Since the pandemic began, 1% of all permanent Florida residents at least 65 years old have died due to Covid-19, almost 10% of people in that age group who tested positive. After a 64% decrease last week, the number of reported deaths has increased in Florida by 112%. However, the state is claiming only 11% of Covid-19 deaths reported for permanent residents of Florida during the past week as “New Deaths” (36 of 325).
This week, the state is reporting 13,530 new cases, an increase of 24% since last week, and 40% above two weeks ago. The first cases of the omicron variant were detected at a VA hospital in Tampa and in the Miami area. Florida is claiming a 70% vaccination rate; at last count, 57% of all permanent Florida residents have at least completed a vaccine series. Fifteen percent have received booster shots, a precaution considered critically important for protecting residents against the omicron variant.
New CDC data has approximately 500,000 fewer total Covid hospitalizations in the US. Florida’s decrease is at the same proportion as for the nation. I have no idea why that occurred.
Throughout the course of the pandemic, 9% of all hospitalizations in the US have been within Florida. After declining for several months, the state has had a concerning 19% rise in hospital admissions in the past week. The greatest jump was for children and those at least 70 years old. Changes in the school masking and quarantine policies enacted by the new FL Surgeon General on September 22, 2021, may account for the discrepancy in adult vs. pediatric hospitalization state rankings (49th for adults; 38th for children).
Between April 1st and December 2nd of this year—when vaccinations were available to all Floridians over the age of 16—11.7% of all Covid-19 deaths have occurred in Florida, a state with 6.6% of the population. Since the pandemic began, the state has one of the worst Covid death rates in the nation.
Florida is the only state in the US which is releasing statistics on a weekly basis. Information available in those reports is far more limited than what the state formerly provided.
Since October 14, 2021, I have made many attempts to access the FL Dept of Health Weekly Report. However, my browser will not download it due to a potential security risk:
On October 18th, I followed the Dept of Health’s recommendation to contact their COVID Data Analytics section, then went outside. When I returned, I had to do a major recovery process following an unauthorized attempt to access my hard drive. I still have not received a response from the FL COVID Data Analytics group. Even the main site for the Florida Dept of Health appears on an unsecure connection: www.floridahealth.gov.
Meanwhile faculty at the University of Florida charge that they have felt external pressure from the highest levels of state government to delete data related to their Covid research. They also encountered “barriers to accessing and analyzing” data and “barriers to publication of scientific research which inhibited the ability of faculty to contribute scientific findings during a world-wide pandemic.”
I’m now accessing the pdf for the weekly summary via Dr. Jason Salemi’s site:
Here is some of the data from November 26–December 2, 2021:
- New cases = 13,530; Cumulative cases = 3,710,507
- New deaths = 36; Cumulative deaths = 62,026
- Vaccination rate = 70%
- Fully vaccinated people minus those with booster shots = 9,256,800
- Total booster doses: 3,337,192
The vaccination rate reported by the state rose one percentage point to 70%. This figure represents only those eligible for vaccination and includes partially vaccinated people. Florida’s population is currently 21,975,117, so 57% have at least completed a vaccination series. People who receive a booster shot are removed from the Series Completed Category and added to the Additional Dose Category. Fifteen percent of Floridians have received a booster shot, a dose considered extremely important for providing protection against the omnicron variant:
Note that archived data on influenza statistics is readily available on the FL Dept of Health web site: Florida Influenza Surveillance Reports 2003–2021
This data from November 26–December 2, 2021, came from Dr. Salemi’s archives. Since October 14th, my browser will not download the FL Dept of Health Weekly Report, citing it as a security risk. Nevertheless, you would not find any archived Covid information on the FL Dept of Health site:
- New cases = 10,892; Cumulative cases = 3,697,523
- New deaths = 35; Cumulative deaths = 61,701
- Vaccination rate = 69%
- Fully vaccinated people minus those with booster shots = 9,568,305
- Total booster doses: 2,957,193
Covid Deaths in Florida:
Despite making national news for the state government’s attempt to cover up the number of deaths, nothing has changed in the Florida Department of Health’s methodology.
