13.7% positivity rate

— July 27-Aug. 2: 42 new hospitalizations per day, 20 deaths per day, 1,111 new confirmed cases per day, 11.8% positivity rate

— Aug. 3-9: 77 new hospitalizations per day, 10 deaths per day, 653 new confirmed cases per day, 9.2% positivity rate

Palm Beach

— July 20-26: 27 new hospitalizations per day, 10 deaths per day, 646 new confirmed cases per day, 10.5% positivity rate

— July 27-Aug. 2: 20 new hospitalizations per day, 12 deaths per day, 509 new confirmed cases per day, 9.4% positivity rate

— Aug. 3-9: 30 new hospitalizations per day, 13 deaths per day, 383 new confirmed cases per day, 8.1% 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.

Written By

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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