FL Covid Deaths:
- Last week, deaths among permanent residents reported by FL increased by 97% to 1,192.
- The state is claiming only 17% of them as “New Deaths” (206).
- Hillsborough County had 101 deaths, a 742% weekly increase.
- 82% percent of deaths reported in Florida last week were among senior citizens.
- FL has 9.7% of US deaths when vaccinations were available to all over 16 (6.6% US population).
- CA has 70% more people than Florida, yet the same number of excess deaths.
- FL does not report non-permanent resident deaths nor according to vaccination status
FL Covid Vaccinations:
- Florida claims a 73% vaccination rate.
- 59% of permanent Florida residents have at least completed a vaccine series.
- 22% have booster shots, an important precaution against the omicron variant.
- The state does not report cases or deaths by vaccination status.
- On 1-14-22, the governor refused to enforce the federal mandate for healthcare workers upheld by the Supreme Court a day earlier.
- On 1-19-22, the state put Orange County’s epidemiologist on leave for chiding his employees’ 40% vaccination rate.
- On 1-15-22 the governor said many nurses avoid vaccination due to “trying to have families.” Numerous studies confirm vaccination does not cause infertility.
Florida Covid Testing:
- On 1-4-22, FL’s Surgeon General decried “testing psychology” to identify all cases.
- On 1-6-22, FL’s Agriculture Secretary revealed 1,000,000 expired antigen tests.
- On 1-8-22, FL’s web site told those not at high risk of severe cases to avoid testing.
- On 1-9-22, the governor announced 1,000,000 tests for long-term care and nursing homes
Florida Covid Cases:
- On the January 27th official report, Florida reported 5,478,671 cumulative cases among permanent residents.
- 198,719 were reported as new, a 31% decrease from the prior week (289,204).
- The state over-reported 951 cases, 0.5% of the total.
- FL began a decline two weeks ago. New cases are 1,961% higher than in mid-November.
- A 23.5% new case positivity rate means there are likely 3.7 unreported cases for each + test.
- FL does not report non-permanent resident cases nor according to vaccination status
- 47,122 Florida residents under 20 tested positive, a decrease of 31% from last week.
- School-aged children had the highest positivity rates in Florida by 4 percentage points.
- Reported cases in the Hillsborough County School District fell 33%.
- Florida law prohibits requiring masks in non-medical settings.
- Parents decide about quarantining after a close contact at school.
- On 1-31-22, FL shifts its focus to “high congregate settings,” not schools and daycares.
- On 1-3-22, FL students absent due to Covid exposure are truant per Orange County
Florida Covid Treatment:
- Omicron mutations render ineffective almost all monoclonal antibodies currently in use.
- 99.9% of FL cases are due to that viral strain; 92%, 4 weeks ago; 99.7%, 2 weeks ago.
- Sotrovimab works against the omicron variant at a dosage 3x more than for delta.
- Four weeks ago, Florida used 140 of its 4,400 Sotrovimab doses and 2,700 of Regeneron.
- On 1-18-22, FL opened more infusion centers to distribute 15,000 doses of Regeneron.
- The FDA revised its EUA for Regeneron 1-24-22, prohibiting its use against omicron.
- DeSantis objected to no shipments; all FL antibody infusion centers closed on 1-25-22.
- On 1-8-21, the FDA issued an Evusheld EUA for those with severe immunosuppression.
- People with certain cancers or organ transplants receive the highest priority.
- DeSantis announced it on 12-17-21, when Covid was raging through Miami-Dade County.
- First shipments only to a small private fee-based clinic in Broward County on 12-24-21.
- People flew from out of state to receive it at the iCare Clinic.
- The large transplant hospital in Miami was to receive it within a week of 1-20-22.
- During 1-24 to 1-30, the federal government sent 32,000 doses of outpatient treatments.
- Only 13,000 of those doses are highly effective.
- 30 tablets of Paxlovid prevent 89% of the expected hospitalizations or deaths
- 40 tablets of Molnupiravir reduced the risk by only 30%
Florida Covid Hospitalizations:
- You won’t find any hospitalization info on Florida’s Weekly Reports since 6-24-21.
