Sarasota County’s COVID-19 positivity rate up 33% over past week, reaching 11.43% as of April 24 seven-day average, CDC says

Daily case rate per 100,000 people in Sarasota County the highest in Southwest Florida on April 28, Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center shows

This graph shows trends in the positivity rate and testing in Sarasota County. Image courtesy CDC

Sarasota County’s COVID-19 positivity level took another jump this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported on its website.

Averaged for the seven days through April 24, the rate was 11.43%. That is up almost exactly a third, compared to the rate of 8.57% that the CDC reported on April 17.

As The Sarasota News Leader noted in its April 22 issue, the county COVID-19 positivity rate averaged for the seven days through March 21 was 2.94%. Thus, the April 24 level is close to four times higher than the March 21 rate.

In May 2020, the World Health Organization recommended that the positivity rate remain below 5% for at least two weeks before governments that had required closings of businesses and schools consider allowing them to reopen.

This is the April 28 summary for Sarasota County’s COVID-19 status. Image courtesy CDC

Nonetheless, in its April 28 report for Sarasota County, the CDC continued to classify transmission as “Low.”

The CDC updates community-level metrics each week on Thursdays, it explains on its website.

Among other details in that April 28 report, the CDC put the COVID-19 case rate for the county at 77.93 per 100,000 people for the week through that date. That figure is about 28% higher than the rate of 61.1 in the April 21 report.

In its March 31 report on weekly metrics for Sarasota County, the CDC put the case rate per 100,000 people at 8.07. Thus, the April 28 case rate is almost 10 times higher.

On April 28, the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center showed the case rate per 100,000 people in Sarasota County for that day, averaged over seven days, was 25.7. The figure for the same date for Manatee County was 19.1. In Pinellas County, it was 20.4, and in Hillsborough County, it was 19.7.

Sarasota County’s rate was the highest in Southwest Florida, as indicated on the Resource Center map.

The highest daily case rate per 100,000 people in Florida on April 28, averaged over seven days, was in Miami-Dade County, the News Leader found: 56. For Broward County, it was 35.1.

The total number of new cases reported in Sarasota County for the seven days through April 26 was 416, the CDC said. That was up 23.08%, compared to the figure for the previous seven days, the federal agency noted.

However, the number of deaths in the county attributed to COVID-19 for the seven days through April 26 was less than 10, the CDC pointed out. That was the same figure the CDC provided in its report for the seven days through April 19.

This graph shows trends in cases and deaths in Sarasota County. Image courtesy CDC

Further, in its April 28 chart, the CDC showed only 5.1 new COVID-19 hospital admissions per 100,000 people in the county over the previous seven days. The percentage of staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19 cases was 1.1% as of April 28, the CDC added.

Sarasota Memorial Hospital (SMH) has reported COVID-19 patient totals at its two campuses — in Sarasota and Venice — ranging from 11 on April 22 to 20 on April 26 and April 28. On April 25, the number climbed to 15, with three of the individuals in the Intensive Care Units (ICUs).

As of April 28, four SMH COVID-19 patients were in ICUs. On April 22, the health care system reported only one in an ICU.

Additionally, Sarasota Memorial has recorded two more COVID-19 deaths over the past week. The total since the first coronavirus cases were identified in the county in March 2020 is 654, the health care system noted as of April 24. That figure was unchanged on April 28.

Countywide, the CDC estimated that for the seven days through April 25, 20 new COVID-19 patients had been hospitalized. As of that date, the agency added, it had confirmed 4.7 new admissions per 100,000 people in the county; the figure was down 8.8%, compared to the number for the previous seven days.

This April 28 graphic provided on the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center website uses circle size to compare the number of new daily COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people, averaged over seven days.

The Florida Department of Health in Tallahassee has been reporting new COVID-19 data every two weeks. Thus, the CDC has to rely on data it receives from hospitals and other health care providers in the counties to issue its regular reports.

In its COVID-19 report issued on April 14, Sarasota County Emergency Management staff wrote, “This will be the final COVID-19 Flash Report sent out, provided community transmission rates continue to trend downward.”

Although the rates have trended upward, as illustrated by the CDC and the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center, no flash report was issued on April 28. The county staff, like those at the state level, had been issuing reports every other week.

This is the April 28 report showing Florida data for the pandemic since it began. Image courtesy Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center

Further, the Johns Hopkins Resource Center noted on April 28 that it had received data showing 28 new deaths in Florida on April 27; the record high for a daily count in the state, it added, was 1,554 on Sept. 16, 2021.

Over the past week in Florida, the total number of new cases was 36,371, the Resource Center reported. That compared to the record high of 423,150 statewide from Jan. 3 to Jan. 9, when the Omicron variant was surging.

The Resource Center also reported on April 28 that the United States had had 81,199,044 confirmed COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. The total number of deaths as of the same date was 992,779, the Resource Center said.

This is the April 28 CDC report on vaccinations in Sarasota County. Image courtesy CDC
This is the April 28 CDC report on first booster doses administered in Sarasota County. Image courtesy CDC

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