County’s COVID-19 positivity rate down about 63% over past week, to 11.92%, CDC reports

Patient counts and deaths falling at Sarasota Memorial Hospital campuses

This is a graphic showing the COVID-19 positivity trends in Sarasota County since June 2020, as well as state and county case data. Image courtesy Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee and Sarasota County Government

As of Feb. 24, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that Sarasota County’s COVID-19 positivity rate was 11.92%, which marked a drop of approximately 63% from the 19.47% rate on Feb. 17.

Additionally, the federal agency noted that the case rate per 100,000 people in the county had declined to 289.57, down almost 85%, compared to the rate of 534.65 in the Feb. 17 data.

And while the number of new hospital admissions in the county over the seven days through Feb. 24 totaled 101, the CDC said, that compared to the figure of 160 in the Feb. 17 CDC report.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) COVID-19 patient counts over the past week mirrored the CDC data.

On Feb. 17, SMH noted that it had a total of 107 COVID patients between its Sarasota and Venice campuses. By Feb. 24, the figure was 68.

Only 13 COVID-19 patients were in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) at the two SMH campuses on Feb. 24, the hospital noted. However, that figure had not fluctuated much over the past week. For example, on Feb. 17, the two SMH campuses had 16 COVID-19 patients in their ICUs.

This is the Feb. 24 CDC report for Sarasota County. Image courtesy CDC website

For the seven days through Feb. 23, the CDC noted that it had received reports of 1,256 new coronavirus cases in the county. That total marked a 45.84% decline, compared to the figure for the previous seven-day period.ThisThis

The Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee has been releasing COVID-19 data just once a week since early June. Its latest report — covering the period of Feb. 11 to Feb. 17 — showed 1,237 new cases recorded in Sarasota County.

For the previous seven-day period, the state Health Department reported 2,192 new COVID-19 cases in the county. Thus, the latest figure marks a drop of approximately 77%, week-over-week.

Altogether, the state Health Department reported in its latest data release, Sarasota County had had 87,634 COVID-19 cases since March 2020.

The SMH death count also has been down over the past week. On Feb. 17, the health care system reported that, since the pandemic began in the community in March 2020, 631 deaths at SMH had been recorded. By Feb. 24, the total was 640. That compared to a total of 19 between Feb. 10 and Feb. 17.

For the seven days through Feb. 23, the CDC noted 33 new deaths in the county, which was up 22.22%, compared to the count for the previous seven days.

The Sarasota County vaccination and booster updates posted on the CDC website on Feb. 24 showed few changes in comparison to the Feb. 17 reports.

Nonetheless, public health officials continue to stress that vaccinations and boosters are the best means of preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19.

This is the Sarasota County vaccination update from the CDC on Feb. 24. Image from the CDC website
This is the Sarasota County booster data shown on the CDC website on Feb. 24. Image from the CDC

DOH-Sarasota offers doses of the Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to persons at its offices in downtown Sarasota (2200 Ringling Blvd., 34237) and in North Port (6950 Outreach Way, 34287).

No appointments are necessary. The North Port office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Sarasota facility stays open past 4 p.m. — until 6 p.m. — on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday of each week.

Testing sites

This is the ‘heat map’ for Feb. 23, showing the numbers of new COVID-19 cases, by zip code, over the previous 14 days. Image courtesy Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County and Sarasota County Government

The following testing sites are available in Sarasota County, the Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) reminds the public:

  • The former Sarasota Kennel Club, located at 5400 Old Bradenton Road in Sarasota. This walk-up site is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., offering rapid and PCR COVID-19 testing. This site is operated by Nomi Health.
  • Robert L. Taylor Community Complex parking lot, located at 1845 34th St. in Sarasota. This walk-up site is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PCR COVID-19 testing is available throughout the day. This site is operated by Lab Services.
  • Dallas White Park, located at 5900 Greenwood Ave. in North Port. This walk-up site is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. PCR COVID-19 testing is available throughout the day. This site is operated by Lab Services.
  • Ed Smith Stadium parking lot, located at 2700 12th St. in Sarasota. This drive-through COVID-19 testing site offers PCR testing only and operates seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This site is operated by Real Diagnostics.
  • Venice Community Center, located at 326 Nokomis Ave. S. in Venice. This drive-through site is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PCR COVID-19 testing is available throughout the day. This site is operated by Lab Services.

DOH-Sarasota also has begun advising persons interested in being tested for COVID-19 to check this website for other locations: https://floridahealthcovid19.gov/testing-sites/.

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