- Florida must relay all hospitalization data to the US Dept of Health and Human Services.
- For August 1, 2020–January 27, 2022, 9.0% of all US Covid hospitalizations were in FL (6.6% of US population).
- 854% more Floridians in hospital with Covid on Jan 27th, compared to Dec 3rd.
- For Jan 21–27, 2022, there were 1,617 admissions per day (11,322), 21% less in a week.
- Percentage of people in the hospital who required care in the ICU increased to 16%.
- Hospitalizations declined for every age group, from 13% for children to 26% for ages 30–39.
- Pediatric hospitalizations fell 29%, with 175 in FL hospitals, 68 admissions/day.
- 4% fewer children than a week ago but 775% higher than on Dec 3rd.
- One in twenty-four admissions were for children.
- Compared to delta, omicron admissions are higher for younger than 30 and older than 69.
- On 1-28-22, 83% of hospital beds in Florida were full; 17% used by Covid patients.
- Covid patients accounted for 9,868 of them, 14% fewer patients than a week earlier.
- 22% of ICU beds were used by 1,444 Covid patients, 10% fewer than the previous week.
- Overall, 84% of ICU beds are occupied in the state.
- 1/3 are admitted for Covid diagnosis; 1/3 for Covid worsening an underlying condition; and one-third for reasons unrelated to their viral infection.
- In FL’s hardest-hit area, the omicron wave of infections is declining.
- For the week, 23,019 permanent residents tested positive.
- This is a 50% decrease from last week, when there were 47,000; two weeks ago, there were 94,000; three weeks ago, there were 110,000; four weeks ago, they had 100,000; five weeks ago, there were 11,500 new cases.
- The positivity rate dropped to 21%.
- Hospital admissions declined by 36%.
- However, the number of people who died last week increased by 26% to 190.
Until January 1, 2022, Florida was the only state in the US which was releasing statistics on a weekly basis. Tennessee has now switched to that schedule. Information available in Florida’s reports is far more limited than what the state formerly provided.
Since October 14, 2021, I have made many attempts to access the FL Dept of Health Weekly Report. However, my browser will not download it due to a potential security risk:
On October 18th, I followed the Dept of Health’s recommendation to contact their COVID Data Analytics section, then went outside. When I returned, I had to do a major recovery process following an unauthorized attempt to access my hard drive. I still have not received a response from the FL COVID Data Analytics group. Even the main site for the Florida Dept of Health appears on an unsecure connection: www.floridahealth.gov.
Meanwhile faculty at the University of Florida charge that they have felt external pressure from the highest levels of state government to delete data related to their Covid research. They also encountered “barriers to accessing and analyzing” data and “barriers to publication of scientific research which inhibited the ability of faculty to contribute scientific findings during a world-wide pandemic.”
On January 21,2022, a federal judge sided with the plaintiffs in a 74-page ruling. He asserted the University of Florida was “willing to suffer threats to its accreditation, congressional inquiries, unrelenting bad press, an all-but-certain hit to its rankings, and the substantial monetary cost of hiring an experienced D.C. firm to defend its policy. The only thing UF will not do, it seems, is amend its policy to make clear that it will never consider viewpoint in denying a request to testify.” As in The Emperor’s New Clothes, the emperor’s lords, “fearing the loss of their jobs and the Emperor’s good grace, enabled the charade by praising the Emperor’s fine suit.”
I’m now accessing the pdf for the weekly summary via Dr. Jason Salemi’s site:
Here is some of the data from January 21–27, 2022:
- New cases = 198,719; Cumulative cases = 5,478,671
- Positivity rate = 23.5%
- New deaths = 206; Cumulative deaths = 64,955
- Vaccination rate = 73%
- Fully vaccinated people minus those with booster shots = 8,187,580
- Total booster doses: 4,868,689
The vaccination rate reported by the state remained at 73%. This figure represents only those eligible for vaccination and includes partially vaccinated people. Florida’s population is currently 21,975,117, so 59% have at least completed a vaccination series. People who receive a booster shot are removed from the Series Completed Category and added to the Additional Dose Category.
