Florida Covid Statistics: What Is Really Happening, September 15, 2022

Compared to people in the rest of the US, a permanent Florida resident was twice as likely to die due to Covid during September 9–15, 2022.

Floridians accounted for 13% of all Covid deaths reported that week: a vast improvement from my two prior reports (25% and 22%).

The yellow line on the right represents 396 people, giving Florida the 3rd or 4th worst per capita mortality rate in the nation for the week.

During May through August, Florida’s death rate was 3x that of the other 10 states with the largest populations, the highest temperatures, and the oldest people.

Since everyone 16+ became eligible for vaccination on April 1, 2021, people in Florida were 60% more likely to require Covid hospitalization than people in the rest of the US.

For September 9–15, 2022, that elevated risk was 135%. Per capita, there were 235 admissions in Florida for every 100 admissions in the rest of the US.

The state continued to improve to 5th in the nation for adult Covid admissions. During June 2–August 16, 2022, there were only 4 days that the state did not rank last.

Florida’s pediatric admissions rank dropped back to 3rd worst. August 11th marked the first time pediatric admissions were better than 3rd worst in at least 18 weeks.

Despite having a higher proportion of senior citizens and similar age-related demographics, Maine’s per capita Covid death rate is about half of Florida’s (190 vs. 376/100,000).

Before vaccines were available to everyone aged 16+ in the US, Floridians had a lower death rate than elsewhere in the US and a slightly elevated risk of hospitalization. What accounts for this dramatic shift?

To download a pdf of this post, click here.

Trends in Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in the US Reported to CDC, by State

Tampa Bay Times: Why Are So Many Floridians Still Dying from COVID? How Florida’s Death Rate Compares to Other States, Including California, Texas, and New York

COVID Data Tracker: New Admissions of Patients with Confirmed COVID-19 per 100,000 Population

Risk of Hospitalization and Death in Florida vs. the Rest of the US Before and After 16+ Vaccination and During September 9–15, 2022 

Sept 8, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Aug 25, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

PRB: Which States have the Oldest Populations?

CDC: United States COVID-19 Cases, Deaths, and Laboratory Testing by State and Territory

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To check on other locations in the US, I recommend finding the statistical category you’re seeking on this post and then clicking on Dr. Salemi’s or the CDC’s site and entering a different state or county.

I have also published an archived omicron variant post, archived delta variant information, and archived general Covid-19 information. However, the most recent omicron information is here.

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Urgent Information:

On August 31, 2022, the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorizations to Moderna and Pfizer for omicron-specific boosters.

The CDC recommends this booster two months after previous Covid vaccination or three months after infection.

People who should receive the older mRNA versions are those without two shots and children aged 5–11:

FDA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Moderna, Pfizer-BioNTech Bivalent COVID-19 Vaccines for Use as a Booster Dose

AMA: New Omicron Boosters Available from Pfizer and Moderna with Sandra Fryhofer, MD

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots

Until September 2nd, each household could order up to three sets of four Covid tests at Covid.gov. Funding for this expired, except for people with Medicare Part B. They can receive 8 tests/month at participating pharmacies.

The Hill: Federal Government to Halt Free COVID-19 At-home Tests by Early September

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An Overview:

If you were infected with Covid in Florida before the end of March, you are highly unlikely to have immunity to the current subvariants.

Three doses of the original vaccine formulas are also significantly less protective than for earlier omicron subvariants.

Recent research indicates that additive damage occurs to numerous organ systems with each Covid infection.

In the US during June 26–July 2, 2022, 2 boosters prevented 94% of deaths; 1 booster prevented 84%; and a primary series prevented 80% of Covid fatalities.

A 2nd booster is much less effective at preventing infections. For people 50+ during July 17–23, having at least 2 boosters prevented 72% of cases; 1 booster prevented 67%; and a primary series prevented 78%.

Evusheld does not work against the rapidly increasing BA.4.6 and several other subvariants which derive from BA.4 and BA.5, such as BF.7.

Currently BA.4.6 accounts for 12% of samples in the region which includes Florida and BF.7 for 2%.

This week, Florida ranks 3rd or 4th worst in Covid deaths. Compared to other people in the US (2,682), a permanent Florida resident was 2.0x as likely to die from Covid (396; 13% of all Covid deaths).

During August 19–25, 2022, 1/4 of Covid deaths reports in the US came from Florida (25.6%).

Until mid-August, Florida ranked near the worst in the US for confirmed cases for 10 straight weeks.

The state seems to be emerging from the latest omicron wave, improving to 21st best for permanent residents. Without state data, I cannot determine the trend among children this week.

For September 9–15, people in FL were also 135% more likely to need hospital care than people in the rest of the US.

During June 2–August 16, 2022, there were only 4 days that the state did not rank last in Covid adult hospital admissions. It now ranks 5th worst.

Florida’s pediatric admissions rank returned to 3rd worst in the US with an increase of 44%. Until the August 11th report, it had been no better than 3rd for at least 18 weeks. In the last week, 107 children were admitted to Florida hospitals.

Florida has the 3rd highest number of excess deaths compared to other states. That is the total number of excess deaths, not the number per 100,000 people.

California has 80% more people than Florida; TX has 35% more. Among the 6 largest states, Florida has the worst death rate.

During May through August, Florida’s death rate was 3x that of the other 10 states with the largest populations, the highest temperatures, and the oldest people.

A report released by the US House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in June 2022 explains Florida’s approach to the pandemic: get as many lower-risk people infected as quickly as possible to reach herd immunity.

In July 2020, one senior federal official advocated for deliberate infection “kind of like measles parties.”

He wrote, “Infants, kids, teens, young adults, middle aged with no conditions, etc. have zero to little risk…so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…and recovered…with antibodies…Hospitals are NOW geared, PPE in place, ICU beds are on the ready, doctors and nurses alert….”

Scott Atlas, the chief architect of the herd immunity plan, advised the DeSantis Administration before joining the federal government.

Dr. Joseph Ladapo also promoted this “low testing/no masks/no lockdown” strategy to the White House before becoming the state’s surgeon general.

Overall, 62 Floridians <15 have died from Covid. So far, 19 permanent Florida residents under 1 year old have died. Florida children aged 1–4 have a death rate 12% worse than the national average, with 12 deaths.

Compared to the rest of the US, ages 5–14 and 15–29 are dying at 34% and 36% higher rates than their peers nationwide.

When I remove smaller states with higher ranks but only one death, Florida’s rankings worsen to 10th for <1; 3rd for 1–4; and 7th for 5–14.

Over 3,000 Covid deaths in 2020 which a state auditor detected in early June will not be added to the state tally.

According to a spokesman, the Florida Department of Health does not consider having Covid listed on a death certificate sufficient to count it as due to Covid.

As of 9-8-22, 1.3% of all permanent Florida residents who are 65+ had died from Covid. That this improved after July 14th—when it was also 1.3%—is impossible. The dip occurred in the 7-28-22 report even though the size of that demographic group remained the same.

Comparing the June 30th to the June 16th report, there is an increase of 500,000 people who had received at least one shot by the same date (June 16th). The FL Department of Health spokesman refused to explain the discrepancy.

Until receiving a demand from a bipartisan Congressional committee on June 18th, the FL Dept of Health prevented hospitals and doctors’ offices from preordering the vaccines which the FDA and CDC approved for children at least 6 months old.See the Vaccination section for a more detailed account.

One page of the official Department of Health web site lies about the FDA’s recommended age for vaccination, saying it is 12+, not 6 months+. Another of the agency’s pages cites it accurately.

There were more cumulative cases reported for children under five in the June 16th report (192,875) than in the June 30th report (191,640).

That gives us -1,235 for June 17–23, when the state was hindering vaccination of that age group. To my knowledge, that has not been corrected.

On June 28th, Dr. Ladapo testified to Congress that he and Governor DeSantis made the decision not to preorder vaccines and to prevent county health departments from administering them. He estimated that would affect 33,000 children.

When asked about the risk of Covid infections compared to the risk of vaccination, the surgeon general called it “a perverse question.” He asserted what matters is the risk of vaccination vs. non-vaccination.

On June 30th, the day the president of the Florida Academy of Pediatrics began vaccinating young children, the state removed her from her board position at Florida Healthy Kids.

Florida’s Chief Financial Official claimed it was for “some very political statements that do not reflect the CFO’s point of view, even going so far as to as to say that the state is ‘obstruct(ing)’ access to vaccines. The CFO does not share your opinion and believes the state has gone to great lengths to protect lives in the face of the Coronavirus.”

Children <4 years old in the US were 5x as likely to need hospital care during the first omicron wave than during delta.

When Florida officials refused to preorder vaccines for young children, the state was the 2nd worst in the US for pediatric admissions.

Among 1,040,000 children under 5 who received vaccination, symptoms were like those from routine childhood immunizations.

No cases of myocarditis occurred. Only 19 experienced severe reactions (0.2%). Two of them were hospitalized due to vaccination (0.0002%).

Trends in Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in the US Reported to CDC, by State

CDC: Excess Deaths Associated with COVID-19 by Jurisdiction/Cause

American Heart Assn: Rethink What You Thought You Knew about COVID-19 Reinfection

MedRxiv: Further Humoral Immunity Evasion of Emerging SARS-CoV-2 BA.4 and BA.5 Subvariants

Sept 8, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

CDC: Variant Proportions

MedRxiv: Further Humoral Immunity Evasion of Emerging SARS-CoV-2 BA.4 and BA.5 Subvariants

CDC: CDC Strengthens Recommendations and Expands Eligibility for COVID-19 Booster Shots

MedPage: Report Shows Trump Administration Embraced Herd Immunity via Mass Infections—The Strategy Likely Contributed to Many Preventable Deaths, Report Notes

Salemi USF: Covid-19 in Florida

Florida Covid Response: Who Is Eligible for a Covid-19 Vaccine

FDoH: Covid-19 Vaccines in Florida

McClatchy: Congressional Panel Demands DeSantis Briefing on COVID Vaccines for Kids by End of Month

FDA: FDA Roundup July 8, 2022

FDA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Emergency Use of Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine, Adjuvanted

Tampa Bay Times: Ladapo Tells Congress that Florida Decision Could Limit Kids’ Vaccine Access

Florida Politics: Doctor Ousted from Florida Children’s Health Board Over Vaccine Views

MMWR: Hospitalization of Infants and Children Aged 0–4 Years with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19—COVID-NET, 14 States, March 2020–February 2022

MMWR: COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Safety Among Children Aged 6 Months–5 Years—United States, June 18, 2022–August 21, 2022

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Fifty of Florida’s 67 counties have high transmission; 15 have substantial transmission and 2 have moderate transmission.

This is an improvement from a week earlier, when 59 counties were at the highest level.

However, the two which reported low transmission on September 8th are now listed as “high” and “substantial”:

On September 14th, the CDC deemed almost all of Florida as a sustained or resolving hotspot.

More rural counties have improved to the “low or moderate burden” category:

CDC: Community Transmission in Florida

CDC: COVID-19 Community Profile Report

Sept 8, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

People who were previously infected with omicron BA.1 or BA.2 are susceptible to reinfection from the newer subvariants omicron BA.2.75, BA.4 and omicron BA.5.

This very likely includes the sub lineages which descended from them:BA4.6, and BF.7. The latter (BF.7) was separated from BA.5 this week:

These newer strains replicate in people’s nasal passages, tending to result in less severe illness. Serious cases are rare but do occur, especially in unvaccinated individuals.

The early omicron variants triggered long Covid in 4% of people, compared to 10% of those infected with the delta variant.

