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Miami-Dade County positivity rate drops after aberration in Wednesday’s COVID-19 report

The previous report included an influx of older testing data, causing spikes in the numbers.

After Wednesday’s COVID-19 report showed the illusion of a spike in cases in Miami-Dade County, Thursday’s numbers represented a return to the new normal over the last several days, which have shown a downward trend in new cases.

The jump in Wednesday’s numbers was due to the Miami-based lab Niznik dropping weeks of old reports all at once. That resulted in Miami-Dade showing around 4,100 new cases in Wednesday’s report alone, the highest daily total the county has ever recorded.

“This backlog severely skews today’s daily report for Miami-Dade [and] is not reflective of current trends,” read a statement from the Department of Health (DOH).

Thursday’s DOH report shows that jump was indeed a one-day blip. The county recorded 1,742 new cases in the report, which covers data received from Wednesday morning through Thursday morning.

Thursday’s report also included some corrective data on Wednesday’s data dump. While Miami-Dade recorded an 18.3% positivity rate due to the influx in test results, the DOH report includes an asterisk stating that rate would be 12.44% if the older data is excluded.

South Florida’s tri-county area recorded another 49 deaths in Thursday’s report. Nearly half of those deaths — 24 — came from Broward County. Miami-Dade recorded 15 new deaths, while another 10 people died in Palm Beach.

More than 87% of adult intensive care unit (ICU) beds remain occupied in Broward County. That number includes all hospital patients, not just those who are hospitalized due to COVID-19.

Miami-Dade saw more bed space open, with 82.7% of those beds occupied. That number is down from 85.6% Wednesday.

Palm Beach continues to fare the best in that metric in the tri-county area, with just 74% of its adult ICU beds occupied.

The share of positive tests is still trending downward in all three major South Florida counties. Here are some of the weekly numbers for the previous three weeks throughout the South Florida tri-county area:

Miami-Dade

— July 23-29: 64 new hospitalizations per day, 23 deaths per day, 2,964 new confirmed cases per day, 18.4% positivity rate

— July 30-Aug. 5: 88 new hospitalizations per day, 38 deaths per day, 1,685 new confirmed cases per day, 14.7% positivity rate

— Aug. 6-12: 70 new hospitalizations per day, 24 deaths per day, 1,898 new confirmed cases per day, 14.2% positivity rate

Broward

— July 23-29: 45 new hospitalizations per day, 20 deaths per day, 1,332 new confirmed cases per day, 13.1% positivity rate

— July 30-Aug. 5: 52 new hospitalizations per day, 15 deaths per day, 827 new confirmed cases per day, 10.5% positivity rate

— Aug. 6-12: 85 new hospitalizations per day, 14 deaths per day, 699 new confirmed cases per day, 9.3% positivity rate

Palm Beach

— July 23-29: 27 new hospitalizations per day, 11 deaths per day, 627 new confirmed cases per day, 10% positivity rate

— July 30-Aug. 5: 24 new hospitalizations per day, 12 deaths per day, 431 new confirmed cases per day, 9.2% positivity rate

— Aug. 6-12: 30 new hospitalizations per day, 10 deaths per day, 348 new confirmed cases per day, 7.4% 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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