Twenty-two percent of Floridians have received a booster shot, a dose considered extremely important for providing protection against the omicron variant. Since I created this chart, researchers have discovered that booster efficacy begins to wane at ten weeks:
Efficacy at Peak of Protection: Booster Efficacy Wanes 15% to 20% After Ten Weeks
On January 14, 2022, Governor DeSantis’s office announced it would not enforce the federal government’s vaccine mandate for healthcare workers. The US Supreme Court upheld the requirement for all healthcare facilities which receive federal funds on the 13th.
On January 19th, the Florida Department of Health placed the epidemiologist who led Orange County’s pandemic response on administrative leave. He may be charged with a criminal offense for sending an email chiding the county’s public health employees for their 40% vaccination rate. That suspension appears to still be in force.
A day later, Governor DeSantis promoted a conspiracy theory by asserting that many nurses are avoiding vaccination because “they’re trying to have families.” Numerous studies confirm that vaccination does not cause infertility; in fact, getting Covid can reduce male fertility.
Note that archived data on influenza statistics is readily available on the FL Dept of Health web site: Florida Influenza Surveillance Reports 2001–2022
This data from January 14–20, 2022, came from Dr. Salemi’s archives. Since October 14th, my browser will not download the FL Dept of Health Weekly Report, citing it as a security risk. Nevertheless, you would not find any archived Covid information on the FL Dept of Health site:
This was the situation during January 14–20, 2022:
- New cases = 289,204; Cumulative cases = 5,280,903
- Positivity rate = 26.8%
- New deaths = 140; Cumulative deaths = 63,763
- Vaccination rate = 73%
- Fully vaccinated people minus those with booster shots = 8,234,285
- Total booster doses: 4,776,938
Covid Deaths in Florida:
Despite making national news for the state government’s attempt to cover up the number of deaths, nothing has changed in the Florida Department of Health’s methodology.
Subtracting the January 27th New Deaths from the Cumulative Deaths should give us the number of January 20th Cumulative Deaths. However, doing that reveals 986 deaths which were not included in the January 27th New Deaths. There was a total of 1,192 deaths reported in Florida during that week. Yet only 17% of deaths (206) are reflected clearly on the January 27th report. This is a 97% increase from last week (605):
When the state receives a report of a death from an earlier week, that information is added to “Cumulative Deaths” without being noted in “Previous Week Deaths.” It usually takes more than one week for death reports to get sent to the state.
Unless someone knows to compare the two data sets from both weeks, that is not apparent. By removing data from January 20th and adding data from January 27th simultaneously, only people who have saved the older data can see what they are doing. It looks like the death rate is 83% better than it is.
During January 21st–27th, Hillsborough County had 101 deaths reported to the CDC, an increase of 742% from the prior week:
On June 4th, the state removed all data from anyone who has not established permanent residency and stopped reporting information from visitors, seasonal residents, and migrant workers. This deleted 744 deaths. I can no longer access this file, as my browser deems it a security risk:
Since August 1, 2021, 24,061 permanent residents of Florida have died from Covid-19. All FL residents at least sixteen years old became eligible for vaccination on April 1st. SARS-CoV-2 infections have killed 30,143 permanent residents of the state since that date to January 27, 2022.
Despite having only 6.6% of the US population, this represents 9.7% of all American Covid-19 deaths since everyone at least 16 years old qualified for vaccination.
Nationwide, 8.8% of senior citizens who have tested positive have died. Since the pandemic began, 1.1% of all permanent Florida residents at least 65 years old have died due to Covid-19 (1,060/100,000). That is 7.0% of people in that age group who tested positive. It was 9.0% on December 30th, indicating that a lot of Florida’s senior citizens have tested positive in the last month:
By comparing the last two weeks, we can see the number and percentage of deaths in each demographic group which occurred during January 20–27, 2022:
- Under 16 = 2 (0.1%)
- 16–29 = 7 (0.6%)
- 30–39 = 14 (1.2%)
- 40–49 = 19 (1.6%)
- 50–59 = 84 (7.0%)
- 60–64 = 89 (7.5%)
- 65+ = 977 (82.0%)
Florida does not report deaths by vaccination status, so I cannot determine the percentage of deaths occurring in unvaccinated people, those who received a full series, or boosted individuals
The CDC recently updated their algorithm for calculating excess deaths in the US to include six years of data, rather than four, due to the pandemic skewing the expected numbers. Here is that information for Florida. You can click on each bar on their site to see the data for that week. It takes up to eight weeks for complete reporting:
Florida has a higher than expected proportion of excess deaths compared to other states. This is the total number of excess deaths throughout the pandemic, not the number per 100,000 people. California has 70% more people than Florida, yet the number of excess deaths is the same:
Four weeks ago, Florida improved from the deepest shade of blue for the first time since I began downloading this graphic.
