South Florida COVID-19 numbers surge, pushing positivity rates above 5%

nurse holds a swab for the coronavirus / covid19 test
The recent increases could cause concern, particularly in Palm Beach County.

New COVID-19 numbers show South Florida is experiencing a significant uptick in cases, far greater than the rise seen in the previous few weeks.

As Florida Politics reported earlier this week, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties had each seen their case positivity rates rise over the previous 2-3 weeks. Still, case numbers had not neared the levels seen prior to the widespread availability of the COVID-19 vaccines.

But the newest Department of Health report is the largest week-to-week rise in cases since early June. The recent increases could cause concern, particularly in Palm Beach County.

Palm Beach’s positivity rate jumped from 4.3% in the period covering June 25-July 1 to 6.9% from July 2-8. That’s a whopping 2.3 percentage points in just one week. Miami-Dade’s case positivity rate jumped 1.7 points, while Broward’s rose by 1.6 points.

Miami-Dade’s one-week positivity rate now sits at 5.3%. That’s the highest number seen since the week covering April 28-May 4 — more than two months ago. Broward’s positivity rate for the previous week is 5.5%, also the highest seen since the week of April 28.

But Palm Beach’s positivity rate of 6.9% is the worst that county has seen since mid-February — nearly five months ago, when vaccine availability was still highly restricted. State data shows 62% of those aged 12 and older have been vaccinated in Palm Beach now, yet the virus is spreading as it did early on in the vaccine push.

Two contributing factors to the rise are the decreasing rate of vaccinations in all three counties along with the increasing prevalence of the more transmissible COVID-19 delta variant. The Joe Biden administration has advocated for unvaccinated Americans to get their shots as the delta variant spreads. South Florida’s surging numbers appear to be a sign that concern is warranted.

Palm Beach also notably has the lowest share of its 12 and older population vaccinated out of the three major South Florida counties. Broward’s number sits at 66%, while that number is 73% in Miami-Dade.

The newest case numbers across South Florida likely do not fully factor in recent July 4 celebrations. And with each county remaining on an upward trajectory, it’s unclear how high the numbers could rise before plateauing.

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

Miami-Dade

— June 18-24: 2,231 newly-confirmed cases, 2.8% positivity rate, 42,569 vaccine doses administered, 70% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

— June 25-July 1: 3,059 newly-confirmed cases, 3.6% positivity rate, 37,545 vaccine doses administered, 72% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

— July 2-8: 4,362 newly-confirmed cases, 5.3% positivity rate, 33,281 vaccine doses administered, 73% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

Broward

— June 18-24: 1,187 newly-confirmed cases, 3.1% positivity rate, 17,609 vaccine doses administered, 64% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

— June 25-Jul 1: 1,500 newly-confirmed cases, 3.9% positivity rate, 15,538 vaccine doses administered, 65% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

— July 2-8: 2,128 newly-confirmed cases, 5.5% positivity rate, 13,377 vaccine doses administered, 66% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

Palm Beach

— June 18-24: 774 newly-confirmed cases, 3.4% positivity rate, 8,775 vaccine doses administered, 61% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

— June 25-Jul 1: 909 newly-confirmed cases, 4.3% positivity rate, 7,888 vaccine doses administered, 62% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

— July 2-8: 1,378 newly-confirmed cases, 6.9% positivity rate, 7,078 vaccine doses administered, 62% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated

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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