COVID-19 daily patient counts at Sarasota Memorial campuses finally fall below 100 this week

CDC puts county’s positivity rate at 20.5%, averaged over seven days through Aug. 14

As the COVID-19 patient counts have declined over the past three weeks at Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s two campuses, the county’s positivity rate also has fallen, as noted in the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The last full week of July, Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) reported more than 100 COVID-19 patients each day at its Sarasota and Venice facilities. On Aug. 12, the total number of COVID-19 patients was 102. By Aug. 15, that was down to 92, and by Aug. 18, it had declined to 84, the SMH reports show.

Additionally, no more than four of those patients was in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) over the past week, the reports note. By Aug. 18, just two of the COVID-19 patients were in the ICUs in Venice and Sarasota, SMH pointed out.

However, since The Sarasota News Leader provided its prior report on July 29, SMH has recorded 13 more deaths attributed to COVID-19. The total on July 28 was 689, dating to the start of the pandemic in Florida in March 2020. By Aug. 15, the figure had risen to 702. As of Aug. 18 — the last date the News Leader was able to review data for this issue — that total had not changed.

As for the latest positivity rate: The average in the county for the seven days through Aug. 14 was 20.5%, the CDC reported. For the seven days through July 24, the average was 24.67%, as the News Leader noted in its July 29 issue.

In its report for the seven days through Aug. 7, the CDC said the positivity rate was 22.36%.

Nonetheless, the case rate per 100,000 residents in the county has climbed since July 28. As of Aug. 18, that rate was 318.39. That compared to the figure of 305.2 per 100,000 people that was noted in the CDC’s July 28 update.

Additionally, in its Aug. 18 report, the CDC said that the number of inpatient beds being used by persons with COVID-19 represented 8.6% of the county’s total, staffed hospital beds. The July 28 report put that figure at 7.6%.

Further, the CDC noted that, for the seven days through Aug. 15, it estimated that 149 new COVID-19 patients had been admitted to hospitals in the county. For the seven days through July 25, the estimate was 141.

For the seven days through Aug. 16, the CDC said that 808 new COVID-19 cases had been reported in the county. That number marked a 75% drop, compared to the figure of 1,418 for the seven days through July 26.

The total number of new cases for the seven days through Aug. 2 was 1,326, the CDC said, with 22 deaths having been recorded. Yet, the case count ticked up again in the report for the seven days through Aug. 9. The total was 1,381, though that update noted 16 deaths.

The CDC’s data for the seven days through Aug. 16 showed fewer than 10 deaths recorded, which reflected a 43.75% drop from the figure for the previous seven days.

The CDC continued to classify the COVID-19 transmission level in Sarasota County as “High” in its weekly update on Aug. 18. As a result, the CDC urges individuals to wear masks when they are indoors in public settings and when they are on public transportation.