If you go to the CDC’s site and click on Florida, you will see on the January 28th update that only 128 deaths are reported for the last 7 days, despite 1,192 in the state report during January 21–27, 2022. The other large states have much higher numbers for the week.
Florida now ranks second for the highest proportion of Covid deaths among the six largest states: CA (199); TX (268); FL (301); NY (232); PA (315); IL (271).
Covid Cases in Florida:
On the January 27th report, Florida reported 5,478,671 cumulative cases among permanent residents. Of those, 198,719 were reported as new, a 31% decrease from the prior week (289,204). Subtracting the new number from the cumulative one should give us the cumulative number from the prior week: 5,279,952.
However, the January 20th report shows a cumulative number of 5,280,903. This week, the state is over-reporting 951 cases, 0.5% of the total:
On June 4th, the state removed all data from anyone who is not a permanent resident and stopped reporting it. This deleted 43,535 cases.
Following six weeks of large increases since the omicron variant was first detected, Florida began a downward trajectory two weeks ago. However, our new cases are still 1,961% higher than in mid-November. A new case positivity rate of 23.5% means there are likely 3.7 unreported cases for each positive test.
Miami-Dade County was one of the first places in the state to detect the omicron variant. On December 16th, 80% of samples sequenced there were the omicron variant. Only two weeks before, 99% had been the delta variant. The omicron wave seems to have reached its peak in that county. Look at what has happened there in the seven days before January 27th:
- 23,000 cases despite 87% of the eligible population being fully vaccinated. This is a 50% decrease from last week, when there were 47,000; two weeks ago, there were 94,000; three weeks ago, there were 110,000; four weeks ago, they had 100,000; five weeks ago, there were 11,500 new cases.
- 0.8% of the population tested positive during last week (847/100,000)
- A 22% positivity rate, meaning the actual number of cases is likely 4.4 times higher. This is a decrease of 4% from the previous week.
- A drop in hospital admissions (36%) for the second straight week since the omicron wave began.
- However, 190 people died, a 26% rise from a week ago (151).
There is a discrepancy between the CDC and state data, with Florida reporting a 7% lower positivity rate and a slight difference of 577 more new cases:
During the week of January 21–27, 2022, 8,493 children under five tested positive in Florida, a decrease of 30% over the previous week (12,068).
Among those 5–19, 38,629 tested positive, 32% fewer than the prior week (56,402). In total, 47,122 Florida residents under the age of twenty tested positive, a decrease of 31% from the week before (68,470).
School-aged children had the highest positivity rates in Florida, 4% higher than any other demographic group:
Booster shots are approved for anyone at least 12 years old who had a second shot of an mRNA vaccine over five months ago or got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine two months ago. Those aged 12–17 are limited to the Pfizer vaccine.
This school year began on August 10th, and the district instituted a mandatory mask mandate on August 18th. They ended it on October 15th. Florida law prohibits requiring masks in non-medical settings and now leaves the decision about quarantining after a close contact at school to the child’s parents.
The Hillsborough County School District published a notice effective January 31,2022:
“The Florida Department of Health has shifted COVID-19 case investigation focus to: ‘high-congregate settings’ (nursing homes/skilled nursing/assisted living facilities, correctional facilities, homeless shelters, group homes) at high risk for secondary transmission or poor health outcomes among their residents as a result of COVID-19 infection. Public schools and daycare settings are not considered congregate settings.”
On January 26th, the Orange County School District announced that the state will no longer permit excused absences for Covid effective January 31st. Children who quarantine after a Covid exposure will be considered truant:
In the Hillsborough County School District, as of January 27, 2022, there have been 25,168 cases during this school year. The 2,803 cases reported during January 21st–27th constitute a 33% decrease from the previous week (4,176 during January 14–20, 2022).
