COVID-19 numbers in South Florida are continuing to surge, with cases in Broward and Palm Beach counties reaching rates not seen since last year.
From July 16 to 22, Palm Beach’s positivity rate — the share of COVID-19 tests that come back positive — rose to 12.5%.
That’s the highest it’s been since late July 2020, when the country was on the downward curve of a major wave.
COVID-19 is roaring back where vaccination rates are low, and of South Florida’s three major counties, Palm Beach sits last in vaccinated residents 12 and older. The county now has a 64% vaccination rate. That’s a 1 percentage point improvement over last week.
Broward is the second-lowest in vaccinations but second-highest in virus positivity. Like Palm Beach, the county population saw a 1 point uptick in vaccinations, bringing it to 68% inoculated. Its COVID-19 positivity numbers grew by nearly 3 points, rising from 8.1% in mid-July to 10.9% last week.
August, which was several months before vaccines became available to Florida’s oldest residents, was the last time Broward hit that level of positivity.
Of residents 12 and up in Miami-Dade, 76% are vaccinated now, as the county also had a 1 point increase over the week. But despite that apparent cushion against infections, Miami-Dade’s COVID-19 positivity rate jumped more than 2½ percentage points to 10.1% last week.
That’s the highest it’s been since early January at the end of the winter holiday surge.
Then again, those not yet vaccinated in Miami-Dade appear to be the most hesitant to do so. Over the last three weeks, vaccination numbers in the county have hovered at around 33,100 per week, far lower than the roughly 51,000 per week that were vaccinated in early-to-mid-June.
Conversely, previously unvaccinated Palm Beach and Broward residents may be seeing a correlation between getting the shot and not experiencing severe symptoms, as the number of those getting vaccinated in those counties has risen every week this month.
Here are some of the weekly numbers of the previous three weeks throughout the South Florida tri-county area:
— July 2-8: 4,362 newly confirmed cases, 5.3% positivity rate, 33,281 vaccine doses administered, 73% of the 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— July 9-15: 7,062 newly confirmed cases, 7.4% positivity rate, 32,822 vaccine doses administered, 75% of the 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— July 16-22: 11,104 newly confirmed cases, 10.1% positivity rate, 33,377 vaccine doses administered, 76% of the 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 the 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— July 9-15: 3,850 newly confirmed cases, 8.1% positivity rate, 14,293 vaccine doses administered, 67% of the 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— July 16-22: 6,105 newly confirmed cases, 10.9% positivity rate, 16,667 vaccine doses administered, 68% of the 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 the 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— July 9-15: 2,483 newly confirmed cases, 9.6% positivity rate, 7,398 vaccine doses administered, 63% of the 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— July 16-22: 3,972 newly confirmed cases, 12.5% positivity rate, 9,217 vaccine doses administered, 64% of the 12-and-up population now vaccinated