COVID-19 positivity rate down slightly to 23.29% in Sarasota County, but more infected patients dying at Sarasota Memorial facilities

CDC reports higher average case count per 100,000 county residents for this week

Image courtesy CDC

The COVID-19 positivity rate in Sarasota County declined a bit over the past week — from 25.01%, averaged over seven days through July 3, to 23.29%, averaged over the seven days through July 10, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has reported.

The July 10 figure was the latest available prior to publication of this issue of The Sarasota News Leader.

In its weekly status report on the COVID-19 community level in Sarasota County, issued on July 14, the CDC showed the case rate per 100,000 people, averaged over the previous seven days, was 313.78. That was up from 306.4, averaged over the seven days prior to July 7.

This is the July 6 CDC map, showing COVID-19 transmission levels for all Florida counties. Sarasota County is a darker orange because it was the focus of News Leader research on the federal website. Image courtesy CDC
This is the June 29 CDC map for Florida showing the COVID-19 transmission level for the counties. Again, Sarasota County is a darker shade of orange because it was the focus of the News Leader‘s research on the website. Image courtesy CDC

Additionally, the July 14 CDC report puts the number of new COVID-19 hospital admissions in the county, per 100,000 people, at 26. Thus is up approximately 10%, compared to the July 7 figure of 23.6.

Further, the CDC noted in its July 14 update for Sarasota County that 7% of the county’s staffed inpatient hospital beds were in use by patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19. That also was up from the July 7 report, when the figure was 6.3%.

The CDC continues to classify COVID-19 transmission in Sarasota County — and most Florida counties — as “High.”

This is the status report for the county as of July 14, based on CDC data. Image courtesy CDC

Therefore, the CDC advises everyone to wear masks when indoors in public settings and when using public transportation.

Anyone at high risk for severe illness should “consider taking additional precautions,” the CDC says.

The latest CDC hospital data is reflected in Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) updates over the past week. The highest number in those reports prior to the News Leader’s deadline for its July 8 issue was 89, on July 6.

As of July 14, SMH was caring for 99 COVID-19 patients between its campuses in Sarasota and Venice. Of those, eight were in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

On July 8, the total number of COVID-19 cases at SMH’s two facilities was 71. Thus, the count on July 14 marked a 39% jump, compared to the figure for July 8.

The health care system also reported eight patients in its ICUs as of July 14.

SMH’s tally of COVID-19 patients in its care in Sarasota and Venice was 85 on July 10; 81 on July 11; 84 on July 12; and 92 on July 13, the reports show.

Over the past week, the lowest count of those patients in the ICUs came on July 12, when it was six.

Further, reflecting data collected for the seven days through July 11, the CDC estimated 127 new county hospital admissions of COVID-19 patients. That figure, it said, was up 10.3%, compared to the number for the previous seven days.

Additionally, SMH has recorded more COVID-19 patient deaths this week.

Image courtesy CDC

The total of those deaths for the health care system since the pandemic began in Florida, in March 2020, stood at 675 on July 7. As of July 14, the figure had risen to 683.

In its July 12 report — also the latest available prior to the publication of this issue — the CDC noted 14 new COVID-19 deaths in Sarasota County. The July 5 figure was 13. However, the CDC pointed out that the July 12 tally was up 7.69%, compared to the agency’s previous seven-day total for the county.

As the News Leader has reported, deaths typically lag an increase in case counts.

Among other data provided to the federal government for Sarasota County, the total number of new cases recorded over the seven days through July 12 was 1,260. That figure did mark an 8% drop from the seven-day total noted on July 5, which was 1,361.

As of July 14, these are Florida’s COVID-19 totals since the pandemic began in March 2020, calculated by the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center. Image courtesy of the Resource Center
These are the May 12 totals for Florida, as shown on the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center website. Thus, the state has seen more than 588,000 additional COVID-19 cases in just two months, along with more than 2,200 deaths. Image courtesy of the Coronavirus Resource Center