My daughters’ high school has had 108 cases, with five of those in the last week. There were none the previous week. The local middle school has had 146 cases; 10 of those occurred this week. Our elementary school has had 148, with 17 occurring last week and 24 the week before that. None had been reported for several weeks before the fall semester ended.
Here are a few of the FL Dept of Health county positivity rates. Hillsborough County’s fell 9%, from 28.1% to 25.6%. The state average dropped by 13% in one week, from 26.9% to 23.5%. That means there are likely 4.8 unreported cases for each positive test in the state. We cannot tell from the state report that the number of cases in Hillsborough County decreased by 26% in the past week (from 18,219 to 13,514):
Dr. Jason Salemi, a professor from the University of South Florida, has been compiling data from the state since May 28th, when the reporting drastically changed. His county-level data are quite helpful.
Note that the date reflects the beginning of the week. It indicates that Hillsborough County’s case rate fell 26%, from 1,208/100,000 people to 896/100,000 during January 21–27, 2022. On his site, you can click on the maps for detailed information on each county:
He also lists the data for each week since May 28, 2021, when Florida deleted its daily dashboard. I have excluded some weeks to fit the most recent data into the screenshot.
The 26% decrease in Hillsborough County cases this week is evident here:
Covid Therapeutics in FL:
Until January 8th, the state continued to emphasize monoclonal antibody treatment as the focus of the Covid-19 Response web site.
Mutations which have resulted in the omicron variant render ineffective almost all the monoclonal antibodies currently in use, including the antibody combination used in Regeneron against the delta variant (imdevimab and casirivimab).
In the region which includes Florida, 99.9% of cases are now due to the omicron strain. Three weeks ago, 98% were omicron:
There is only one monoclonal antibody produced in the US which can attach to circulating omicron particles. Sotrovimab works against the omicron variant at a dosage three times that required to neutralize the delta variant and is given in two injections at the same visit.
With the sudden shift in predominating strains, it is likely to be very difficult even for people at the highest risk to access the limited supply of monoclonal antibody treatment for an omicron infection.
Four weeks ago, hospitals in Florida used 140 of the state’s stockpile of 4,400 Sotrovimab doses, in contrast to over 2,700 doses of the ineffective Regeneron monoclonal antibody.
On January 18th, the state announced the opening of additional monoclonal antibody infusion centers to distribute what remained of the 15,000 additional doses of Regeneron secured on January 7th.
Tampa Bay Times: Omicron Undermines Florida’s Strategy to Combat Coronavirus: Gov. Ron DeSantis Continues to Tout Monoclonal Antibody Therapies, but New Evidence Shows Their Effectiveness Against COVID-19 Is Waning
A week later, the FDA revised its Emergency Use Authorizations for the two components of Regeneron, prohibiting their use against the omicron variant. The federal government stopped shipping those monoclonal antibodies.
Governor DeSantis accused the Biden Administration of having no clinical evidence, despite the manufacturers of both antibodies noting they are now ineffective:
On December 8, 2021, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization for Evusheld, a monoclonal antibody developed to protect people over the age of 12 with severe immunosuppression against infection.
Due to the scarce supply, people with certain cancers or who have received organ transplants receive the highest priority.
Governor DeSantis announced the new preventative was available on December 17th, when Covid was raging through Miami-Dade County.
However, the first shipments went to a small private fee-based clinic in Broward County, not to a major medical center. People flew from out of state to receive it. A spokesperson for the state claimed the iCare Clinic received priority because it was open on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Jackson Memorial, the hospital in Miami with the most transplant patients in FL, was to receive it four weeks later.
During the week of January 24th, the federal government sent 32,000 doses of the outpatient treatments which work against omicron to Florida for the state to distribute.
Unfortunately, only 13,000 of those doses are highly effective. While 30 tablets of Paxlovid prevent 89% of the expected hospitalizations or deaths, 40 tablets of Molnupiravir reduced the risk by only 30%:
Florida Covid Testing:
On January 3, 2022, the Florida Surgeon General decried the “testing psychology” which seeks to identify all Covid cases to slow the rate of community transmission.
