COVID-19 positivity rate declines slightly to 9.29%, but case count continues climb

Sarasota Memorial daily patient totals range up to 51 over past week

Although the COVID-19 positivity rate for Sarasota County declined to 9.29%, averaged over the seven days through Nov. 13, the case rate has continued to climb, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported.

The seven-day positivity rate averaged on Nov. 6 was 10.46%, the CDC noted at that time. Four days later — on Nov. 10 — the CDC reported that the case rate per 100,000 county residents, averaged over the seven days through that date, was 64.09. The seven-day average for cases per 100,000 county residents noted in the Nov. 17 status report was 72.39, a rise of nearly 13%.

Additionally, the number of hospital beds in use by COVID-19 patients in the county inched up from 3.7% of the total in the CDC’s Nov. 10 status report to 3.8% in the Nov. 17 update. The Oct. 27 update put that figure at 3%.

Further, for the seven days through Nov. 14, the CDC estimated that 64 new patients with COVID-19 had been admitted to hospitals in the county, and the agency had confirmed that 14.7 patients per 100,000 county residents were receiving care in county facilities. The latter figure was up 11.5%, compared to the previous seven-day average, the CDC said.

In its Nov. 7 report, the CDC estimated that 59 new patients had been admitted to county hospitals over the seven days through that date, and it had confirmed 13.6 new admissions per 100,000 county residents for the seven days through that date. The latter number was up 8.4% from the prior seven-day average, the CDC reported at the time.

The number of Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in use by COVID-19 patients over the seven days through Nov. 14 represented 4.8% of the total in the county, the CDC noted. That also marked an uptick, compared to the Nov. 7 figure, which was 4.5%.

Since Nov. 11, Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) has reported COVID-19 patient counts at its two campuses — in Sarasota and Venice — mostly in the 40s. The high was 51 on Nov. 14. On both Nov. 13 and Nov. 17, SMH noted 43 COVID patients in its care.
Additionally, over the past week, the data have shown no more than four COVID patients in the ICUs. That was the count on Nov. 17.

SMH also has recorded more COVID deaths this week. On Nov. 9, the total since the first pandemic cases were identified in the county — in March 2020 — was 729. That total rose to 731 on Nov. 15.

The health care system did report that its COVID-19 positivity rate for patients was 6% as of Nov. 17. That compared to 6.6% for the week ending Nov. 11, SHM pointed out.

For the week ending Nov. 4, the figure was 5.7%.

Among other CDC data, the total number of cases over the seven days through Nov. 9 was 314, the agency said. That was up 12.95%, compared to the previous week’s figure, the CDC noted. The Nov. 2 report put the case count at 278.

The CDC’s map of Florida reflecting COVID-19 data calculated on Nov. 9, using figures the agency had received from Nov. 2 through Nov. 8, showed only six of the 67 counties classified with a “Medium” transmission level. Those were Sarasota, DeSoto, Charlotte, Monroe, Broward and Miami-Dade.

Every other county was designated as having “Low” transmission.

The Nov. 2 map showed only three counties classified as having the “Medium” transmission level: Sarasota, DeSoto and Charlotte. All others were marked with the “Low” level.