South Florida adds more than 3,800 new COVID-19 cases as positivity rates tick back up

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Is this the start of a post-Thanksgiving surge?

After experiencing a drop toward the end of November, COVID-19 positivity rates are now showing a week-to-week increase in all three major South Florida counties.

It remains to be seen whether this is just a blip in the data or the beginning of a new trend. But experts have warned last week’s Thanksgiving gathering could serve as a way to accelerate the virus’s spread.

Data show South Florida’s tri-county area — Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties — all saw a drop in the share of tests coming back positive from mid-to late-November. That’s according to a comparison of data between the week of Nov. 11-17 and the week of Nov. 18-24. Each county saw its positivity rate drop by more than a percentage point during that two-week span.

But in the most recent week-to-week period, Miami-Dade’s positivity rate has ticked back up by 0.7 points. Broward County saw a 0.4-point increase. Palm Beach’s increase is less sharp, rising by less than one-tenth of a point.

More data will be needed in the coming days to show whether those increases will hold or subside. But Wednesday’s report from the Department of Health (DOH) does show cause for concern that the region may return to its weeks-long rise in spread seen in October and early November. Those increases came after Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed South Florida into Phase Three of the state’s reopening plan, along with the rest of Florida’s 67 counties.

South Florida added 3,819 new confirmed cases in Wednesday’s DOH report.

All three counties have between 19%-25% of adult ICU beds available in their respective hospitals as of Wednesday afternoon. That measure looks at all ICU beds, not simply those occupied by COVID-19 patients.

That’s well below where the region sat during the summer surge, when Broward and Miami-Dade hospitals routinely had fewer than 10% of adult ICU beds free. Hospitalizations do appear to be rising in Miami-Dade County, though have dropped slightly week-to-week in Broward and Palm Beach.

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


— Nov. 11-17: 12 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 5 newly-reported deaths per day, 1,581 new confirmed cases per day, 9.2% positivity rate

— Nov. 18-24: 11 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 9 newly-reported deaths per day, 1,840 new confirmed cases per day, 7.9% positivity rate

— Nov. 25-Dec. 1: 18 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 10 newly-reported deaths per day, 1,914 new confirmed cases per day, 8.6% positivity rate


— Nov. 11-17: 22 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 6 newly-reported deaths per day, 750 new confirmed cases per day, 8.1% positivity rate

— Nov. 18-24: 21 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 4 newly-reported deaths per day, 841 new confirmed cases per day, 6.8% positivity rate

— Nov. 25-Dec. 1: 21 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 5 newly-reported deaths per day, 838 new confirmed cases per day, 7.2% positivity rate

Palm Beach

— Nov. 11-17: 14 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 4 newly-reported deaths per day, 444 new confirmed cases per day, 8.3% positivity rate

— Nov. 18-24: 15 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 4 newly-reported deaths per day, 485 new confirmed cases per day, 6.67% positivity rate

— Nov. 25-Dec. 1: 12 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 4 newly-reported deaths per day, 455 new confirmed cases per day, 6.71% positivity rate


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 [email protected].


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