Patient counts continuing to drop at Sarasota Memorial Hospital campuses
As of March 10, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that the COVID-19 positivity rate in Sarasota County had fallen to 5.75%, averaged over the seven days through that date.
A week earlier — on March 3 — the seven-day average was 7.71%.
The number of new cases in the county for the seven days through March 8 was 341, the CDC noted, down about 94%, compared to the 662 figure in its March 3 update.
The CDC added that the March 8 case rate was 78.62 per 100,000 people. The latter statistic marked a 48.49% drop from the previous seven-day rate, the CDC said.
On March 4, the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee reported that Sarasota County had had 422 new COVID-19 cases verified from Feb. 25 through March 3. The state agency releases updates just once a week, a practice it started in June 2021.
Altogether, the CDC continued, only 32 deaths had been reported in Sarasota County for the seven days through March 8. However, that total reflected a 113.33% jump from the number for the previous seven days, the agency pointed out.
For its two campuses — in Sarasota and Venice — Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) on March 10 noted only one new death since March 3. As of March 10, the total for the health care system since the start of the pandemic was 646.
Physicians and researchers long have explained that deaths generally lag behind reports of new COVID-19 cases.
Additionally of March 10, the CDC classified Sarasota County as a community with “Substantial” COVID-19 transmission. That was down from “High” a week earlier.
In other data, the CDC reported 47 new hospital admissions of COVID-19 patients over the seven days through March 7. That was a 40% drop from the previous seven-day average, the agency noted.
SMH has seen a gradual decline in its number of COVID-10 patients over the past week. On March 3, the figure was 47, with 12 of them in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs).
The patient count did rise to 54 on March 7, SMH reported, with eight of them in the ICUs.
However, by March 10, staff members at the two SMH campuses were caring for just 36 COVID patients, down from 44 on March 9. On March 10, nine of those COVID-19 patients were in the ICUs, the health care system noted.
On Jan. 20, during the height of the omicron variant surge, SMH had 214 COVID-19 patients between its two campuses. Of those, 29 were in the ICUs.
Altogether, as of the state’s March 4 report, Florida had recorded 5,814,517 COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic in the state in March 2020. The total number of deaths as of March 4 was put at 70,997.
As of those latest state data, for the period from Feb. 25 through March 3, the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee said that Sarasota County had reported a total of 88,637 COVID-19 cases since March 2020.
The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota (DOH-Sarasota) continues to offer 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. Both the Sarasota and North Port offices are open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
On its website, DOH-Sarasota points out, “The [U.S.] Food & Drug Administration has approved the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for individuals 5 years of age or older. To obtain the vaccine in Florida, individuals 5-17 years of age must be accompanied by a guardian.”