COVID-19 positivity rate up to 20.69%, continuing climb shown over recent weeks

Sarasota County has highest case rate once again in Southwest Florida

This is part of the CDC data for Sarasota County through May 24. Image courtesy CDC

Sarasota County’s COVID-19 positivity rate has continued to climb, as shown in the most recent data available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Averaged for the seven days through May 22, the positivity rate was 20.69%, the CDC showed on its website on May 26. Just four days earlier — on May 16 — the CDC update noted that the positivity rate was 18.18%.

On May 15, the seven-day average was 17.39%, the CDC said at that time. The May 8 average was 15.19%.

Slightly more than a year ago — on May 3, 2021, when the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee was continuing to provide weekly reports on COVID-19 — the positivity rate in Sarasota County was 3.03%. The highest rate for the county, in fact, for the period from April 20, 2021 through May 3, 2021 was 7.5% on April 25, the state Health Department noted in its May 3 report. That period was when many individuals still were getting initial doses of vaccines, though numerous others were completing their two-shot protocols.

The total number of new COVID-19 cases reported in the Sarasota County for the seven days ending on May 24 was 1,146, the CDC noted. The case rate per 100,000 people for the same period was 264.21, the agency said; that was up 43.43%, compared to the previous seven-day average.

This CDC chart provides additional data. Image courtesy CDC

Manatee County’s rate per 100,000 people for the same period was 223.18, the CDC reported, while Hillsborough County’s was 224.39, and Pinellas County’s rate was 246.36.

Both Osceola and Orange counties had higher case rates for the same timeframe: 287.69 and 292.22, respectively, according to a CDC chart.

The highest case rate The Sarasota News Leader found in its review of that county list was for Miami-Date County: 588.01. However, a number of counties had suppressed their data, the CDC pointed out.

In a check of the data on the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center website, the News Leader found the May 26 report showed 66.2 new cases per day in Sarasota County, per 100,000 people. For Manatee County, that map listed 57.1 new cases per 100,000 people; for Pinellas County, 58.2; for Charlotte County, 49.3; and for Hillsborough County, 54.6. All of those figures also were averaged over seven days, the website explained.

This is the state map shown on the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center website on May 26. The size of the circle is linked to the number of new cases per 100,000 people in a county. Image courtesy of the Coronavirus Resource Center
This is the May 12 state map, as shown on the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center website. Image courtesy of the Resource Center

Thus, once again, both the CDC and Johns Hopkins data show Sarasota County’s case rate is the highest in Southwest Florida.

Among other data from the CDC this week, the agency noted that, for the seven days through May 23, 50 persons were admitted to hospitals in the county with confirmed cases of COVID-19. The number of new hospital admissions per 100,000 people, averaged for the seven days through May 23, was 11.5, the CDC added. That was down 9.5% from the previous seven-day figure, the agency noted.

Altogether, as of May 23, 3.1% of the staffed hospital inpatient beds in Sarasota County were in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases, the CDC said. That was down 0.1% from the previous seven-day average, the agency pointed out.

Additionally, as of May 23, 2.5% of all the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) beds in the county were in use by patients with COVID-19, the CDC said. That figure was down 1.2%, compared to the average for the prior seven days.

These are the COVID-19 total data for Florida, since the start of the pandemic, as shown on the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center website as of the morning of May 26. Image courtesy of the website
These are the May 19 totals for Florida, as shown on the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center website as of the morning of May 26. Image courtesy of the website

In its reports over the past week, Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) has noted COVID-19 patient counts ranging from 29 on May 22 to 36 on May 23.

On May 26, SMH said it had a total of 35 COVID-19 patients at its two campuses — in Sarasota and Venice. Four of those were in the ICU, the data showed.

On May 23, the hospitals were treating five COVID-19 patients in the ICUs, SMH noted.

The COVID-19 positivity rate in the SMH facilities on May 26 was 12.5%, the health care system said. That was up from the previous week’s figure of 11.2%.

SMH also reported one more COVID-19 death on May 26, bringing its total to 658 since the first patients were identified in the county in March 2020.

This is the May 26 CDC chart showing data about vaccinations in Sarasota County. Image courtesy CDC
This is the May 26 CDC chart showing details about delivery of first boosters of COVID-19 vaccines in Sarasota County. Image courtesy CDC

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