Eight new COVID-19 cases reported among Sarasota County employees

Average of 132 cases per day reported over past seven days altogether in Sarasota County, state Health Department says

Editor’s note: The Sarasota News Leader is providing general reporting on the novel coronavirus to readers for free as a public service.

This is the overall Sarasota County report for July 22, released by state officials the morning of July 23. Image courtesy Florida Department of Health

From July 17 to July 23, eight new cases of COVID-19 were reported among Sarasota County employees, Media Relations Officer Brianne Grant announced late in the afternoon of July 23.

Last week, staff announced that each Thursday it would provide an update on new cases of the novel coronavirus among county workers.

The breakdown of the cases for the past week is as follows, Grant noted:

  • Sarasota County Fire Department — 5 employees.
  • General Services — 1 employee.
  • Capital Projects — 1 employee. (Capital Projects oversees planning and construction of new county facilities.)
  • Parks, Recreation and Natural Resources — 1 employee.

“Each department is working with the Florida Department of Health in the process of contact tracing,” Grant wrote in her email, adding that thorough cleaning has been performed at each employee’s workspace and in common areas the employees may have used.

Grant’s update came as the Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee reported 77 new COVID-19 cases in the county on July 22, as verified on the morning of July 23. The median age of those testing positive was 46 on July 22, the report added.

This is the July 22 COVID-19 testing report for Sarasota County. Image courtesy Florida Department of Health

The seven-day rolling average of new cases for the county was 132. Chuck Henry, the county Health Officer, has stressed that that rolling average is what local and state health officials use in considering how serious the infection situation is in a given county or city.

Further, for Sarasota County, the percentage of positive COVID-19 test results per day in Sarasota County over the seven-day period ending July 22 was just under 7% — 6.98%, by The Sarasota News Leader’s calculation.

The total number of deaths in the county as of July 22 was 110, the Florida Department of Health reported, with one new death logged on July 22.

Additionally, on the afternoon of July 23, Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) reported that it had 127 patients with COVID-19, down from 130 on July 22.

The hospital also noted that 694 of its 839 beds were occupied, and 66 of its 72 ICU beds were being utilized. The number of COVID-19 patients in ICU beds was 24.

In comparison, on July 21, the hospital reported 31 ICU patients were infected with COVID-19. That day, 703 of the 839 beds were filled. Altogether, on July 21, SMH had 122 COVID-19 patients.

This is the July 23 Sarasota County ‘heat map,’ showing new cases by zip code over the previous 14 days. Image courtesy Sarasota County and Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County
This is the July 15 heat map. Image courtesy Sarasota County and Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County
This is the area of the 34239 zip code, which had among the highest number of new cases as shown in the July 23 heat map. Image from ZipDataMaps.com