COVID-19 positivity rate and hospital admissions up in Sarasota County over past week

91 the highest patient count at Sarasota Memorial campuses in recent days

Image courtesy CDC

As Sarasota County’s COVID-19 positivity level has continued to climb over the past week, more patients have been admitted to Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) facilities because of infection with the coronavirus, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and SMH data show.

Averaged over the seven days through June 26, the positivity rate was 23.67%, the CDC reported. That compared to 22% in the June 19 update.

This is the June 30 CDC map showing COVID-19 transmission status for Florida counties. Sarasota County is shaded more darkly because it was the focus of the News Leader CDC website search. Image courtesy CDC

In regard to SMH patient counts: As The Sarasota News Leader reported in its June 24 issue, the highest count of COVID-19 patients recorded for the week leading up to that date was 86, on June 22. This week — on June 27 — SMH reported a peak of 91 patients between its campuses in Sarasota and Venice. That figure was a jump from the tally of 77 COVID-19 patients on June 26.

This is the June 30 status report for Sarasota County. Image courtesy of the CDC

On March 25, with the waning of the omicron surge, SMH had only 22 COVID-19 patients. Thus, the high mark over the past week is more than four times that total in late March.

Finally, by June 30, the count was down again to 86, SMH noted. However, eight of those were in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs), the report said.

The number of COVID-19 patients in the SMH ICUs had climbed to a high of six prior to the News Leader’s June 24 issue.

CDC data for the seven days through June 27 estimated a total of 104 new COVID-19 patient admissions in the county.

Further, SMH recorded two more deaths of COVID-19 patients this week, bringing its total to 672 since the first coronavirus cases were identified in the county in March 2020.

The health care system also reported that its positivity rate had climbed to 16.6% this week, compared to 15.7% for the week ending June 24.

Image courtesy CDC

In its June 30 status report for Sarasota County, the CDC noted that the case rate per 100,000 people was 323.69, averaged over the prior seven days. That was down slightly — 3% — from the figure of 333.61 per 100,000 people in the June 23 update.

Conversely, on June 30, the CDC reported that the number of new COVID-19 admissions to hospitals, averaged over the seven previous days, was 25.7 per 100,000 people in the county. That was up almost 30% from the total of 19.8 per 100,000 residents in the June 23 update.

Finally, the June 30 CDC status report for the county said the percentage of staffed hospital inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases had risen to 5.6%. The June 23 status report put that figure at 4.9%.

Additionally, for the seven days through June 28, the CDC reported that the total number of new county coronavirus cases added up to 1,329. That was down from the June 21 figure of 1,404.

This is the June 30 update for COVID-19 in Florida, as shown on the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center webpages for Florida. Image courtesy of Johns Hopkins

Because Sarasota County’s COVID-19 transmission rate still is classified as “High,” according to the CDC, the federal agency is continuing to advise people to wear masks indoors in public settings and to use masks on public transportation.

Health care providers also point out that vaccinations — and boosters for those who have been fully vaccinated — are the best protection against severe illness and death, if a person were to contract COVID-19.

This is the vaccination data for Sarasota County as shown on the CDC website on June 30. Image courtesy CDC
This is the vaccination data for Sarasota County as shown on the CDC website on Jan. 6, for comparison with the June 30 figures. Image courtesy CDC