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South Florida

COVID-19 case numbers, hospitalizations up week-to-week across South Florida tri-county area

The positivity rate is also rising, though the rate of increase has slowed.

The coronavirus resurgence in South Florida is continuing to worsen, with raw case numbers and hospitalizations rising in all three major South Florida counties.

The share of tests coming back positive also increased once again across the tri-county area. But the rate of that metric’s week-to-week rise has slowed. That could be a sign the newest surge is nearing its peak, or it could be noise in the data due to other factors.

Newly-released data from the Department of Health shows the raw number of cases in South Florida making a huge week-to-week jump. That’s partly due to a surge in testing. With the virus spreading more quickly, and with the COVID-19 resurgence in the news, far more people have flocked to testing centers in the past week than had been in weeks prior.

More testing does not fully explain the increase in cases, however. The share of positive tests is also increasing — though again, not as quickly in weeks past.

From Oct. 30-Nov. 5, Miami-Dade County saw a 6.5% positivity rate. The next week, that number jumped to 8% — a 1.5-point rise. This past week, that number rose just 0.7 points, to 8.7%

In Broward, the positivity rate sat at 6.1% from Oct. 30-Nov. 5. The next week, it increased by 1.2 points to 7.3%. But the most recent week of data showed just a 0.4-point, up to 7.7%.

The Palm Beach number rose just 0.1 points this past week. The prior week-to-week jump was a full 1 percentage point.

If the virus’s spread is indeed slowing down, that would shield the region from reaching its summer highs, when dozens of people were dying per day across the three counties.

It’s unclear so far whether a slowing positivity rate means the spread is slowing down, however. For one, more healthy people may be getting tested out of an abundance of caution. That would suppress the overall positivity rate.

It’s also possible the slowdown is just a temporary trend. Additional data next week should shed more light on the state of the virus in the region.

Either way, there still remains plenty of cause for concern for South Florida. Assuming the virus is slowing down as of this moment — which remains just an assumption — those who’ve been infected in recent weeks may just now begin feeling the worst effects of the virus.

Hospitalizations are up week-to-week in all three counties. Miami-Dade saw a rise of 11 newly-reported hospitalizations per day last week to 13 this week. Broward County jumped by a similar margin, going from 18 newly-reported hospitalizations per day last week to 20 per day this past week.

The rise was more stark in Palm Beach County, which saw 10 newly-reported hospitalizations per day Nov. 6-12. This past week, that number jumped to 16 newly-reported hospitalizations per day.

Those numbers, along with death totals, are expected to rise in the coming weeks. And though it’s possible the virus’s spread may currently be slowing, the upcoming holidays could prompt another sharp uptick. Winter season is also prime tourist season in the region. Though tourism numbers are expected to be down this year, the industry is not completely shut down.

An uptick in travel due to the holidays or due to snowbirds coming down for the season only increases the number of people who could serve as vessels for the virus.

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

Miami-Dade

— Oct. 30-Nov. 5: 12 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 4 newly-reported deaths per day, 882 new confirmed cases per day, 6.5% positivity rate

— Nov. 6-12: 11 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 5 newly-reported deaths per day, 1,016 new confirmed cases per day, 8% positivity rate

— Nov. 13-19: 13 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 6 newly-reported deaths per day, 1,706 new confirmed cases per day, 8.7% positivity rate

Broward

— Oct. 30-Nov. 5: 15 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 3 newly-reported deaths per day, 516 new confirmed cases per day, 6.1% positivity rate

— Nov. 6-12: 18 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 5 newly-reported deaths per day, 530 new confirmed cases per day, 7.3% positivity rate

— Nov. 13-19: 20 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 5 newly-reported deaths per day, 822 new confirmed cases per day, 7.7% positivity rate

Palm Beach

— Oct. 30-Nov. 5: 11 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 3 newly-reported deaths per day, 344 new confirmed cases per day, 6.7% positivity rate

— Nov. 6-12: 10 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 2 newly-reported deaths per day, 387 new confirmed cases per day, 7.7% positivity rate

— Nov. 13-19: 16 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 4 newly-reported deaths per day, 476 new confirmed cases per day, 7.8% 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.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Sonja Fitch

    November 22, 2020 at 6:59 am

    “Whatever” fake facts Desantis uses it is all a big fat Fing failure! Desantis is willingly slaughtering Floridians ! Get the F out Desantis! Shut down Florida except for schools with a universal standard! Til we get schools on an even keel businesses shall have to carry the load of shutdowns! Oh yeah Trump STOPPED small business loans last week! Universal standards u stupid slaughterers!!!!!!!

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