Hospitalizations, deaths, new COVID-19 cases all rising week-to-week in Miami-Dade County
Image via AP.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci said Friday the post-Thanksgiving peak is still a week or two away.

Data released by the Department of Health this week has shown a rise in infections throughout South Florida, reversing a downward trend in the virus’s spread seen in mid- to late-November.

Miami-Dade County appears to be experiencing the worst of this reversal. The data now shows Miami-Dade has seen a week-to-week rise for two straight weeks in new COVID-19 cases, newly-reported hospitalizations and newly-reported deaths.

The county’s case positivity rate has seen a one-week increase, now sitting at 9.3% over the past seven days, as compared to just 7.5% the prior week.

Miami-Dade has fared the worst of any county in the state overall during the pandemic, and hit sky high infections rates during the surge this past summer. The the new seven-day positivity rate is less than half of the high seen during the summer peak.

But with post-Thanksgiving data not yet accounted for, experts worry the county may be in for another bleak period, especially with residents’ desire to once again gather for the Christmas holiday.

“We’re gravely concerned about overwhelming our health care system capacity to care for COVID patients,” Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava said Friday during a virtual conference on the outbreak.

“Our hospital network in South Florida is one of the finest in the country and has done extremely well at dealing with this pandemic. But if we push our system to the limit, when COVID cases spread too quickly, we will be at a breaking point.”

As of Friday, both Miami-Dade and Broward counties have close to 20% of adult intensive care unit beds available at hospitals throughout their respective counties. Palm Beach County hospitals have more than 26% of adult ICU beds available.

Neither Broward nor Palm Beach has seen as consistent or as large of an increase in deaths and hospitalizations recently as Miami-Dade. Both numbers are up week-to-week in Broward. Newly-reported hospitalizations are actually down for the past few weeks in Palm Beach, while newly-reported deaths have seen a very slight uptick.

The positivity rates are up week-to-week in all three major South Florida counties. That number has actually dropped the past two days in all three counties. Daily numbers can fluctuate, however, which is why experts emphasize focusing on longer-term trends. But if those numbers continue to drop over the weekend, that will be welcome news to health officials.

Such a drop would not put the region in the clear, however. Friday morning, Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a Today Show interview that much of the post-Thanksgiving impact from travel and social gatherings has mostly not shown up in the data just yet.

He told the Today Show’s Savannah Guthrie that a small portion of that data may have begun to come in, but that he expected it to take another week or two before the full impact of the holiday can be measured.

“I think we have not yet seen the post-Thanksgiving peak,” Fauci said.

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

Miami-Dade

— Nov. 13-19: 13 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 6 newly-reported deaths per day, 1,712 new confirmed cases per day, 8.9% positivity rate

— Nov. 20-26: 14 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 8 newly-reported deaths per day, 1,797 new confirmed cases per day, 7.4% positivity rate

— Nov. 27-Dec. 3: 17 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 13 newly-reported deaths per day, 2,061 new confirmed cases per day, 9.3% positivity rate

Broward

— Nov. 13-19: 20 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 5 newly-reported deaths per day, 819 new confirmed cases per day, 7.8% positivity rate

— Nov. 20-26: 19 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 5 newly-reported deaths per day, 808 new confirmed cases per day, 6.4% positivity rate

— Nov. 27-Dec. 3: 23 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 6 newly-reported deaths per day, 929 new confirmed cases per day, 7.7% positivity rate

Palm Beach

— Nov. 13-19: 16 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 4 newly-reported deaths per day, 474 new confirmed cases per day, 7.9% positivity rate

— Nov. 20-26: 14 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 4 newly-reported deaths per day, 496 new confirmed cases per day, 6.2% positivity rate

— Nov. 27-Dec. 3: 11 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 6 newly-reported deaths per day, 478 new confirmed cases per day, 7.5% 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.


One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    December 4, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties are the “New York”. Of Florida. But the disappoint of those three counties not controlling the trumpvirus better surprises me. Show the rest of Florida how to do it! Control the trumpvirus by and through wearing masks social distancing and wash hands til we get the vaccine!

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