Subtracting the December 9th New Deaths from the Cumulative Deaths should give us the number of December 2nd Cumulative Deaths. However, doing that reveals 289 deaths which were not included in the December 9th New Deaths. There was a total of 325 deaths reported in Florida during that week. Yet only 11% of deaths (36) are reflected clearly on the December 11th report. This is a 112% increase from last week (153).
When the state receives a report of a death from a previous week, that information is added to “Cumulative Deaths” without being noted in “Previous Week Deaths.” It usually takes more than one week for death reports to get sent to the state.
Unless someone knows to compare the two data sets from both weeks, that is not apparent. By removing data from December 2nd and adding data from December 9th simultaneously, only people who have saved the older data can see what they are doing. It looks like the death rate is 89% better than it is.
During December 2–9, 2021, Hillsborough County had fewer than 10 deaths reported to the CDC. Last week, we had 27. Using the percentage of change, I calculated 3 deaths:
On June 4th, the state removed all data from anyone who has not established permanent residency and stopped reporting information from visitors, seasonal residents, and migrant workers. This deleted 744 deaths. I can no longer access this file, as my browser deems it a security risk:
Since August 1st, 21,503 permanent residents of Florida have died from Covid-19. All FL residents at least sixteen years old became eligible for vaccination on April 1st. SARS-CoV-2 infections have killed 27,581 permanent residents of the state since that date to December 9th. Despite having only 6.6% of the US population, this represents 11.7% of all American Covid-19 deaths since everyone at least 16 years old qualified for vaccination.
Since the pandemic began, 1% of all permanent Florida residents at least 65 years old have died due to Covid-19 (1009.4/100,000), almost 10% of people in that age group who tested positive:
The CDC recently updated their algorithm for calculating excess deaths in the US to include six years of data, rather than four, due to the pandemic skewing the expected numbers. Here is that information for Florida. You can click on each bar on their site to see the data for that week. It takes up to eight weeks for complete reporting:
A comparison of Covid deaths in the six largest US states by September 29th reveals that Florida had the highest proportion when all Americans at least 16 years old were eligible for vaccination:
The high proportion of excess deaths in FL has not changed much since that analysis. This is the total number of excess deaths throughout the pandemic, not the number per 100,000 people:
Florida still has the highest proportion of Covid deaths among large states: CA (188); TX (253); FL (289); NY (205); PA (270); IL (235). The state has one of the worst death rates in the nation:
Covid Cases in Florida:
On the December 9th report, Florida reported 3,710,507 cumulative cases. Of those, 13,530 were reported as new, a 24% increase from the prior week (10,892). Subtracting the new number from the cumulative one should give us the cumulative number from the prior week: 3,696,977.
However, the December 2nd report shows a cumulative number of 3,697,523. This week, the state is over-reporting 546 cases, 4% of the total. I have no idea why this discrepancy exists.
On June 4th, the state removed all data from anyone who is not a permanent resident and stopped reporting it. This deleted 43,535 cases.
During the week of December 3–9 1,347 children under twelve tested positive in Florida, an increase of 18% over the previous week (1,137). Among those 12–19, 960 tested positive, also an increase of 18% from the prior week (811). In total, 2,307 Florida residents under the age of twenty tested positive. The CDC recommended vaccination for children aged 5–11 on November 2nd. Currently, they have the highest positivity rate in Florida. Booster shots are approved for anyone at least 16 years old who had a second shot of the Pfizer vaccine over six months ago.
In the Hillsborough County School District, there have been 12,064 cases during this school year as of December 9th. While only 99 cases were reported during December 3–9, this is a 57% increase from the prior week (63). It is concerning that the number of cases per day has doubled since the state report was issued. The school year began on August 10th, and the district instituted a mandatory mask mandate on August 18th. They ended it on October 15th.