NEJM: Neutralization Escape by SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Subvariants BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5

MedPage: Omicron BA.4 and BA.5: Starting from Scratch Yet Again—Here’s What We Know and What We Still Need to Find Out

Lancet: Risk of Long COVID Associated with Delta versus Omicron Variants of SARS-CoV-2

Laboratory evidence on serum samples corroborates evidence of increased susceptibility to reinfection with BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 for people who had breakthrough infections due to the omicron BA.1 variant.

Three doses of the original vaccines are also significantly less protective when compared to earlier omicron subvariants.

These charts are on logarithmic scales, so the declines are larger than they appear until you see the lower dilution number required to neutralize the viruses:

Subsequent research indicates that infection with the BA.2 subvariant also fails to confer immunity against BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5.

MedRxiv: Omicron Sub-Lineages BA.4/BA.5 Escape BA.1 Infection-Elicited Neutralizing Immunity

Nature: BA.2.12.1, BA.4 and BA.5 Escape Antibodies Elicited by Omicron Infection

DPZ: Emerging Omicron Subvariants BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 are Inhibited Less Efficiently by Antibodies

On September 17, 2022, 100% of sequenced samples in the US and in the region which includes Florida were BA.2.75, BA.4, BA.4.6, BA.5 or BF.7.

That means that the SARS-CoV-2 virus infection which is spreading in the state cannot be completely prevented by the original vaccine formulations or an infection which occurred before late March 2022:

CDC: Variant Proportions

A preprint study of veterans in the US reveals additive damage to numerous organ systems as the number of Covid infections increases in each patient. Reinfection is something to avoid:

American Heart Assn: Rethink What You Thought You Knew about COVID-19 Reinfection

Research Square: Outcomes of SARS-CoV-2 Reinfection

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Until June 2021, Florida reported Covid statistics every day with an online database.

Weeks before the delta variant took hold in the state with devastating effects, the Department of Health switched to a weekly pdf while withholding data previously available to the public.

Now Florida is halving the frequency of reports to the public to every two weeks. The state is directing people to the CDC, where there is an information lag:

Tampa Bay Times: Florida Limits COVID Data to Every 2 Weeks, State Says Via Meme: Department of Health Officials Announced the Change Via Twitter, Using Vince McMahon and Cat Memes

Palm Beach Post: Florida to Update COVID-19 Data Less Frequently than All Other States

Florida Covid-19 Response

I heartily disagree with this official announcement made from the Florida Department of Health retweeting their spokesman’s personal Twitter account on March 11, 2022. We need more information, not less.

Unfortunately, the tactic works: Floridians tend to express shock when I tell them about the most recent statistics:

Florida Covid-19 Response

March 17, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What is Really Happening?

Dr. Jason Salemi from the University of South Florida was compiling some data from the CDC during weeks when the state did not issue an official report.

Even before his hard drive crashed after April 24th, he did not have direct access to the Florida data.

His rebuilt site is omitting data derived from the Florida Department of Health reports:

May 19, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

Beginning in June 2021, Florida removed all archived Covid data from their web site.

Until March 17, 2022, they replaced the statistics from the previous week with a new report. Now that occurs every two weeks.

That makes it much more difficult—even for those who have saved the old data—to see the actual numbers of cases and deaths. The state does not include  hospitalization information.

On the Florida Department of Health web site, you can locate influenza records from 2001 but no comprehensive Covid data from earlier than September 2, 2022.

TBT: Why Doesnt Florida Trust Its Residents with Basic COVID Information?

Florida Covid-19 Response

Florida Influenza Surveillance Reports 2001–2022

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These bullet points are a summary of the data in the rest of this post:

Florida Covid Deaths:

  • As of 9-15-22, the state has reported 80,782 Covid deaths among permanent FL residents to the CDC.
  • On 6-6-22, a report from the Florida Auditor General revealed the state omitted 3,000 Covid deaths from official reporting during March–October 2020.
  • The state says having Covid listed on a death certificate is not sufficient reason to count the death as Covid-related, so they will not be added to the Cumulative Deaths.
  • On June 4, 2021, the state removed 744 deaths among non-permanent residents and stopped reporting them.
  • During June 2021–August 2022, Florida reported only 7,695 of the 44,625 Covid deaths among permanent residents as “New Deaths” (17%).
  • 1,845 permanent Florida residents died from Covid in August 2022, a 5% decrease from July (1,940). Only 151 were counted as “New Deaths” (8%).
  • During September 9–15, 2022, 13% of all Covid death reports in the US came from Florida . Per capita, there were 205 deaths in Florida for every 100 deaths elsewhere in the US.
  • For August 18–25, permanent Florida residents were 4.8x more likely to die; for September 2–8, it was 4.0x.
  • There were 396 deaths among permanent residents reported during September 9–15 (+12%). That is the 3rd or 4th worst in the nation per capita (2.04/100,000).
  • The state is claiming only 12% of them as “New Deaths” (46).
  •  Miami-Dade County reported 46 deaths (+53%); Broward had 23 (-12%); Palm Beach County had 32 (+7%); Orange—where Disney is located—had 11 (-8%); and Hillsborough had 15 (no change).
  • FL has 9.5% of US deaths when vaccinations were available to all 16+, for 6.6% of the US population.
  • Over half of Florida’s Covid deaths have occurred since everyone 16+ became eligible for vaccination, with a 46% higher risk of death than those in the rest of the US. Before then, a permanent Florida resident was 10% less likely to die.
  • Permanent Florida residents aged 80+ rank 10th best among the 50 states and Washington DC, with 22% fewer deaths than the national average for that age group.
  • Overall, 62 Floridians <15 have died from Covid.
  • 19 children under 1 year old have died. Without small states with one death, FL ranks 10th worst. Infants fared 8% better than the national average.
  • Removing small states with 1 death makes Florida the 3rd worst for ages 1–4, with 12 deaths. The state has 12% more deaths in that age group than expected.
  • Without small states with 1 death, children 5–14 rank 7th in the nation with 31 deaths, 34% worse than anticipated.
  • People aged 15–24 are the demographic with the worst Mortality Rate Ratio, 36% higher than the national average with 220 deaths.
  • Since the pandemic began until 9-8-22, 5.9% of Florida seniors with a + test died from Covid (6.3% nationwide).
  • During September 2–8, 2022, 87.4% of all deaths among permanent Florida residents were among senior citizens.
  • As of 9-8-22, 1.3% of all permanent Florida residents who are 65+ had died from Covid.
  • The state reported a decrease in that statistic in the 7-28-22 report, although the size of that demographic group remained the same. That is impossible.
  • FL does not report Covid deaths stratified by vaccination status. However, deaths roughly correspond to vaccination percentages by demographic group.
  • CA has 80% more people than Florida yet almost the same number of excess deaths.
  • Maine has an older population, but its death rate (190) was about half of Florida’s (376).
  • Among the 6 largest states, the Florida death rate is the worst. In August, we passed PA.
  • During May–August 2022, Florida’s death rate was 3x higher than for other large states; 3x higher than the 10 hottest states; and 3x higher than the 10 oldest states.

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FL Covid Vaccinations:

  • On 8-31-22, the FDA granted Emergency Use Authorizations to Moderna and Pfizer for omicron-specific boosters.
  • The CDC recommends this booster two months after previous Covid vaccination or three months after infection.
  • People who should receive the older mRNA versions are those without two shots and children aged 5–11.
  • People aged 12–17 getting a booster are limited to the Pfizer formulation developed against the omicron variants.
  • On 7-13-22, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization for Novavax in adults. Novavax received an EUA for teens on 8-22-22. That vaccine employs older technology which some people who have resisted vaccination to this point may find acceptable.
  • On 7-8-22, the FDA upgraded the status for the Pfizer vaccine in ages 12–17 from an Emergency Use Authorization to full approval.
  • On 6-17-22, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines for children as young as 6 months old. The CDC recommended them a day later.
  • The FL Dept of Heath website continues to claim the FDA recommends vaccination for those 12+, not 6 months+. Another page from the state correctly cites it as 6 months+. The 9-8-22 official report says it is 5+.
  • Florida was the only state which failed to preorder doses for the youngest children, a move Governor DeSantis and the Department of Health spokesman said was deliberate.
  • Despite claiming health care providers could order doses directly, they were unable to do so for several days.
  • Within an hour of receiving a demand for an explanation from a bipartisan Congressional committee, the state began enabling healthcare providers to order the vaccines.
  • On 6-28-22, Dr. Ladapo testified to Congress that 33,000 young children are unlikely to access vaccination due to the ban on county health departments providing them.
  • I recommend using the Vaccines.gov site to locate a participating pharmacy. Young children can receive Covid vaccines at the same time as routine immunizations.
  • Publix has announced they will not vaccinate children under 5, although they were the first in the state to receive adult dosages.
  • On 6-30-22, the president of the Florida Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics was removed from the board of FL Healthy Kids for disagreeing with the DeSantis administration about the necessity of vaccination.
  • As of 9-8-22, 2% of permanent Florida residents aged 6 months–4 years had received their first shot (24,313)
  • Nationwide, 7% of children <5 received a Covid shot by 9-8-22 (1,140,000).
  • Among 1,040,000 children under 5 who received vaccination, symptoms were like those from routine childhood immunizations. No cases of myocarditis occurred. Only 19 experienced severe reactions. 0.0002% were hospitalized due to vaccination.
  • For those <6 months, having a mother who received 2 doses while pregnant reduced hospitalizations by 38% during omicron and 80% during delta. Vaccine efficacy doubled when given after 20 weeks.
  • Pregnant women who received boosters had 4x the antibodies of those with 2 doses. Their newborns had 2x as many antibodies as their mothers.
  • On 3-7-22, a discussion panel moderated by Governor DeSantis recommended against Covid vaccination for healthy children due to the risk of adolescent males developing myocarditis. Florida is the only state to make such a declaration.
  • On 5-27-22, the Special Olympics dropped their vaccine mandate for a national tournament after the state threatened to fine them $27,500,000.
  • The risk of cardiac inflammation due to Covid is 540% higher for boys aged 5–11 than vaccination. No girls developed symptoms after vaccination.
  • Among 400 children hospitalized during the omicron wave, 1 in 3 had no preexisting conditions, 1 in 5 required care in the ICU, and 9 in 10 were unvaccinated.
  • Children <4 years old in the US had hospitalization rates 5x greater than during delta.
  • 6% of children who tested + in ERs had post-Covid health issues 90 days later (10% of those hospitalized and 5% of those discharged). The risk rose with more symptoms and age 14+. Respiratory, systemic, neurological, and gastrointestinal issues were common.
  • Since August 2020, 15,809 minors have required hospitalization for Covid in Florida, with 107 of those in the last week.
  • During July 2022 in the US, unvaccinated children aged 5–11 were 106% more likely to need hospital admission than their peers with a vaccine primary series. Vaccination prevented 52% of hospitalizations in that age group.
  • Unvaccinated teens (12–17) were 138% more likely to require inpatient hospital care than boosted teens. A booster prevented 58% of hospitalizations in those adolescents.
  • As of 9-8-22, only 25% of Floridians aged 5–11 had at least one shot; 64% of adolescents did.
  • On 6-30-22, the state claimed a 7% rise in vaccinated teens with new 10,500 doses, not a 0.5% rise.
  • On 9-8-22, Florida claimed a 72% vaccination rate. This includes anyone with at least one shot, over 600,000 snowbirds, and “vaccine tourists.” The state report inexplicably claims to exclude children under 5 and include those 6 months–1 year old.
  • CDC data shows 68% of people in Florida had at least completed a vaccine series by September 8th. They include 840,000 federal personnel whom the state does not count. Using state data, my calculation is 62%.
  • In the June 30th and June 16th reports, there is an increase of 500,000 people who had received at least one shot by the same date (June 16th). The FL DoH spokesman refused to explain the discrepancy.
  • Long Covid, heart attacks, and ischemic strokes occur significantly less often in vaccinated people. Vaccination after infection can also reduce or eliminate Long Covid symptoms.
  • 28% had booster shots by 9-8-22, an important precaution against severe illness and transmission of the omicron variants. Only 6% of Floridians have had a second booster.
  • During July 2022, boosters prevented 72% of omicron hospitalizations among people in the US aged 18–49; 76% for ages 50–64; and 82% for senior citizens.
  • Compared to people with boosters during June 26–July 2, 2022, unvaccinated people aged 18–29 were almost equally likely to die (0.01 vs. 0); it was 7x for 30–49; 5x for ages 50–64; 8x for ages 65–79; and 4x for people over 80.
  • During the initial omicron wave in Israel, a second booster prevented 64% of hospitalizations and 72% of Covid deaths among nursing home residents compared to those who received only a first booster.
  • As of 9-15-22, 1,365,000 Floridians had received a 2nd booster shot, only 30% of those who had previously gotten a first booster. That is 6% of Florida’s population.
  • In the US during June 26–July 2, 2022, 2 boosters prevented 94% of deaths; 1 booster prevented 84%; and a primary series prevented 80%.
  • A 2nd booster is much less effective at preventing infections. For people 50+ during July 17–23, having at least 2 boosters prevented 72% of infections; 1 booster prevented 67%; and a primary series prevented 78% compared to the rate in unvaccinated people.
  • Mixing booster vaccine types will give you the best protection: they stimulate different parts of your immune system. If you had 2 or 3 Moderna, I recommend getting a Pfizer and vice versa.
  • Medicare will cover 100% of the cost of an additional booster shot.
  • The state does not report cases or deaths by vaccination status. However, vaccination rates tend to parallel the death rates for each age group.
  • 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.

