South Florida counties in ‘high’ COVID-19 community category

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 8:21 PM EDT
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All South Florida counties are in the highest of three COVID-19 community levels with Okeechobee County moving up from “medium,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its weekly update posted Thursday.

Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Broward and Miami-Dade remain listed as “high. Two weeks ago Okeechobee was “high.”

The only other counties medium are Glades, Henry in central Florida along with Calhoun, Marion, Franklin, Washington, Walton. None are now.

The levels have different commendations to halt the spread out coronavirus, including mask wearing indoors recommended for the most severe level and additional measures for high-risk people.

For medium and low, you are encouraged to "wear a mask if you have symptoms, a positive test or exposure to someone with COVID-19." At the medium level, "if you are at high risk for severe illness, consider wearing a mask indoors in public and taking additional precaution.

The first criteria is cases per 100,000 people in the past week with 200 or more considered high. One-week decreases were Palm Beach County, Indian River, Okeechhobee, Broward, Miami Dade. Increases were in St. Lucie and Martin.

Palm Beach County is 300.25, down from 309.52; St. Lucie 317.7 vs. 310.09; Martin 241.61 vs. 237.27, Indian River 273.26 vs. 285.76; Okeechobee 158.89 vs. 175.49; Broward 390.26 vs. 402.09; Miami-Dade 625.52 vs. 632.22.

Another criteria s hospital admissions per 100,000, which is high if 20 or more. Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee are 21.3; Indian River 14.8; Broward and Miami-Dade 23.9.

And the percent of staffed inpatient beds with covid for a weekly average is considered high if 15% or more. Palm Beach, St. Lucie, Martin, Okeechobee 6.1%, Indian River 6.4%; Broward, Miami-Dade 7.5%.

The CDC determines an overall high level by counting the higher of the two hospitalization rates.

Florida, Arizona and Hawaii the only states with counties dominating with "high" categories. States entirely "low" are Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire.

This is a visual map of the United States by the CDC:

The high categories in Florida counties reflect surging cases, positivty rates and hospitalizations.

Cases statewide are at the highest level since mid-February (74,625 in past week according to CDC), the positivity rate of 17.2% (June 17) is greatest since early February, hospitalizations (3841 Thursday with 6.6% capacity) are the most since Feb. 21 of 4,123 (7.11) and deaths' increase in a week, 389, is the most in the United Stares and one week after 324, according to CDC.

The current seven-day rolling daily average is 10,660. The figure 1,127 on March 22 is the lowest since 1,106 June 8, 2020. The record: 65,277 Jan. 11 (456,946 in a week).

On Thursday, 12,739 cases were posted for a total of 6,482,295, behind only California and Texas, with 14,015 June 3. One week ago it was 12,741510. The daily record: 76,611 Jan. 8.

The CDC lists overall positivity rates, with the target 5.0% or less, as every South Florida county increased in one wee: Palm Beach 19.87%, St. Lucie 23.9%, Martin 19.7%, Indian River 18.25, Okeechobee 11.29%, Broward 21.66%, Miami-Dade 23.03%%.

One week ago hospitalizations were 3,496 (6.17%) and April 11 it was 892 (1.58%), least since record-keeping began July 2020, according to Department of Health and Human Services. The record was 17,295 (2.35%) on Aug. 29 during the delta variant surge. Florida ranks second behind California, which has 3,860.

Residents' deaths are 75,800, according to CDC data from Florida, which is in third place behind California and Texas.

The state report doesn't list county deaths' data but the CDC issues weekly reports 53 in Palm Beach (17 week ago), 59 in Miami-Dade (26 week ago), 32 in Broward (26 week ago) and less than 10 in Martin, St. Lucie, Indian River, Okeechobee for both weeks.

In March, the CDC started designating "community levels." Since the pandemic, the CDC had "community transmission," which is based on cases and tests, and is broken into "low," "moderate," "substantial" and "high." The entire state is listed as "high."

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