COVID-19 case rate in county jumps to 203.58 per 100,000 people, compared to 186.29 in Aug. 25 report, CDC shows, but positivity rate down to 16.36%

Sarasota Memorial patient counts continue to fall, reaching total of 45 on Sept. 1

The number of people with COVID-19 under care at the two Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) campuses has continued to fall over the past week, the health care system’s reports show.

However, the COVID case rate per 100,000 people in Sarasota County jumped from 186.29 in the Aug. 25 report of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to 203.58 in the agency’s Sept. 1, weekly update.

Nonetheless, the COVID positivity rate, averaged over seven days, has come down. It was 16.36%, as of Aug. 28, which compares to 18.95% for the seven-day average through Aug. 21, CDC data show.

The total number of new COVID cases in the county for the seven days through Aug. 30 was 680, the CDC said, which marked a 22.99% drop from the previous seven-day average. The CDC’s seven-day figure through Aug. 23 was 883, as The Sarasota News Leader reported.

As of Sept. 1, SMH said, the total number of COVID-19 patients at its Sarasota and Venice campuses was 45. On Aug. 26, the figure was 59, which was the highest number since the News Leader provided its previous update, based on statistics through Aug. 24. (SMH offered no data on Aug. 25, which was the deadline for the News Leader’s Aug. 26 issue.)

The number of those COVID patients in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs) has varied from two to four from Aug. 26 through Sept. 1, the SMH reports show; four was the figure in SMH’s Sept. 1 update.

In its Sarasota County weekly overview, published on Sept. 1, the CDC noted that 6.6% of the county’s staffed inpatient beds were in use by individuals with confirmed COVID-19 cases. The weekly update on Aug. 25 put that figure at 8.9%.

Further, CDC data reported on Aug. 29, for the seven days through that date, put the number of new hospitalizations in the county at 19.1 per 100,000 people, which was up 5% from the previous seven-day total.

The CDC also estimated that 83 people had been admitted to county hospitals for treatment of the coronavirus over the seven days through Aug. 29. That figure was the same as the total that the CDC cited for the seven days through Aug. 22.

Further, the CDC noted that, over the seven days through Aug. 30, data showed 25 more COVID deaths in Sarasota County. That marked an increase of almost 67%, compared to the figure of 15 for the seven days through Aug. 23.

SMH reported two more deaths of COVID patients since Aug. 24, bringing its total to 706 since the first pandemic cases were identified in the county in March 2020.

In its Sept. 1 status report for Sarasota County, the CDC continued to classify COVID-19 transmission as “High.” Therefore, the agency recommended that individuals wear masks in indoor public settings and on public transportation.

On Sept. 1, the CDC’s latest map showing COVID-19 transmission levels for each Florida county reflected data as of Aug. 24. That map noted that most of the Panhandle counties were in the “Low” or “Medium” category, while the majority of the Southwest and Central Florida counties still had the “High” designation. However, Charlotte and Collier counties had a “Medium” classification.