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Florida Covid Cases:

  • With the rise in at-home testing since the omicron wave began, it is important to know that official confirmed cases are likely to be significantly undercounted.
  • The CDC reported 24,755 confirmed cases among permanent Florida residents (-14%).
  • There have been 7,090,989 confirmed Covid cases in Florida among permanent residents.
  • On 6-6-22, a report from the Florida Auditor General revealed that 60% of people who tested positive for Covid during March–October 2020, were never notified of their results. That affected at least 183,000 infected individuals.
  • On June 4, 2021, the state removed all data from anyone who is not a permanent resident and stopped reporting it. This deleted 43,535 cases.
  • After 14 weeks of ranking near the worst in the US during May 25th–August 24th, on 9-15-22, Florida’s state rank for confirmed cases improved to 21st best.
  • CDC data shows 75% of Florida counties have high transmission rates, down from 88% a week ago. The areas with lower transmission tend to be in the Panhandle.
  • During September 9–15, Miami-Dade had 4,204 (-23%); Broward had 2,159 (-21%); Palm Beach had 1,468 (-18%); and Hillsborough had 1,490 (-17%).
  • Orange County—where Disney is located—had 1,264 (-17%).
  • Without a report from the state, I cannot determine the number of cases reported in children this week.
  • Florida reported -1,235 cases for children <5 during June 17–23, 2022, when the state was preventing their vaccination.
  • During the 2021–2022 school year, the Hillsborough County School District reported 29,000 cases among students and personnel.
  • There is not a dashboard for the 2022–2023 school year which began on August 10th.
  • Healthcare workers who wore respirator masks like N95s had half the risk of getting Covid compared to those with surgical masks.
  • Florida law prohibits requiring masks in non-medical settings.
  • Parents decide about quarantining after a close contact at school.
  • On 1-31-22, FL shifted its focus to “high congregate settings,” not schools and day cares.
  • During the week leading up to that announcement 38,629 school-aged children in Florida had tested positive.
  • On 1-31-22, FL students absent due to Covid exposure are truant per Orange County.

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Florida Covid Testing and Prevention:

  • A report released by the US House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in June 2022 explains Florida’s approach to the pandemic: get as many people infected as quickly as possible to reach herd immunity.
  • One Trump Administration official wrote, “Infants, kids, teens, young adults, middle aged with no conditions, etc. have zero to little risk…so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…and recovered…with antibodies.”
  • Scott Atlas, the chief architect, advised the DeSantis Administration before joining the federal government.
  • Dr. Joseph Ladapo also promoted this “low testing/no masks/no lockdown” strategy to the White House before becoming the state’s surgeon general.
  • Dr. Birx wrote an email refusing to meet with the group which included Dr. Ladapo, calling them, “a fringe group without grounding in epidemics, public health, or on the ground common sense experience.”
  • With omicron reinfection becoming common, we now know that achieving herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 is a myth, yet their tactics have not changed.
  • Recent research indicates that additive damage occurs to numerous organ systems with each Covid infection.
  • Due to at-home testing, the number of cases is likely to be under-reported.
  • The CDC advises notifying your doctor of positive at-home tests.
  • Public health officials recommend maintaining a positivity rate <5% for 2 weeks before reopening.
  • Florida crossed the 5% threshold during April 9–21, 2022.
  • For the week ending September 8th, Florida claimed a 12.4% positivity rate. The data the state reported to the CDC indicates that May 1st was the last time it was that low.
  • CDC positivity data using information from the state for September 9–15 trended down from 13.8% to 11.59%, with an average of 12.78% (-15% difference in a week).
  • That means there were about 63,000 cases during September 9–15, 2022 (-28%).
  • 64 of the 66 counties which submitted data are above the 5% threshold; 4 of them are above 15%.
  • Orange County, where Disney is located, reported that 13.34% of tests were positive.
  • Of the 60 counties with decreased positivity, 45 fell by at least 2 full percentage points. Two increased by at least 2 percentage points.
  • On 12-30-21, when it was virtually impossible to find an at-home test, FL’s Agriculture Secretary revealed 1,000,000 expired antigen tests.
  • On 1-4-22, Dr. Ladapo decried the “testing psychology” in Florida to identify all cases.
  • 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
  • On 2-7-22, the state reprimanded two companies which failed to report 230,000 test results from December and January until that week.
  • On 3-2-22 Governor DeSantis chided a group of teens in a county with a high alert level and told them to remove their face masks. He then used that episode to raise campaign funds. Under those conditions, the CDC recommends that everyone wear masks indoors.
  • On 3-31-22, a UF faculty committee revealed discrepancies in the surgeon general’s hiring as a tenured professor.

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Florida Covid Treatment:

  • Omicron mutations render ineffective almost all monoclonal antibodies previously in use.
  • 100% of US cases are due to those viral strains.
  • For the week ending January 8th, 97% of sequenced cases in the region which includes Florida were omicron.
  • Sotrovimab worked against the omicron BA.1 variant at a dosage 3x more than for delta.
  • During the first week of January, 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 on 1-24-22, prohibiting its use against omicron.
  • DeSantis objected to no shipments; all FL antibody infusion centers closed on 1-25-22.
  • Nevertheless, Florida administered over 37,500 doses after that date. Monoclonal antibodies can produce severe side effects.
  • Sotrovimab is 27 times less effective for omicron BA.2 and ineffective for newer subvariants.
  • During April 3–9, 2022, the percentage of BA.2 increased from 80% to 91% in the region which includes Florida (71.7% BA.2 and 19.3% of the newer BA.2.12.1).
  • On 4-5-22, the FDA revoked the Emergency Use Authorization for Sotrovimab nationwide due to the predominance of BA.2 in every state.
  • On 9-17-22, the percentage of the BA.2,75 subvariant was 1%; BA.4.6 rose to 14%; BA.4 remained at 2%. BF.7 (2%) was separated from BA.5 (82%) in the region which includes Florida.
  • A monoclonal antibody called bebtelovimab is effective against all omicron subvariants.
  • It began shipping to Florida during February 14–20. The federal government delivered its final shipment of bebtelovimab on 9-4-22.
  • Here is the most recent weekly federal allocation of 8,632 Covid-specific treatments to Florida: 6,520 of the oral Paxlovid; 2,112 of the less-effective oral Molnupiravir.
  • As of 9-11-22, Florida patients had used 64% of the state’s cumulative Paxlovid deliveries (+1%); 20% of the Molnupiravir (no change); 59% of the Bebtelovimab (no change); and 45% of the Evusheld (+1%).
  • On 7-6-22, the FDA authorized pharmacists to prescribe Paxlovid since treatment must begin within 5 days of symptoms developing.
  • On 12-8-21, 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 four weeks later.
  • During Jan 24–30, 2022 the federal government sent 32,000 outpatient treatments.
  • Evusheld requires a much higher dosage against omicron BA.2.75, BA.4, and BA.5, which account for 86% of cases in Florida’s region. 
  • Unfortunately, Evusheld is ineffective for some subvariants which derive from BA.4 and BA.5, such as BA.4.6 (12% of FL samples) and BF.7 (2%).
  • On 6-29-22, the FDA increased the dosage and recommended getting the shots every 6 months.
  • On 8-29-22, Florida received a monthly allocation of 12,336 doses of pre-exposure Evusheld for severely immunocompromised people.

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Florida Covid Hospitalizations:

  • You won’t find any hospitalization info on Florida’s Weekly Reports since 6-4-21.
  • Florida must relay all hospitalization data to the US Dept of Health and Human Services.
  • For August 1, 2020–September 15, 2022, Florida has had 488,719 new hospital admissions for Covid patients. This represents 9.2% of all Covid admissions for 6.6% of the US population.
  • During September 9–15, 2022, there was an average of 377 admissions per day, a total of 2,453 (-13%).
  • On September 15th, there were 1.76 new admissions/100,000 Floridians; 2.02 the week before.
  • Admissions for most demographic groups fell. The amount of change ranged from -21% (ages 60–69) to +4% (18–29). Pediatric admissions declined by 24% for the week.
  • 107 children were admitted to FL hospitals in the last week.
  • Compared to delta, omicron admissions are higher for younger than 30 and older than 69.
  • Since everyone 16+ became eligible for vaccination on April 1, 2021, Florida admissions are 60% higher than in the rest of the US.
  • For September 9–15, the Florida admissions rate was 135% higher. Per capita, there were 235 admissions in Florida for every 100 admissions elsewhere in the US.
  • On 9-15-22, Florida shifted from 3rd to 5th worst in the nation for adult Covid admissions.  During June 2–August 16, 2022, there were only 4 days that the state did not rank last.
  • Florida improved significantly to 13th worst for adult hospitalizations; the state remained almost the same at 16th worst for adult ICU patients.
  • Pediatric admissions dropped back to 3rd worst, yet pediatric hospitalizations are close to the national average (23rd best).
  • When Florida officials refused to preorder vaccines for young children, the state was the 2nd worst in the US for pediatric admissions.
  • Children <4 years old were 5x as likely to need hospital care during the first omicron wave than during delta.
  • On 9-15-22, 2,171 adult Covid patients were hospitalized (-16%).
  • The state had 363 adult admissions on that day (-12%).
  • 265 patients needed ICU care, 12% of adults hospitalized with Covid (-17%).
  • 52 children were hospitalized (+16%), with 36 pediatric admissions on that day (+44%).
  • Florida’s pediatric admissions rank dropped back to 3rd worst in the US. Until the August 11th report, it had been no better than 3rd for at least 18 weeks.
  • One in 11 admissions are for children, down from 1 in 4 on April 20th:
  • On 9-14-22, Orange County—where Disney is located—had 133 new hospital admissions in the last 7 days (-18%).
  • Miami-Dade had 313 (-16%); Broward had 225 (-16%); Palm Beach had 222 (-3%); and Hillsborough had 216 (-26%).
  • Largest increases were in the Southwest and the Panhandle.
  • On 9-16-22, 79% of hospital beds in Florida were full (no change); 4.6% used by Covid patients (down from 5.4%). Covid patients accounted for 2,453 hospital beds (-14%).
  • On 9-16-22, 4.1% of ICU beds were used by 238 Covid patients (-24%). Overall, 73% of ICU beds were occupied (+1%). 10% of hospitalized Covid patients were in the ICU.

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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.

For a few weeks in the spring, my computer downloaded the official Florida Covid report. Then it again refused to open the file, citing a security risk.  

Dr. Salemi has resumed posting a link to each report, which is how I safely access it:

Florida Covid Statistics: What is Really Happening?

Florida Covid-19 Response

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

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.”

The Hill: University of Florida Initiates Investigation into Alleged Destruction of COVID-19 Research Data

Tampa Bay Times: Federal Judge Orders Injunction to UF’s Conflict of Interest Policy

On March 31, 2022, a University of Florida faculty committee released a report charging that the university violated its own practices when hiring Joseph Ladapo, Florida’s surgeon general to a tenured position.

Required faculty input regarding his application was due on September 17, 2021. However, Dr. Ladapo was informed he had the appointment on September 16th.

After receiving the letter with an October 1, 2021, start date, Dr. Ladapo changed it to September 20th, just prior to the news conference where the governor announced him as our new surgeon general:

In response to a reporter’s questions, Jeremy Redfern, the Florida Department of Health spokesman, sent an email stating, “The time of those at the University of Florida writing 100-page reports regarding hiring practices would be better spent working on important issues like research and curing cancer.”

Tampa Bay Times: Joseph Ladapo Hiring Violated UF Procedures, Faculty Report Says: Some Faculty Felt Ladapo, Florida’s Surgeon General, Was the Subject of “Preferential Treatment on the Basis of His Political Opinions”

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Here is some of the data from September 9–September 15, 2022, which the state submitted to the CDC.

Cumulative numbers are derived from adding the new CDC information to the September 8th Florida Department of Health report.

The corrected vaccination rate is from the CDC. Positivity data reflects the average for the week as reported to the CDC:

  • New cases = 24,755; Cumulative cases = 7,090,989
  • Positivity rate = 12.8%
  • New deaths = 46; Cumulative deaths = 80,782
  • Vaccination rate = 78% of the population has at least one dose
  • Fully vaccinated people minus those with booster shots: 8,432,090 (38%)
  • People with at least one booster dose: 6,233,991 (30%)

CDC: Integrated County View Florida

CDC: Florida Daily Covid Testing

Trends in Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in the US Reported to CDC, by State

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

Here is some of the data for September 2–8, 2022 from the Florida Department of Health report.

Percentages of people who completed a vaccine series or received a booster shot are based upon the total population of eligible permanent Florida residents:

  • New cases = 28,791; Cumulative cases = 7,066,234
  • Positivity rate = 12.4%
  • New deaths = 33; Cumulative deaths = 80,386
  • Vaccination rate = 72% of those eligible with at least one dose
  • Fully vaccinated people minus those with booster shots: 7,819,623 (35%)
  • Vaccinated with at least one booster dose: 5,991,526 (27%)

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

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On February 25, 2022, the CDC updated their masking guidelines based heavily upon Covid hospital admissions and utilization and, to a lesser extent, upon the number of new cases in a county.

It does not reflect the level of transmission.

They range from low (green) through medium (yellow) to high risk (orange). Rural areas without hospital services may look better than they are.

You can click on the hyperlink below this for more specific information and the interactive map.

This is the situation in Florida as of September 15, 2022. Twelve of our counties are at the highest level (-7); 32 are at the medium level (-3); and 23 are green (+10):

In areas of high alert, the CDC advises everyone to wear a high-quality tight-fitting mask indoors. Please note that relaxed masking guidelines in green areas do not apply to severely immunocompromised people.

CDC: COVID-19 Community Levels

Sept 8, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Here is the map for the same date based upon the level of Community Transmission:

CDC: Community Transmission in US

On March 2, 2022, Governor DeSantis visited Hillsborough County. As he approached a group of masked high school students, he said, “You do not have to wear those masks. I mean, please take them off. Honestly, it’s not doing anything and we’ve gotta stop with this COVID theater. So, if you want to wear it, fine, but this is ridiculous.”

He then used that outburst to raise campaign funds.

WFLA: ‘This Is Ridiculous’: DeSantis Scolds Students for Wearing Face Masks During USF Visit

The Hill: DeSantis Fundraises off Video of Him Chiding Students for Wearing Masks

Hillsborough County had a high alert level for Covid before and after that date:

Feb 25, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

March 3, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

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Florida Covid Vaccinations:

Compare the FDA’s June 17, 2022, Emergency Use Authorization for eligibility in children (6 months+) to what Florida says on the Department of Health website (12+ on one page and 6 months+ on another) and in the September 8, 2022, Department of Health report’s vaccination notes (5+):

FDA: FDA Authorizes Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine for Emergency Use in Children 5 through 11 Years of Age

Florida Covid Response: Who Is Eligible for a Covid-19 Vaccine

FDoH: Covid-19 Vaccines in Florida

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

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As expected, on June 18th, the CDC issued a statement recommending vaccination for all children at least 6 months old.

They also expanded eligibility for the Moderna vaccine to children aged 5–17 years old.

On July 8th, the FDA upgraded the status for the Pfizer vaccine in ages 12–17 to full approval. Novavax received an EUA for adolescents on August 22nd:

CDC: CDC Recommends COVID-19 Vaccines for Young Children

FDA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccines for Children Down to 6 Months of Age

FDA: FDA Roundup, July 8, 2022

CDC: CDC Recommends Novavax COVID-19 Vaccine for Adolescents

Since the clinical trials in young children occurred while omicron was prevalent, it is not surprising that both vaccines showed lower efficacy in preventing infection.

Two doses of Moderna were more effective (51% in 6 months–under 2 years; 37% in 2–4 years) than two shots of the Pfizer vaccine, which failed to produce a sufficient immune response. That is why a full series of Pfizer consists of three shots (80% effective in trials; 73% against BA.2).

Both types were well-tolerated, with side effects comparable to other childhood vaccines.

Ars Technica: Why Moderna’s FDA-Authorized COVID Shot for Under 5s Has the Edge Over Pfizer’s

MedPage: Pfizer or Moderna: Which COVID Vaccine Is the Best Bet for Your Toddler?

Pfizer: Updated COVID-19 Vaccine Data Supporting Efficacy in Children 6 Months through 4 Years of Age

In anticipation of FDA approval, the federal government created a June 13, 2022, deadline for states to preorder the smaller doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines required for children aged 6 months–4 years old. Florida was the only state to miss that deadline.

While federal pharmacies like Costco, Publix, Sam’s Club, Walgreens, and Winn-Dixie can order doses directly from the US government, most of them do not administer any vaccinations to children under 3 years old.

CVS Minute Clinics are an exception, accepting children at least 18 months old.

Despite being the first pharmacies to receive the adult vaccines in Florida, Publix has announced they will not provide them for children under 5.

I recommend using the Vaccines.gov website to locate a participating pharmacy.

During a press conference, Governor DeSantis asserted, “I would say we are affirmatively against the COVID vaccine for young kids. These are the people who have zero risk of getting anything.”

The spokesman for the Florida Department of Health stated, “The Florida Department of Health [DoH]… has made it clear to the federal government that states do not need to be involved in the convoluted vaccine distribution process, especially when the federal government has a track record of developing inconsistent and unsustainable COVID-19 policies. It is also no surprise we chose not to participate in distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine when the Department does not recommend it for all children.”

As with all other childhood vaccines, Florida hospitals were able to preorder the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5–11 in November 2021 from the state program Florida SHOTS.

However, the state’s website did not provide that option for the younger cohort for several days after receiving widespread attention in the national press.

The president of the FL chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics stated that in her contacts with the FL DoH on this issue, the agency never claimed the situation would change after the FDA authorized the vaccines.

Within an hour of the bipartisan House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus demanding an explanation, pediatric healthcare providers were able to place orders directly beginning on June 17, 2022.

Participants in the Florida SHOTS program must order at least 100 doses. Unlike for all other age groups, the state will not store the lower dosage vaccines.

As a result, small independent pediatric clinics may find it harder to deliver these shots, making it even more difficult for parents with children under 18 months old. A ten-dose vial must be thrown after away 12 hours.

According to a federal official, “The state of Florida intentionally missed multiple deadlines to order vaccines to protect its youngest kids. Now despite repeated efforts to reach out and engage officials in the state of Florida, elected officials deliberately chose to delay taking action to deny Florida parents the choice of whether to vaccinate their children or not.”

Tampa Bay Times: Florida Infants, Toddlers Face COVID Vaccine Delay, White House Says

Fox: Florida Pharmacies Will Have COVID Vaccines for Eligible Kids Under 5

CNBC: Covid Vaccine “Deserts” and Tech Woes: Publix’s Florida Rollout Highlights Risks as Retailers Play a Larger Role

The Hill: Florida-Based Publix Says They Will Not Offer Vaccine “At This Time” to Kids Under 5

Web MD: Florida Governor Rejects COVID Vaccines for Young Kids

WFLA: Pediatrics Group Calls on Florida to Order COVID Vaccine for Kids

NY Times: After Public Pressure, Florida Allows Pediatricians to Order Vaccines for Very Young Children

McClatchy: Congressional Panel Demands DeSantis Briefing on COVID Vaccines for Kids by End of Month

Tampa Bay Times: “Waiting for So Long”: COVID Vaccines Reach Youngest Floridians

Miami Herald: COVID Vaccine for Infants Arrive in Florida. Here’s Why Doctors Are Throwing Them Away

On June 28th, Florida Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo testified to the House subcommittee.

He confirmed that he and Governor DeSantis made the decision not to preorder the lower dose vaccines and to prohibit county health departments from vaccinating young children.

Dr. Ladapo admitted this would likely prevent 33,000 children without a regular doctor from receiving vaccination.

When a subcommittee member asked Dr. Ladapo about the risk of Covid infections compared to the risk of vaccination, the surgeon general called it “a perverse question.”

He asserted the comparison which matters is the risk of vaccination vs. non-vaccination, as if SARS-CoV-2 poses “little to no risk of severe illness complications.”

That same day, a high-ranking federal health official pledged to deliver smaller quantities of vaccines directly to health care providers who request them.

Based upon the experience with other age groups, pediatricians can safely give Covid vaccines with routine immunizations.

On June 30th, the same day she began vaccinating young children, the state removed the president of the Florida Academy of Pediatrics from her board position at Florida Healthy Kids.

Florida’s Chief Financial Official made the move due to “some very political statements that do not reflect the CFO’s point of view, even going so far as to as to say that the state is ‘obstruct(ing)’ access to vaccines.’ The CFO does not share your opinion and believes the state has gone to great lengths to protect lives in the face of the Coronavirus.”

Tampa Bay Times: Ladapo Tells Congress that Florida Decision Could Limit Kids’ Vaccine Access

MedPage: Pediatrician Axed for Advocating COVID Vax in Youngest Kids

MedPage: Youngest Kids Can Get COVID Shots with Other Vaccines

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As of September 8th, 24,313 young children had received their first shot in Florida, 2% of that age group.

