South Florida’s overburdened hospitals neared full capacity this past week as COVID-19 tore through the state, but figures the Florida Department of Health released Friday indicate the current wave of the virus may have peaked in the tri-county area.
Raw case totals in two of South Florida’s three counties fell for the first time in months. Miami-Dade, which at 85% of residents 12 and older vaccinated boasts the highest inoculation rate in the state, saw its total decrease for the first time since mid-June.
Broward’s infection numbers also fell for first time since mid-June. With 76% of residents having gotten the shot, Broward is second only to Miami-Dade in that metric statewide, according to Florida records.
While its number of total cases grew marginally, Palm Beach reached a milestone this week by getting 70% of its residents 12 and older vaccinated. More good news: The county only had 98 more cases than it did the week prior, the smallest uptick since the most recent COVID-19 wave began two-plus months ago.
Each county’s positivity rate — the share of COVID-19 test that come back positive for the virus — appears to be lagging slightly behind raw case numbers. Only Broward’s rate fell, from 16.5% to 16.1%. As with total cases, the last time that figure fell was in mid-June.
Meanwhile, Palm Beach, whose positivity rate grew from 17.8% to 17.9%, had its smallest increase in months, which may mean its COVID-19 issues, for now, are starting to subside.
In Miami-Dade, the positivity rate is wavering. Last week, it fell for the first time in eight weeks. But it rose again this past week, albeit minutely, from 12.4% to 12.6%.
Less encouraging is that the number of vaccines each county administered continued their multi-week downtrend. Miami-Dade and Broward each gave nearly 5,000 fewer shots than they did the week before, and Palm Beach’s dose numbers fell by almost 2,700.
With students returning to class and Gov. Ron DeSantis doing everything in his power to prevent school districts from requiring masks, many South Florida parents and teachers voiced worry over children’s safety, particularly for kids 11 and younger who still can’t be vaccinated.
Here are some of the weekly numbers for the previous three weeks throughout the tri-county area:
— July 30-Aug. 5: 19,639 newly confirmed cases, 12.7% positivity rate, 48,700 vaccine doses administered, 81% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— Aug. 6-12: 21,561 newly confirmed cases, 12.4% positivity rate, 44,622 vaccine doses administered, 83% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— Aug. 13-19: 19,906 newly confirmed cases, 12.6% positivity rate, 39,703 vaccine doses administered, 85% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— July 30-Aug. 5: 12,590 newly confirmed cases, 15.9% positivity rate, 28,245 vaccine doses administered, 72% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— Aug. 6-12: 14,675 newly confirmed cases, 16.5% positivity rate, 27,724 vaccine doses administered, 74% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— Aug. 13-19: 13,521 newly confirmed cases, 16.1% positivity rate, 22,598 vaccine doses administered, 76% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— July 30-Aug. 5: 7,787 newly confirmed cases, 17.1% positivity rate, 18,094 vaccine doses administered, 67% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated
— Aug. 6-12: 9,159 newly confirmed cases, 17.8% positivity rate, 16,335 vaccine doses administered, 68% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated
Aug. 13-19: 9,257 newly confirmed cases, 17.9% positivity rate, 13,673 vaccine doses administered, 70% of 12-and-up population now vaccinated