My daughters’ high school has had 70 cases, with none in the past twelve weeks. During August 28th–September 2nd, the increase from the prior week was 87%. Our elementary school has had 63 cases, the same number as last week.
Here are a few of the FL Dept of Health county positivity rates. Hillsborough County dropped slightly, from 3.2% to 3.0%. The state average was 2.6%:
Dr. Jason Salemi, a professor from the University of South Florida, has been compiling data from the state since May 28th. His county-level data are quite helpful. Note that this runs one week late. It indicates that Hillsborough County dropped from 3.2% to 3.0% during November 25th–December 2nd:
You can click on the maps for detailed information on each county. He also lists the data for each week since May 28, 2021, when Florida deleted its daily dashboard.
The CDC notes 855 new cases in Hillsborough County in the week prior to December 9th:
That represents an increase of 18%, with a substantial level of transmission:
Covid Hospitalizations in Florida:
You won’t find any hospitalization information on Florida’s Weekly Surveillance Reports. Florida stopped reporting Covid hospitalizations on June 24, 2021. However, Florida must relay all hospitalization data to the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Florida reported a record 13,028 hospitalizations for Covid-19 on August 24, 2021, to the US Department of Health and Human Services.
Twelve weeks ago, Florida had the highest adult hospitalization rate in the US. Over the past four weeks, Florida has remained the second best (from 5.5 to 6.2/100,000):
Florida’s pediatric hospitalization rate rose from 43rd worst on December 6th to 38th on December 13th (a 42% rise from 0.38 to 0.54/100,000):
Changes in the school masking and quarantine policies enacted by the new FL Surgeon General on September 22, 2021, may account for the discrepancy in adult vs. pediatric hospitalization rankings. This makes it harder for counties to enforce mandatory mask wearing and allows the parents of children exposed to SARS-CoV-2 to determine whether their children should quarantine or return to school.
For August 1, 2020–December 2, 2021, Florida had 317,517 new admissions for Covid patients. I have no idea why, but the official number of admissions in the US dropped by about 500,000 since then (47,785 in Florida). Nevertheless, the proportion of Florida cases remains the same at 9.2% of all Covid admissions in the US for 6.6% of the US population.
You can also find hospitalization statistics on the same CDC COVID Data Tracker, choosing Florida as the Jurisdiction and stratifying by any age:
The daily average during December 3–9, 2021 was 167 new admissions. This represents an increase of 19% in the past week (from 140) and a decrease of 92% from the peak during August 11–17, when there were 10.42 admissions/100,000 Floridians. In general, hospitalizations decreased by several percentage points for people younger than 50 and increased for people older than that. The greatest increase was for those at least 70 years old (1.78 to 1.85).
On December 9th, there were 0.78 new admissions/100,000 Floridians; 0.70 the week before. The discrepancy with last week’s report is due to the CDC removing 47,785 hospitalizations, as noted above:
The number of people in the hospital was steadily dropping until two weeks ago. Since then, the number of adult admissions has risen by 6%. Pediatric admissions are 33% higher. One-fourth of hospitalized adults are in the ICU (25%):
HHS tracks Hospital Utilization. On December 2, 2021, 80% of hospital beds in Florida were full, up 1% from last week (1,393). The Covid patients accounted for 2% of utilized beds. However, last week, there were 1,343 hospitalized Covid patients, an increase of 4%. Five weeks ago, hospitalizations dropped 35%.
Four percent of ICU beds in use in Florida were occupied by 245 Covid patients, 4% fewer than the previous week (256). Three weeks ago, the drop was 18%:
Many hospitals are publishing their own occupancy statistics. For example, Tampa General Hospital released this on December 9th:
- There were 14 Covid-19 admissions, up from 10 a week before
- Eleven Covid patients were in their ICU, six more than a week before (5)
Archived posts on Florida Covid statistics are available here: