COVID-19 patient counts at Sarasota Memorial campuses exceed 100 every day so far this week, reaching a high of 116

CDC reports slight rise in COVID-19 positivity in Sarasota County, to 24.67%, averaged over seven days through July 24

Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) has recorded more than 100 COVID-19 patients each day this week at its Sarasota and Venice campuses, as shown in its updates.

Additionally, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) noted in its most recent update — for the seven days through Sunday, July 24 — that Sarasota County’s COVID-19 positivity rate is up again slightly, to 24.67%. The seven-day average that the CDC reported on July 17 was 24.59%.

On July 22, SMH had 98 COVID-19 patients under its staff’s care at its Sarasota and Venice facilities. However, by Sunday, July 24, the total had risen to 101. The highest count this week, through July 28, was 116. That was noted on July 26, and it marked a jump of approximately 12.6% from the 103 total on July 25.

Of those 116 COVID-19 patients, nine were being treated in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs), SMH staff said.

On July 27, the number of patients in Sarasota and Venice was down to 107, with four in the ICUs. A day later — July 28 — the figure rose to 108, with five in the ICUs.

Prior to the publication of The Sarasota News Leader’s July 22 edition, the largest number of COVID-19 patients at SMH’s two campuses was 107, as noted in the health care system’s July 17 update.

The largest number of patients with COVID-19 in the ICUs at the two SMH campuses at one time this week was 10, on July 24, hospital reports showed.

On July 22, only three COVID-19 patients were under staff members’ care in the Sarasota and Venice ICUs, SMH pointed out that day.

The highest count of COVID-19 patients in the ICUs last week at the two SMH facilities was eight, noted on July 14.

Over the seven days through July 25, the CDC reported, the estimated number of new admissions of COVID-19 patients to hospitals throughout Sarasota County was 141.

Further, the agency pointed out that its seven-day average through July 28 showed 32.5 new admissions per 100,000 people in the county. That figure was up 8% from the previous seven-day average, the CDC added.

In its July 28 weekly status report for Sarasota County, the CDC noted 305.2 new cases per 100,000 county residents, averaged over the previous seven days. That number was up from the 290.5 cases averaged over seven days, per 100,000 residents, as of July 21.

However, the CDC said that the number of new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 county residents, calculated over the seven days through July 28, was 28.9. That was down from the 32.1 admissions per 100,000 people that the CDC reported for the seven days through July 21.

The CDC added in its July 28 update that the percentage of staffed hospital beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases was 7.6%. That marked a climb from 6.7%, as noted in the agency’s July 21 status report.

Additionally, SMH reported two more COVID deaths over the past week, bringing that total at the health care system to 689 since the first pandemic patients were identified in Florida — in Sarasota County, in fact — in early March 2020.

In its July 28 status report for Sarasota County, the CDC continued to classify the coronavirus transmission level as “High.” The agency also keeps cautioning people in the county to wear masks in public indoor settings and on public transportation.

In a graphic reflecting community transmission levels calculated with data collected from July 13 through July 19, the CDC showed all but two Florida counties with a “High” classification. The latter were Collier and Glades, which were classified with “Medium” transmission levels.