Only 25% of children aged 5–11 and 64% of adolescents had at least one dose:

Nationwide, 1,140,000 children <5 had received a Covid vaccination by September 7, 2022, 7% of children in that age bracket:

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccinations in the United States

American Academy of Pediatrics: Summary of Data Publicly Reported by the CDC on 8/24/22

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Among the first 1,040,000 children under 5 who received vaccination, symptoms were like those from routine childhood immunizations. No cases of myocarditis occurred. Only 19 experienced severe reactions (0.2%).

Four of the children needed hospital care; however, the parents of two of them asserted the medical emergencies were unrelated to the vaccinations. That makes the hospitalization rate 0.0002%:

MMWR: COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Safety Among Children Aged 6 Months–5 Years—United States, June 18, 2022–August 21, 2022

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For infants too young to receive vaccination, having a mother who received two doses of a vaccine while pregnant reduced hospitalizations by 38% during the omicron wave and 80% during delta.

Vaccine efficacy doubled when administered after 20 weeks rather than earlier.

The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that unvaccinated pregnant women become vaccinated as soon as possible to protect them and their fetuses from significant harm or death.

Pregnant women who received boosters had 4x the antibodies of those with 2 doses. Their newborns had 2x as many antibodies as their mothers.

MedPage: Newborns’ Protection with Moms’ COVID Vax Dips During Omicron

NEJM: Maternal Vaccination and Risk of Hospitalization for Covid-19 among Infants

ACOG: COVID-19 Vaccines and Pregnancy: A Conversation Guide

JAMA: COVID-19 mRNA Vaccine Booster During Pregnancy Increases Maternal and Fetal Antibodies

On March 7, 2022, a discussion panel moderated by Governor DeSantis recommended against Covid vaccination for healthy children due to the risk of adolescent males developing myocarditis.

The state surgeon general noted that Florida is the only state to make such a declaration.

Tampa Bay Times: Florida Says Healthy Kids Shouldn’t Get COVID Vaccine, Contradicting CDC

At least four researchers cited by the state disagreed with how Florida officials used their work.

A pediatrics professor from Vanderbilt University Medical Center who co-authored one of the papers said, “I think there is cherry-picking of sentences to support what (the state) wanted. You don’t just pick one sentence from one paper that agrees with what you think you want to say. That’s not what a health department is supposed to do.”

Each of the studies Florida officials cited recommended Covid vaccination for children as safe and effective.

Florida health officials omitted that information in their updated guidelines. The researchers asserted that vaccination remains the best way to protect children from severe Covid.

Tampa Bay Times: COVID Researchers: Florida “Cherry-Picked” Our Work in Kid Vaccine Recommendation

On May 27, 2022, the Florida Department of Health threatened to fine the Special Olympics $27,500,000 if the organization continued to mandate vaccination for participants in a week-long national tournament.

The organization issued a statement saying they would nullify the decree “based upon the Florida Department of Health’s interpretation of Florida law.”

Politico: Special Olympics Reverses Vaccine Requirement After Florida Threatens $27.5M Fine

In contrast to the myocarditis arising from vaccination, the inflammation resulting from SARS-CoV-2 can cause life-threatening heart conditions in children, adolescents, and adults.

A study of 77,000 children found that 5–11-year-old boys were 540% more likely to develop heart inflammation after a Covid infection than after vaccination.

No girls of that age who were vaccinated developed myocarditis or pericarditis. Hormones account for the differences in risk between age groups and sexes:

Circulation: Myocarditis with COVID-19 mRNA Vaccines

MMWR: Cardiac Complications After SARS-CoV-2 Infection and mRNA COVID-19 Vaccination—PCORnet, United States, January 2021–January 2022

Research examining the health of children 90 days after they tested + in emergency rooms revealed that 6% developed post-Covid health issues. The rate doubled for those with hospital admission (10% vs 5%).

Those with at least 4 symptoms and age 14+ were at greatest risk of Long Covid. Respiratory, systemic, neurological, and gastrointestinal issues were the most common symptoms:

JAMA: Post–COVID-19 Conditions Among Children 90 Days After SARS-CoV-2 Infection

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Since August 2020, 15,809 minors have required hospitalization for Covid in Florida, with 107 of those in the last week:

COVID Data Tracker: New Admissions of Patients with Confirmed COVID-19 per 100,000 Population by Age Group

Sept 8, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

In the US, children are three times as likely to have had severe disease from omicron than from previous variants:

JAMA: Acute Upper Airway Disease in Children with the Omicron (B.1.1.529) Variant of SARS-CoV-2—A Report from the US National COVID Cohort Collaborative

MMWR: Hospitalizations of Children Aged 5–11 Years with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19—COVID-NET, 14 States, March 2020–February 2022

Children <4 years old experienced hospitalization rates 5x greater than during the delta wave:

MMWR: Hospitalization of Infants and Children Aged 0–4 Years with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19—COVID-NET, 14 States, March 2020–February 2022

On May 17, 2022, the FDA approved a booster shot of the Pfizer vaccine for children aged 5–11.

The CDC recommends using only the original formulation—not the one developed against omicron variants—for that age group:

CDC: Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines Including Boosters

During July 2022 in the US, unvaccinated children aged 5–11 were 106% more likely to need hospital admission than their peers with a primary vaccine series. Vaccination prevented 52% of hospitalizations in that age group.

Unvaccinated teens (12–17) were 138% more likely to require inpatient hospital care than boosted teens. A booster prevented 58% of hospitalizations:

MedPage: FDA Authorizes COVID Booster for Younger Kids—Agency Citers Concern over Omicron, Long Covid in Its Reasoning

CDC: Rates of Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations by Vaccination Status

Sixty-two Floridians <15 have died, and many of the survivors have subsequently developed serious health conditions, like diabetes.

While children are at lower risk than adults, throughout the US, Covid was one of the top ten causes of death in those aged 0–19 during January 2021 through March 2022:

September 15, 2022

Tampa Bay Times: The CDC Says Kids Should Get the COVID Vaccine—Despite Florida

Salemi USF: Covid Deaths by State

Peterson-KFF: COVID-19 Leading Cause of Death Ranking

MedRxiv: Covid-19 Is a Leading Cause of Death in Children and Young People Ages 0–19 Years in the United States

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According to the CDC. as of September 15, 2022, 68% of people in Florida had at least completed a vaccine series.

840,000 of the increase compared to compared to the Florida Department of Health’s September 8th data is attributed to including federal personnel stationed in Florida whom the state does not count:

Based upon CDC data, 28% of permanent Florida residents and snowbirds have received a booster shot:

CDC: Integrated County View Florida

Palm Beach Post: COVID-19 in Florida: Wave Appears to Be Flattening with New Infections, Hospitalizations Holding Steady

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

As of September 15, 2022, 1,365,231 people in Florida had a second booster shot.

That amounts to 31% of those 50+ who had previously received a first booster and 6% of the total population:

CDC: Percent of People with a First Booster Dose Who Received a Second Booster Dose Reported to the CDC by State/Territory for the Population 50 Years of Age and Older

Note that the segments of the population with the highest percentage of boosted individuals also have lower than expected death rates compared to the national averages.

Vaccinated individuals who get infected have less than half the risk of a heart attack or stroke due to narrowed arteries:

September 15, 2022

CDC: Integrated County View Florida

Salemi USF: Covid Deaths by State

MedPage: Vaccinated Have Lower Heart, Stroke Risk from COVID

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On March 25, 2022, USA Today reported that over 600,000 snowbirds had been included in Florida’s official vaccination tally.

That happened in over 100 zip codes. Many “vaccine tourists” were in Miami-Dade County. For cases and deaths in the state, Florida counts only permanent residents.

USA Today: Florida Overcounts Vaccinations by 600,000 People. Snowbirds Responsible, Analysis Shows

This is from the June 30th report. For the week beginning on June 10th, about 15,841,000 people had at least one shot:

And this is from the June 16th report. For the week beginning on June 10th, about 15,340,000 people had at least one shot. That is a difference of about 500,000 people:

June 30, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

June 16, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

The spokesman for the Florida Department of Health offered no explanation other than “Please read the last page of the report.” 

According to that section, the population is based upon the number of Floridians at least 5 years old, a statement which contradicts the portion above which discusses how they derived the number of infants to include.

It is also identical to the Vaccination Notes from the previous report:

June 30, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Palm Beach Post: Florida’s COVID-19 Vaccination Count Jumps 263,000 in Two Weeks. DeSantis Officials Won’t Say Why

June 23, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

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A review of fifteen studies concerning vaccination and the conglomeration of symptoms known as “long Covid” found a significantly reduced rate in those who were vaccinated before getting infected.

Post-viral vaccination reduced or eliminated symptoms in up to 30% of long Covid sufferers. However, symptoms did worsen on occasion after vaccination.

UK Health Security: The Effectiveness of Vaccination Against Long Covid

Mixing vaccine types for a booster shot will give you the best protection because they stimulate different parts of your immune system. If you had at least 2 Moderna, I recommend getting a Pfizer and vice versa.

Children aged 5–11 are restricted to the booster without the omicron component, while those aged 12–17 are limited to the one with it.

The CDC recommends using the same vaccine for the first two doses:

Ars Technica: Pfizer, Moderna Vaccines Aren’t the Same; Study Finds Antibody Differences: The Findings Add Further Weight to the Idea of Mix-and-Match Boosting

CDC: Stay Up to Date with COVID-19 Vaccines Including Boosters

CDC: Interchangeability of COVID-19 Vaccine Products

On May 24th, the CDC added approval for a fifth shot for people 12+ with moderate to severe immunocompromisation.

The agency previously approved a second booster shot of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine for all adults aged 50+.

People on Medicare can receive an additional booster shot at no cost.

During the initial omicron wave in Israel, a second booster prevented 64% of hospitalizations and 72% of Covid deaths among nursing home residents compared to those who received only a first booster.

CDC: CDC Strengthens Recommendations and Expands Eligibility for COVID-19 Booster Shots

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccines for People Who Are Moderately or Severely Immunocompromised

Medicare: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Vaccine

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccine Boosters

MedPage: Second COVID Booster Protected Seniors in Long-Term Care

Research involving breakthrough omicron infections indicates the number of viral particles is significantly lower in people who have had booster shots.

People with two doses carried the same amount of virus as unvaccinated people.

Nature: Infectious Viral Load in Unvaccinated and Vaccinated Individuals Infected with Ancestral, Delta or Omicron SARS-CoV-2

The CDC has removed hospitalization information for adults who received only a primary series, backdated to December 2021.

This data compares people with at least one booster to those who remain unvaccinated. You can click on the link to see the charts.

During July 2022, boosters prevented 72% of omicron hospitalizations among people aged 18–49; 76% for ages 50–64; and 82% for senior citizens:

CDC: Rates of Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19 Hospitalizations by Vaccination Status

The risk of death among unvaccinated people and those with a primary series during the week of June 26–July 2, 2022, is as follows:

Here is another way to visualize that data by making the risk of death after receiving a primary series = 1 and comparing the death rates for unvaccinated people to the vaccinated:

CDC: Rates of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths by Vaccination Status

This graphic depicts the vaccination status of the US adult population compared to the death rates during September 2021–February 2022:

Peterson-KFF: COVID-19 Mortality Preventable by Vaccines

A second booster in people 50+ makes an enormous difference in the risk of dying from Covid.

During June 26–July 2, 2022, having at least 2 boosters prevented 94% of deaths; 1 booster prevented 84% of deaths; and a primary series prevented 80% of deaths compared to unvaccinated individuals (5.49/100,000):

CDC: Rates of COVID-19 Deaths by Vaccination Status and 2+ booster Doses in Ages 50+ Years

As we are currently seeing in the US, a second booster of the original vaccines is much less effective at preventing infections than hospitalizations or deaths.

For people 50+ during July 17–23, 2022, having at least 2 boosters prevented 72% of infections; 1 booster prevented 67% of infections; and a primary series prevented 78% of infections compared to the rate in unvaccinated people:

CDC: Rates of COVID-19 Cases by Vaccination Status and 2+ Booster Doses in Ages 50+ Years

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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.

The state considered charging him with a criminal offense for sending an email chiding the county’s public health employees for their 40% vaccination rate. That suspension ended on March 22, 2022.

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.

Becker’s Hospital Review: DeSantis Casts aside CMS Vaccine Rule for Hospitals

BBC: Top Florida Health Official on Leave over Support for Vaccination

Physicians Society Central FL: Orange’s State Health officer Raul Pino Reinstated After Leave over Vaccine E-mail

Twitter: DeSantis Pushes Infertility Conspiracy

Covid-19: The Omicron Variant

MedPage: Sexual Dysfunction, Hair Loss Among Long COVID Symptoms

Nature Medicine: Symptoms and Risk Factors for Long COVID in Non-hospitalized Adults

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Covid Deaths in Florida:

On June 6, 2022, a report from the Florida Auditor General revealed that the state omitted approximately 3,000 Covid deaths from official reporting during March–October 2020.

The Tampa Bay Times article includes a link to the audit. Those deaths are still not reflected in the official state report or in the chart below.

The Department of Health responded that having Covid listed on a death certificate is not sufficient to count that as a Covid death, so the state will not amend the cumulative death statistic.

Tampa Bay Times: Florida’s Health Department Undercounted COVID Cases and Deaths, State Audit Says

Palm Beach Post: Florida Leads Nation in New COVID Deaths, CDC Data Shows

During June 2021–August 2022, Florida reported only 7,695 of the 44,625 Covid deaths among permanent residents as “New Deaths” (17%).

In August 2022, cumulative data indicated there were 1,845 Covid deaths among permanent Florida residents, a 5% decrease from July (1,940). Only 151 were counted as “New Deaths” (8%):

Florida Covid Statistics: What is Really Happening?

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.

The Hill: Florida Reported ‘Artificial Decline’ in COVID-19 Deaths as Cases Were Surging

On June 4, 2021, the state removed all data from anyone who has not established permanent residency. It 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:

FL Covid-19 Cases and Monitoring as of June 3, 2021

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. 

Florida Politics: Florida Reports 1000+ Covid-19 Deaths in Past Week

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September 8th cumulative data from the state showed 80,386 deaths, while CDC data from September 15th indicated 80,782 permanent Florida residents had died.

Therefore, there were 396 Covid deaths reported in Florida during September 9–15, 2022. That is an increase of 12% (354). Only 46 of them were counted as new deaths (12%):

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

Trends in Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in the US Reported to CDC, by State

CDC: Integrated County View Florida

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Clicking on individual counties reveals a higher number than the state’s “new deaths” total.

During September 9–15, Miami-Dade County reported 46 deaths (+53%); Broward had 23 (-12%); Palm Beach County had 32 (+7%); Orange—where Disney is located—had 11 (-8%); and Hillsborough had 15 (no change).

Twenty-two counties reported 0 deaths:

CDC: Florida Reported Deaths by County

Compared to the previous week, the CDC indicates that 4 of the 67 counties failed to report data.

Another 13 showed drops of 100%, which often means they did not report data.

19 had increases of at least 25%:

CDC: Percent Change in Florida Deaths from Previous 7 Days

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According to CDC data, there had been 80,782 Covid deaths in Florida by September 15, 2022.

Florida residents at least sixteen years old became eligible for vaccination on April 1, 2021.

SARS-CoV-2 infections have killed 46,660 permanent residents of the state since that date. Over half the Covid deaths in Florida have occurred since April 1, 2021 (58%).

Despite having only 6.6% of the US population, this represents 9.5% of all American Covid-19 deaths since everyone at least 16 years old qualified for vaccination.

That means permanent Florida residents were 46% more likely to die than people living in the rest of the US.

During September 9–15, 2022, 13% of all Covid deaths reports in the US came from Florida (396).

Compared to other people in the US (2,682), a permanent Florida resident was 2.0x as likely to die from Covid. Per capita, there were 205 deaths in Florida for every 100 deaths elsewhere in the US.

That indicates a major improvement from my previous two reports, when those results were 4.8x (August 18–25) and 4.0x (September 2–8):

Risk of Hospitalization and Death in Florida vs. the Rest of the US Before and After 16+ Vaccination and During September 9–15, 2022 

Sept 8, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Aug 25, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Trends in Number of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in the US Reported to CDC, by State

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In the aftermath of his hard drive crashing, Dr. Salemi has made some impressive upgrades to his site.

Here is Florida’s ranking of Covid deaths stratified by age. A Mortality Rate Ratio = 1 is the national average, so infants under one year old and senior citizens are the only age groups which have fared better than expected.

Permanent Florida residents aged 85+ rank 10th best among the 50 states and Washington DC, with 22% fewer deaths than the national average for that age group.

Nineteen Floridians under 1 year old have died, some of whom may have fallen within the new vaccination eligibility criteria.  Infants fared 8% better than the national average.

Florida has the 8th worst death rate in the nation for ages 1–4 with 12 deaths, 12% more than expected.

Children 5–14 rank 7th with 31 deaths. They almost tied the worst Mortality Rate Ratio (34%) with people aged 15–24, who have died at a rate 36% higher than the national average.

When I remove smaller states with higher ranks but only one death, Florida’s rankings change to 10th worst for <1; 3rd worst for 1–4; and 6th worst for 5–14:

September 15, 2022

By dividing Maine’s population for each age group by Florida’s, we can see the two states have very similar demographics.

Except for infants, people in Maine and Florida have fared quite differently:

September 15, 2022

Salemi USF: Covid Deaths by State

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As of September 8th, 6.3% of senior citizens who have tested positive in the US have died.

According to the September 8, 2022, report, Florida seniors had a 5.9% case-fatality rate.

In all, the state reported that 1.2885% of permanent Florida residents over 64 years old have died from Covid:

Note that the data for 2022 alone is one month behind, while the cumulative data is current.

This makes what has happened recently look better than it really is:

September 8, 2022

August 25, 2022

By comparing the last two reports taken over three weeks, we can see the number and percentage of deaths in each demographic group which were reported during August 26–September 8, 2022:

  • Under 16 = 0               (0.0%)
  •      16–29 = 1               (0.1%)
  •      30–39 = 6               (0.7%)
  •      40–49 = 16             (2.0%)
  •      50–59 = 34             (4.2%)
  •      60–64 = 45             (5.5%)
  •          65+ = 711           (87.4%)

                                813           100%

CDC: Demographic Trends of COVID-19 Cases and Deaths in the US Reported to CDC

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

Looking at the 7-14-22 report, the mortality rate/100,000 senior citizens was 1265.5:

July 14, 2022

The mortality rate declined in the July 28, 2022, report below to 1236.7. That is a number which can only grow, since the population sizes are identical in each report:

July 28, 2022

July 14, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

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.

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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.

This accounts for the higher than typical age of Florida’s population. 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:

Here is another way to visualize that information. You can see all states by clicking Percent Excess Deaths on the CDC’s site:

CDC: Excess Deaths Associated with COVID-19

Florida has a higher than expected proportion of excess deaths compared to other states, including at least 17,000 unrelated to Covid.

This is the total number of excess deaths throughout the pandemic, not the number per 100,000 people.

California has 80% more people than Florida yet the number of excess deaths is nearly the same:

Tampa Bay Times: Florida’s Preventable Deaths Rose During the Pandemic. It Wasn’t Just COVID

CDC: Excess Deaths Associated with COVID-19 by Jurisdiction/Cause

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This map of Covid deaths rates from September 17th shows that Florida reported only 58 deaths for the last 7 days. Comparing the state’s cumulative deaths for September 15, 2022, with September 8th’s yields 396 deaths.

Among the six largest states, Florida ranks first for the highest proportion of Covid deaths.

Due to the current wave, we have overtaken Pennsylvania: CA (239); TX (306); FL (376); NY (262); PA (366); IL (311):

CDC: United States COVID-19 Cases, Deaths, and Laboratory Testing by State and Territory

Florida’s death rate was 3x higher than the other large states during May–August 2022:

Florida’s heat is often blamed for the large numbers of summertime Covid deaths, as people crowd into airconditioned spaces.

An analysis of the other 10 hottest states revealed their combined death rate was 1/3 of Florida’s during May through August 2022:

Florida’s large percentage of elderly people is often cited as the reason for the high mortality rate.

In 2020, at least 20% of the populations of 5 states were aged 65+. Florida ranked 2nd behind Maine:

Maine’s death rate (190) was roughly half of Florida’s (376); others in the top 6 states with the oldest populations are WV (410); VT (109); DE (316); and MT (328).

The chart below shows data for only May through August:

PRB: Which States have the Oldest Populations?

CDC: United States COVID-19 Cases, Deaths, and Laboratory Testing by State and Territory

Tampa Bay Times: Why Are So Many Floridians Still Dying from COVID? How Florida’s Death Rate Compares to Other States, Including California, Texas, and New York

To get an accurate picture of that map for the last seven days, we must determine the death rate for 396 deaths, not 58.

Doing that shows that Florida had 2.0 deaths/100,000, ranking 3rd or 4th worst in per capita deaths reported in the last 7 days:

CDC: US Covid-19 7-Day Death Rate per 100,000, by State/Territory

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Covid Cases in Florida:

With the rise in at-home testing since the omicron wave began, it is important to know that official confirmed cases are likely to be significantly undercounted.

For the week ending on September 15, 2022, the CDC reported 24,755 confirmed Covid cases.

Adding those to the state’s previous cumulative count gives us a total of 7,090,989 cumulative Covid cases among permanent residents.

Compared to the week ending on September 8th, that is a 14% decrease (28,791):

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

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On June 6, 2022, a report from the Florida Auditor General revealed that 60% of people who tested positive for Covid during March–October 2020, were never notified of their results.

That affected at least 183,000 individuals infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus and likely had a major impact on preventing Covid transmission in the state.

The Tampa Bay Times article includes a link to the audit.

Tampa Bay Times: Florida’s Health Department Undercounted COVID Cases and Deaths, State Audit Says

On June 4, 2021, 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 43,535 cases.

I can no longer access this file, as my browser deems it a security risk:

FL Covid-19 Cases and Monitoring as of June 3, 2021

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Dr. Salemi has been publishing state rankings of confirmed cases, with the addition of Washington DC and New York City.

After fourteen weeks of terrible rankings during May 25th–August 24th, Florida has improved to above average (21st best):

Salemi USF: COVID-19 Cases in Florida

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Clicking on this map at the CDC’s web site will show you the exact number of confirmed cases for any county.

During September 9–15, Miami-Dade had 4,204 (-23%); Broward had 2,159 (-21%); Palm Beach had 1,468 (-18%); and Hillsborough had 1,490 (-17%). Orange County—where Disney is located—had 1,264 (-17%):

CDC: Florida Reported Cases by County

With a few exceptions, the greatest increases in cases are concentrated in the central parts of the state:

CDC: Florida Percent Change of Cases

Dr. Jason Salemi was posting very helpful county-level case data until April 22nd. Unfortunately, the county-level data he used to post is no longer available:

Salemi USF: COVID-19 Cases in Florida

April 28, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

April 22, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Data released by the state on September 8th tells us nothing about the amount of change:

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

Without a report from the state, I cannot make these calculations this week.

To evaluate the trend in Covid infections among children during the week of September 2–8, 2022, we can compare the current report to the one from two weeks earlier:

Table

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Children under 5 are now separated into two age brackets based upon their vaccination eligibility.

During this week, 256 infants <6 months old tested positive, a decrease of 23% from 334 a week earlier. For ages 6 months–4 years, cases decreased by 34% to 988 from 1,505.

Overall, children <5 had a 32% decline in positive tests reported to the state in one week.

Adolescents had the highest positivity rates in the state at 15.8%.  

This week, 1,213 elementary-aged children tested positive, a decrease of 55% over last week (2,704). Ages 12–19 had 2,546 positive reports, a 46% decline from 4,739. Combining these age groups yields a 49% decrease.

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

There were more cumulative cases reported for children under five in the June 16th report (192,875) than in the June 30th report (191,640).

That gives us -1,235 for the week of June 17–23, 2022, at precisely the time when the state was preventing vaccination of that age group:

June 30, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

June 16, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

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The 2021–2022 school year began on August 10th, and the Hillsborough County School 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.

HCSD: Covid Frequently Asked Questions

A study of schools with more than 1.1 million students and 157,000 staff members determined a 72% drop of in-school Covid transmission occurred with mandatory mask policies instead of optional or partial masking.

Healthcare workers who wore respirator masks like N95s had half the risk of getting Covid compared to colleagues who wore surgical masks.

NIH: Mandatory Masking in Schools Reduced COVID-19 Cases During Delta Surge

MedPage: Healthcare Workers Who Wear Better Masks Get Less COVID

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.”

During the week leading up to that announcement 38,629 school-aged children in Florida had tested positive.

Hillsborough County School District: COVID-19 Student Protocol

Jan 27, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening

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 quarantined after a Covid exposure would be considered truant:

Orange County School District: Unexcused Absences for Covid

Schools closed for the summer after May 26th. As of May 23, 2022, there had been 29,000 cases during that school year in the Hillsborough County School District:

This dashboard is no longer posted online for the school year which began on August 10, 2022:

Hillsborough County Public Schools Covid Dashboard

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Florida Covid Testing and Prevention:

A report released by the US House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis in June 2022 explains Florida’s approach to the pandemic:

In March 2020, a radiologist named Scott Atlas began pushing the federal government to stop “a massive overreaction” that was “inciting irrational fear.”

He claimed that SARS-CoV-2 would kill about 10,000 Americans, a number so small that it “would be unnoticed” compared to influenza.

Dr. Atlas advocated isolating high-risk people and exposing lower-risk Americans to the virus as quickly as possible.

Masks and widespread social distancing would prevent that from happening, so he eschewed them.

On July 4, 2020, another like-minded Trump Administration official wrote this:

Dr. Deborah Birx pointed out that many Americans over 70 live in multi-generational households, to no avail.

Dr. Atlas advised Ron DeSantis on Florida’s Covid response.

Several months later, Jared Kushner secretly hired him to join the Trump Administration.

Mr. Kushner told him to hide his badge and had him anonymously join Coronavirus Task Force online meetings for the first two weeks he was employed there, because Dr. Birx “would be extremely sensitive and upset and threatened if I came in.”

A memorandum written by Dr. Atlas called “Strategy for Moving Forward Covid-19” stated this:

He also claimed, “…emerging research adding insights into immunity and suggesting that herd immunity may arise with a far lower population infection rate than originally thought…We expect to see more cases with more social interactions, because this is a contagious disease.”

In August 2020, Dr. Atlas invited several doctors to the White House who agreed with his approach.

One of them was Dr. Joseph Ladapo, who now serves as the Florida Surgeon General.

Dr. Birx sent this email to the vice president’s chief of staff, calling them “a fringe group without grounding in epidemics, public health, or on the ground common sense experience”:

The group met anyway.

During her testimony to the House Select Subcommittee, Dr. Birx called the meeting “dangerous”, and said, “any credibility given to these individuals in this moment while we were headed into the fall would be dangerous for our overall response and ability to contain the virus.”

Fearing that large-scale testing was harmful because it would interfere with achieving herd immunity and lead to “lockdowns [which would] hurt Americans more than the virus,” Dr. Atlas wrote this on August 3, 2020:

After fierce debate, the testing guidance was drastically weakened against the wishes of the CDC director. An unknown person removed the recommendation for people without symptoms to self-isolate for 14 days after close contact with an infected person. Testing declined significantly.

In September, Dr. Atlas sent an email claiming that PCR tests were “misleadingly positive.” His “remedy” was to make the lab work stop after fewer cycles, making the virus harder to detect:

Three weeks after restrictions were loosened, the CDC reinstated 14 days of isolation even with a negative test.

When Jared Kushner read a draft tweet created for President Trump to ask everyone to wear a mask to slow viral spread, Dr. Atlas objected that it wasn’t consistent with the president’s disparagement of masks.

It was weakened to read “only if you cannot socially distance.” Dr. Atlas then wrote several op-eds claiming that masking could be harmful due to contamination and giving a false sense of security:

His anti-mask program enabled the spread of the virus, perfectly in keeping with his desire to get as many people infected quickly as possible.

The subcommittee cited Dr. Atlas’ schemes to promote herd immunity as a major factor in the subsequent rejection of vaccines by many Americans.

While meeting with the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus, multiple former senior officials on the White House Coronavirus Task Force emphasized that Dr. Atlas severely impaired the effectiveness of the pandemic response.

Dr. Birx estimated that 130,000 more lives were lost due to those decisions, which closely mirror what we have seen implemented by the DeSantis Administration in Florida.

You can find a link to the full report here:

MedPage: Report Shows Trump Administration Embraced Herd Immunity via Mass Infections—The Strategy Likely Contributed to Many Preventable Deaths, Report Notes

With omicron reinfections becoming common, we now know that achieving herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2 is a myth, yet their tactics have not changed.

Becker Hospital Review: How Omicron changed the Reinfection Landscape

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A scandal erupted on December 30, 2021, concerning 1,000,000 expired antigen tests sitting in a warehouse. At that time, it was virtually impossible to find an at-home test.

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.

On January 6th, the governor announced the state was shipping 1,000,000 test kits to long-term care and nursing facilities.

Florida’s web site shifted its focus to testing. Specifically, that people who are not high-risk should avoid it:

The Hill: Florida Surgeon General Blasts “Testing Psychology” around COVID-19

Florida Covid-19 Response

The Hill: DeSantis Administration Says It Let a Million COVID-19 Tests Expire in Florida Warehouse

The Hill: Florida Sending 1 Million Free COVID-19 Tests to Elderly Communities

On February 7th, the Florida Department of Health officially reprimanded two testing companies which failed to report the results of 230,000 Covid tests taken during December and January.­­

Tampa Bay Times: Florida Contractors Didn’t Report 230,000 COVID Tests on Time During Omicron Wave

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Until September 2nd, every household in the US was eligible to receive 3 shipments of 4 free Covid tests from the federal government at Covid.gov. That came to an end due to funding cuts.

However, Medicare Part B will cover up to 8 tests/month at participating pharmacies.

The shift to home-based testing with the first omicron wave is highly likely to result in an under-reporting of Covid cases.

The CDC advises those with a positive at-home test to report the results to their doctor.

The Hill: Federal Government to Halt Free COVID-19 At-home Tests by Early September

Medicare: Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Diagnostic Tests

High quality masks do work. Healthcare workers who wore respirator masks like N95s had half the risk of getting Covid compared to colleagues who wore surgical masks.

MedPage: Healthcare Workers Who Wear Better Masks Get Less COVID

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Public health officials recommend maintaining a positivity rate less than 5% for two weeks before reopening.

That means enough testing is taking place to capture even asymptomatic cases.

JHU: COVID-19 Testing: Understanding the “Percent Positive”

Florida crossed the 5% threshold during April 9–21, 2022:

June 2, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

The Florida Department of Health reported an average of 12.4% on September 8, 2022:

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

For the week ending September 8th, Florida claimed a 12.4% positivity rate. The data the state reported to the CDC indicates that May 1st was the last time it was that low.

Seven-day positivity rate averages during September 9–15 trended downward with a range of 13.80% to 11.59%, with an average of 12.78% (-15%).

That means there were about 63,000 cases in Florida during September 9–15, 2022 (-28%):

CDC: Florida Daily Covid Testing

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Dr. Salemi was posting very helpful county-level data until April 22nd. Unfortunately, his site no longer includes county-level data since the crash of his hard drive:

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

April 22, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

On September 16, 2022, 64 of the 66 counties which submitted data exceeded the 5% threshold. Four of them were above 15%.

Disney’s location (Orange County) had a 13.34% positivity rate:

CDC: Florida Positivity Percentages by County

Fifty-eight of the 66 counties which reported information experienced a decrease in their positivity rates compared to a week earlier.

Two reported increases of at least two full percentage points. Forty-five fell by at least two points.

You can check on the amount of change in your county’s positivity rate by going to the link under this map:

CDC: Florida Change in Weekly Percentage of Positivity by County

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:

Florida Covid-19 Response

Mutations which have resulted in the omicron variants render ineffective almost all the monoclonal antibodies previously in use, including the antibody combination used in Regeneron against the delta variant (imdevimab and casirivimab).

In the US, 100% of new cases were due to the omicron strains by January 29, 2022:

Covid-19: The Omicron Variant

NEJM: Efficacy of Antibodies and Antiviral Drugs Against Covid-19 Omicron Variant

March 24, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

For the week ending January 8th, 97% of sequenced cases in the region which includes Florida were omicron:

CDC: Variant Proportions

Jan 13, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

At that time, there was only one monoclonal antibody produced in the US which could attach to circulating omicron BA.1 particles.

Sotrovimab worked against the original omicron variant and omicron BA.1 at a dosage three times that required to neutralize the delta variant.

Covid-19: The Omicron Variant

NEJM: Efficacy of Antibodies and Antiviral Drugs Against Covid-19 Omicron Variant

During the first week of January 2022, 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

Florida Health: Florida to Open Additional Monoclonal Antibody Therapy Treatment Sites

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.

Why the state continued to emphasize this until at least July 25th is mystifying:

Those notices have finally been removed:

Florida Covid-19 Response

Governor DeSantis accused the Biden Administration of having no clinical evidence, despite the manufacturers of both antibodies noting they had become ineffective:

FDA: Coronoavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Limits Use of Certain Monoclonal Antibodies to Treat COVID-19 Due to the Omicron Variant

Daniel Dale: DeSantis vs Regeneron and Lilly

Abcellera: Statement on the Neutralization Activity of Its Monoclonal Antibody Therapies Against the Omicron Variant of Concern

Ron DeSantis: Governor DeSantis Condemns Biden Administration’s Haphazard Decision to Revoke Authorization of Lifesaving Monoclonal Antibody Treatments

Nevertheless, Florida administered over 37,500 doses of ineffective monoclonal antibodies after the FDA announced they were no longer authorized for use.

Monoclonal antibodies can trigger severe side effects:

JAMA: Administration of Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Monoclonal Antibodies After US Food and Drug Administration Deauthorization

Regen-Cov: January 24, 2022: REGEN-COV Usage Revisions and Important Safety Information

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The subvariants called BA.4 and BA.5 were first detected in the US in late May 2022. They have rapidly replaced earlier versions of SARS-CoV-2. BA.2.75 is found in 1% of samples tested. The CDC has separated BA.4.6 from its ancestor, BA.4 and BF.7 from BA.5.

During September 11–17, BA.5 accounts for 82% of US samples; BF.7 for 2%; BA.4.6 for 14%; and BA.4 for 2%:

In this map, deep red indicates BA.2.75, light green designates BA.4, blue represents BA.4.6, dark green depicts BA.5, and pea green indicates BF.7.

In the region which includes Florida during September 11–17, 2022, the percentage of BA.2.75 is at 1%; BA.4 dropped to 2%; BA.4.6 rose to 14%, and BA.5 dropped to 82%.

However, adding BF.7’s 2% makes BA.5 almost the same as a week ago:

Sotrovimab is 27 times less effective against BA.2 than for BA.1 and ineffective for newer subvariants.

Therefore, on April 5, 2022, the FDA amended the Emergency Use Authorization to revoke the use of Sotrovimab nationwide.

CDC: Variant Proportions

June 2, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Does Any Monoclonal Antibody Work Against BA.2?—Pre-print Lab Data Cast Doubt on the One Remaining Effective Antibody Treatment

BioRxiv: Antibody Evasion Properties of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Sublineages

MedPage: COVID Antivirals Appear to Hold Up Against BA.2—In Lab Study, Monoclonal Antibodies Required Much Higher Concentrations Versus Omicron Subvariant

FDA: Update [4/5/2022] FDA Revokes Use of Sotrovimab to Treat COVID-19 Nationwide Due to the BA.2 Omicron Sub-variant

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The September 15, 2022, update of this chart indicates that a different monoclonal antibody called bebtelovimab neutralizes omicron BA.275, BA.4 and BA.5.

In this chart, not being highlighted means an antibody works well:

This chart from a preprint study indicates that Bebtelovimab is effective against BA.4.6. The same article notes that it also neutralizes BF.7:

Medical News Today: The Latest Omicron Subvariant: What We Know So Far about BA.2.12.1

Stanford Univ: Coronavirus Antiviral and Resistance Database

DPZ: Emerging Omicron Subvariants BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 are Inhibited Less Efficiently by Antibodies

MedRxiv: Further Humoral Immunity Evasion of Emerging SARS-CoV-2 BA.4 and BA.5 Subvariants

On February 10, 2022, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced the purchase of enough Bebtelovimab to treat 600,000 people. It began shipping nation-wide within a week.

Public Health Emergency: State/Territory-Coordinated Weekly Distribution of COVID-19 Therapeutics

On April 25, 2022, the federal government changed its allocation method to one aligned with vaccine delivery and switched to a new web page:

The US delivered a final allocation of 85 doses of bebtelovimab to Florida on September 7th:

Here is the most recent federal allocation of 8,632 Covid-specific treatments to Florida:

  • 6,520 of the oral Paxlovid
  • 2,112 of the less-effective oral Molnupiravir (Lagevrio)
  • None of the pre-exposure Evusheld

HHS: COVID-19 Therapeutics Thresholds, Orders, and Replenishment by Jurisdiction

As of September 11th, Florida patients had used 64% of the state’s cumulative Paxlovid deliveries (+1%); 20% of the Legevrio (Molnupiravir) (no change); 59% of the Bebtelovimab (no change); and 45% of the Evusheld (+1%):

FDA: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: FDA Authorizes New Monoclonal Antibody for Treatment of COVID-19 that Retains Activity Against Omicron Variant

HHS: Secretary Becerra Announces HHS Purchase of 600,000 Treatment Courses of New Monoclonal Antibody that Works Against Omicron

HHS: COVID-19 Therapeutics by Jurisdiction

On July 6, 2022, the FDA granted pharmacists the authorization to prescribe Paxlovid, citing the need to begin treatment within 5 days of symptoms developing.

However, the agency does recommend seeing a physician first whenever possible.

MedPage: FDA Gives Pharmacists Thumbs Up for Paxlovid Prescribing

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On December 8, 2021, the FDA issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) 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.

Before that time, 11,000 doses had already been shipped to the state.

FDA: FDA Authorizes New Long-Acting Monoclonal Antibodies for Pre-Exposure Prevention of COVID-19 in Certain Individuals

Governor’s Office: Governor DeSantis Highlights New Preventative Monoclonal Antibody for Immunocompromised Patients

Dec 23, 2021 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Stat: A Tiny Florida Company Got more of a Scarce Covid Therapy than Some Big Hospitals, Raising Equity Questions

Miami Herald: Florida Sent Scarce COVID-19 Therapy to a Private Broward Clinic before Jackson Memorial

Local 10: Jackson, UM Hospital to Receive Shipments of Monoclonal Antibody Doses for Immunodeficient Patients

Public Health Emergency: State/Territory-Coordinated Weekly Distribution of COVID-19 Therapeutics

Evusheld is a combination of tixagevimab and cilgavimab. It appears to remain effective against BA.4 and BA.5 but at a much higher dosage.

On June 29th, the FDA revised the dosage of each component of Evusheld and recommended repeating the shots every 6 months.

Unfortunately, it does not work against the rapidly increasing BA.4.6 and several other subvariants which derive from BA.4 and BA.5, such as BF.7.

Currently BA.4.6 accounts for 12% of samples in the region which includes Florida and BF.7 for 2%:

MedRxiv: Further Antibody Escape by Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 from Vaccine and BA.1 Serum

Stanford Univ: Coronavirus Antiviral and Resistance Database

FDA: FDA Authorizes Revisions to Evusheld Dosing

MedRxiv: Further Humoral Immunity Evasion of Emerging SARS-CoV-2 BA.4 and BA.5 Subvariants

Florida received a monthly allocation of 12,336­­ doses of Evusheld on August 29th:

HHS: COVID-19 Therapeutics by Jurisdiction

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Covid Hospitalizations in Florida:

You won’t find any hospitalization information on Florida’s Weekly Surveillance Reports. Florida stopped reporting Covid hospitalizations on June 4, 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.

COVID Data Tracker: New Admissions of Patients with Confirmed COVID-19 per 100,000 Population by Age Group

Since the omicron variants became 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.

WaPo: In the Nation’s Hospitals, this Covid Wave Is Different

MedPage: When COVID Pushes Other Conditions Past the “Tipping Point”—Is the Patient Hospitalized “for” COVID, “with” COVID, or Somewhere in Between?

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For August 1, 2020–September 15, 2022, Florida has had 488,719 new hospital admissions for Covid patients. This represents 9.2% of all Covid admissions for 6.6% of the US population.

During September 9–15, 2022, there was an average of 377 admissions per day, a total of 2,453. That was a decrease of 13% from the previous week (2,966; 434/day).

Nevertheless, that was 83% fewer compared to the peak during August 11–17, 2021, when there were 10.42 admissions/100,000 Floridians:

Here is the information for the entire US. Florida accounted for 14.4% of Covid admissions that week:

You can find more detailed hospitalization statistics on the same CDC COVID Data Tracker, choosing Florida as the Jurisdiction and stratifying by any age:

On September 15, 2022, the rate of hospitalization admissions rose with increasing age.

The amount of change this week ranged from -21% (ages 60–69) to +4% (18–29). Pediatric admissions declined by 24%.

Compared to the delta variant wave we encountered in 2021, omicron admissions have been higher for people younger than 30 and older than 69.

There were 1.76 new admissions/100,000 Floridians; 2.02 the week before:

AGEADMISSIONS% CHANGE
0–170.38-24
18–290.56 4
30–390.76-19
40–490.80-16
50–591.08-20
60–692.13-21
70+5.88-12
all1.76-13
   
   

Since August 2020, 15,809 minors have required hospitalization for Covid in Florida, with 107 of those in the last week:

COVID Data Tracker: New Admissions of Patients with Confirmed COVID-19 per 100,000 Population by Age Group

Sept 8, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

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Since everyone 16+ became eligible for vaccination on April 1, 2021, people in Florida were 60% more likely to require Covid hospitalization than people in the rest of the US.

For September 9–15, 2022, that elevated risk was 135%. Per capita, there were 235 admissions in Florida for every 100 admissions elsewhere in the US:

Risk of Hospitalization and Death in Florida vs. the Rest of the US Before and After 16+ Vaccination and During September 9–15, 2022 

Sept 8, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Aug 25, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

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Dr. Salemi is now publishing the hospitalization rankings for every state and Washington DC for each age group over time.

On September 15th, Florida shifted from 3rd to 5th worst in the nation for adult Covid admissions.

During June 2–August 16, 2022, there were only 4 days that the state did not rank last.

In the last 3 weeks, Florida has improved significantly to 13th worst for adult hospitalizations; the state remained almost the same at 16th worst for adult ICU patients.

Pediatric admissions have dropped back to 3rd worst, yet pediatric hospitalizations are close to the national average (23rd best):

August 29–September 15, 2022
August 22–September 8, 2022

August 8–25, 2022

Salemi USF: COVID-19 Hospitalizations in Florida

Florida Covid Statistics: What is Really Happening?

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Children <4 years old in the US were 5x as likely to need hospital care during the first omicron wave than during delta.

When Florida officials refused to preorder vaccines for young children, the state was the 2nd worst in the US for pediatric admissions:

June 13–30, 2022

MMWR: Hospitalization of Infants and Children Aged 0–4 Years with Laboratory-Confirmed COVID-19—COVID-NET, 14 States, March 2020–February 2022

June 30, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

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After ten weeks with the worst adult admissions ranking in the nation, Florida improved to 2nd worst during August 4–18, 2022. Until then, the number of patients had risen steadily.

On September 15th, the ranking shifted to 5th worst. There were 363 adult admissions per day (-12%).

On September 15, 2022, 2,171 adult Covid patients were hospitalized (-16%). Adult hospitalizations improved to 12th worst.

Twelve percent of hospitalized adults needed ICU care, falling by 17% to 265 and ranking 16th worst in the US.

Pediatric Covid hospitalizations are 16% higher on September 15th than a week earlier, with 52 children in the hospital.

There were 36 pediatric admissions on that day (+44%), dropping Florida’s pediatric admissions rank to 3rd worst.

Until the August 11th report, it had been no better than 3rd for at least 18 weeks.

One in 11 admissions are for children, down from 1 in 4 on April 20th:

Salemi USF: COVID-19 Hospitalizations in Florida

July 21, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

April 22, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

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Here is the most recent county-level data from the CDC. You can click on their web site’s map to see specific information for each county.

On September 14th, Orange County—where Disney is located—had 133 new hospital admissions in the last 7 days (-18%). Miami-Dade had 313 (-16%); Broward had 225 (-16%); Palm Beach had 222 (-3%); and Hillsborough had 216 (-26%):

CDC: Florida Confirmed COVID-19 New Hospital Admissions by County

This is the percentage of change in hospital admissions by county as of September 14th.

The locations with the largest increases are in Southwest and the Panhandle:

CDC: Percent Change in Hospital Admissions by County

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HHS tracks Hospital Utilization.

On August 16th, 79% of hospital beds in Florida were full (no change from a week earlier).

Covid patients accounted for 2,435 of them (4.6% of utilized beds, down from 5.4%).

On September 9th, there were 2,868 Covid patients, so this is a drop of 14%:

On September 16th, 4.1% percent of ICU beds in use in Florida were used by 238 Covid patients, 24% fewer than a week earlier (312; 5.2%).

This represents 10% of hospitalized Covid patients.

Overall, 73% of ICU beds are occupied in the state, up from 72% on September 9th:

HHS: Hospital Utilization by State

Sept 8, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Many hospitals are publishing their own occupancy statistics. For example, Tampa General Hospital released this on September 16th:

  • There were 40 Covid-19 admissions, down from 46 a week earlier
  • 6 Covid patients were in their ICU, down from 12 a week earlier

Tampa General: Hospital Bed Availability for COVID-19 Patients

Sept 8, 2022 Florida Covid Stats: What Is Really Happening?

Archived posts on Florida Covid statistics are available here:

Florida Covid Statistics: What is Really Happening?