Amidst the scandal which erupted on January 7th concerning the 1,000,000 expired antigen tests, Florida’s web site shifted its focus to testing. Specifically, that people who are not high-risk should avoid it.
On January 6th, the governor announced the state is shipping 1,000,000 test kits to long-term care and nursing facilities:
Covid Hospitalizations in Florida:
You won’t find any hospitalization information on Florida’s Weekly Surveillance Reports. Florida stopped reporting Covid hospitalizations on June 24, 2021. However, Florida must relay all hospitalization data to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Florida reported a record 13,028 hospitalizations for Covid-19 on August 24, 2021, to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
In regions where the omicron variant is predominant, hospital officials are seeing more incidental Covid cases among people who are in the hospital. Roughly one-third are admitted for a primary diagnosis of Covid; one-third for a Covid infection making an underlying condition worse; and one-third for reasons unrelated to their viral infection.
Last fall, Florida had the highest adult hospitalization rate in the US. Until six weeks ago, Florida had remained the second best (ending at 8.9/100,000) for seven weeks. Last week, Florida rose from 17th to 16th in rank among states. There was a 22% improvement in adults requiring hospital care (62.2/100,000 to 48.3/100,000):
Florida’s pediatric hospitalization rate dropped from 14th to 18th, with a 15% decline (from 5.69/100,000 to 4.82/100,000):
For August 1, 2020–January 27, 2022, Florida has had 380,328 new hospital admissions for Covid patients. This represents 9.0% of all Covid admissions in the US for 6.6% of the US population:
For January 21–27, 2022, there was an average of 1,617 admissions per day, a total of 11,322. Overall, there was a decrease of 21% from the previous week (2,059/day) and 28% fewer compared to the peak during August 11–17, 2021 when there were 10.42 admissions/100,000 Floridians.
You can find more detailed hospitalization statistics on the same CDC COVID Data Tracker, choosing Florida as the Jurisdiction and stratifying by any age:
During January 21–27, hospitalizations declined for every adult age group, ranging from 14% for adults over 70 to 26% for ages 30–39. Except for people aged 18–29, the rate of decrease fell as the population age rose. Only two weeks earlier, hospitalizations had increased for every adult age group, ranging from 4% for ages 18–29 to 60% for people over 70.
Pediatric hospitalizations fell 13% compared to last week. Children had experienced a 203% rise during the last week of December.
Compared to the delta variant wave we encountered in 2021, omicron admissions have been higher for people younger than 30 and older than 69.
On January 27th, there were 7.53 new admissions/100,000 Floridians; 8.97 the week before:
After seven weeks of steady increases, the number of adults in the hospital started to decline two weeks ago. Last week, that number had fallen by 14% to 9,234. That is still 854% more than on December 3rd (968). New adult admissions have fallen by 16%.
The proportion of adults needing care in the ICU has continued to rise. Sixteen percent of hospitalized adults are in the ICU (a 1% increase in the proportion of ICU patients over a week ago).
Pediatric hospitalizations are 29% lower than last week, with 175 children in Florida hospitals. There were 68 pediatric admissions/day, 4% fewer than a week ago but 775% higher than on December 3rd (20). One in twenty-four admissions are for children:
HHS tracks Hospital Utilization. On the morning of January 28, 2022, 83% of hospital beds in Florida were full, the same as the last two weeks. Covid patients accounted for 9,868 of them (17% of utilized beds, down from 19%). A week earlier, there were 11,468 hospitalized Covid patients, so this represents a decline of 14%:
Twenty-two percent of ICU beds in use in Florida were used by 1,444 Covid patients, 10% fewer than the previous week (1,601). A week earlier, 25% of ICU beds were used by Covid patients. Overall, 84% of ICU beds are occupied in the state, compared to 86% a week earlier:
Many hospitals are publishing their own occupancy statistics. For example, Tampa General Hospital released this on January 28th:
- There were 171 Covid-19 admissions, down from 186 a week before
- Fifty-two Covid patients were in their ICU, up from 49 a week earlier
Archived posts on Florida Covid statistics are available here