Florida Covid Statistics: What Is Really Happening, January 6, 2022

I have also published delta variant information, a new omicron variant post, and archived Covid-19 information.

To download a pdf of this post, click here.

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Last week, the number of deaths among permanent residents reported to the state of Florida increased by 14%. The state is claiming only 24% of the Covid-19 deaths during the past week as “New Deaths” (44 of 184). Between April 1, 2021, and January 6, 2022—when vaccinations were available to all Floridians over the age of 16—10.3% of all Covid-19 deaths have occurred in Florida, a state with 6.6% of the population.

Florida is claiming a 72% vaccination rate. However, only 59% of all permanent Florida residents have at least completed a vaccine series. Twenty percent have received booster shots, a precaution considered critically important for protecting residents against the omicron variant.

On the January 6th report, Florida reported 4,562,954 cumulative cases. Of those, 397,114 were reported as new, a 33% increase from the prior week (298,455). Hillsborough county experienced a 47% rise. Over 68,000 new cases are in Floridians under the age of twenty. With a statewide positivity rate of 31%, there were as many as 5 times the official number of permanent Florida residents infected with SARS-CoV-2. Compared to four weeks ago—when the omicron variant was first detected—Florida has experienced a rise in new reported cases of 2,852%.

Despite Miami-Dade County having the highest percentage of people in the state at least partially vaccinated, there have been 110,000 permanent residents who tested positive over the past seven days (an 11% increase). This is two weeks after they experienced a 354% rise in cases. Four percent of Miami-Dade’s population tested positive last week; however, a positivity rate of 35% indicates the percentage of those infected is closer to 28%. The number of people who died last week in Miami-Dade County doubled to 36.

Until January 7th, the state continued to emphasize monoclonal antibody treatment. Mutations which have resulted in the omicron variant render ineffective almost all the monoclonal antibodies currently in use. In the region which includes Florida, 98% of cases are now due to that viral strain. There is only one produced in the US and UK which can attach to circulating omicron particles. Sotrovimab works against the omicron variant at a dosage three times that required to neutralize the delta variant.

With the sudden shift in predominating strains, it is likely to be very difficult even for people at the highest risk to access the limited supply of monoclonal antibody treatment for an omicron infection. Last week, hospitals in Florida used 140 of the state’s stockpile of 4,400 doses, in contrast to over 2,700 doses of the now-ineffective monoclonal antibody Regeneron.

This week, the Florida Surgeon General decried the “testing psychology” which seeks to identify all Covid cases to slow the rate of community transmission. Amidst the scandal which erupted concerning the 1,000,000 expired antigen tests, Florida’s web site has also shifted its focus to testing. Specifically, that people who are not high-risk should avoid getting tested. Today, the governor announced the state is shipping 1,000,000 test kits to long-term care and nursing facilities followed by communities with high proportions of elderly individuals.

You won’t find any hospitalization information on Florida’s Weekly Surveillance Reports. Throughout the course of the pandemic, 8.9% of all hospitalizations in the US have been within Florida. Compared to December 10th, there were 775% more Floridians in the hospital with Covid-19. There was an 86% rise in hospital admissions during December 31, 2021–January 6, 2022 (8,466). All age groups were more likely to require hospital care, with the largest jumps among children (88%) and senior citizens (97–115%). One-eighth of hospitalized adults are in the ICU.

In regions where the omicron variant is predominant, hospital officials are seeing more incidental Covid cases among people who are in the hospital. Roughly one-third are admitted for a primary diagnosis of Covid; one-third for a Covid infection making an underlying condition worse; and one-third for reasons unrelated to their viral infection.

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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:

Florida Covid-19 Response

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

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.”

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

I’m now accessing the pdf for the weekly summary via Dr. Jason Salemi’s site:

Here is some of the data from December 31, 2021–January 6, 2022:

  • New cases = 397,114; Cumulative cases = 4,562,954
  • Positivity rate = 31.2%
  • New deaths = 44; Cumulative deaths = 62,688
  • Vaccination rate = 72%
  • Fully vaccinated people minus those with booster shots = 8,504,748
  • Total booster doses: 4,397,324

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

The vaccination rate reported by the state rose one percentage point to 72%. This figure represents only those eligible for vaccination and includes partially vaccinated people. Florida’s population is currently 21,975,117, so 59% have at least completed a vaccination series. People who receive a booster shot are removed from the Series Completed Category and added to the Additional Dose Category.

Twenty percent of Floridians have received a booster shot, a dose considered extremely important for providing protection against the omicron variant. Since I created this chart, researchers have discovered that booster efficacy begins to wane at ten weeks:

Efficacy at Peak of Protection: Booster Efficacy Wanes 15% to 20% After Ten Weeks

Covid-19: The Omicron Variant

The Hill: UK Report Suggests Booster Effectiveness Against Symptomatic Omicron Decreases Within Ten Weeks

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

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 December 24–30, 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:

This was the situation during December 24–30, 2021:

  • New cases = 298,455; Cumulative cases = 4,166,392
  • Positivity rate = 26.5%
  • New deaths = 32; Cumulative deaths = 62,504
  • Vaccination rate = 71%
  • Fully vaccinated people minus those with booster shots = 8,529,428
  • Total booster doses: 4,318,875

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

December 30, 2021 Florida Statistics: What Is Really Happening?

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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.

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

Subtracting the January 6th New Deaths from the Cumulative Deaths should give us the number of December 30th Cumulative Deaths. However, doing that reveals 140 deaths which were not included in the January 6th New Deaths. There was a total of 184 deaths reported in Florida during that week. Yet only 24% of deaths (44) are reflected clearly on the January 6th report. This is a 14% increase from last week (162).

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

December 30, 2021 Florida Statistics: What Is Really Happening?

When the state receives a report of a death from an earlier week, that information is added to “Cumulative Deaths” without being noted in “Previous Week Deaths.” It usually takes more than one week for death reports to get sent to the state. 

Unless someone knows to compare the two data sets from both weeks, that is not apparent. By removing data from December 30th and adding data from January 6th simultaneously, only people who have saved the older data can see what they are doing. It looks like the death rate is 76% better than it is.

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

By comparing the decrease in this week’s deaths to the 1 or 2 which occurred during December 24th–31st, I calculated that Hillsborough County had 4 or 8 deaths reported to the CDC:

CDC: Integrated County View, Hillsborough FL

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:

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

Since August 1st, 22,050 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 28,132 permanent residents of the state since that date to January 6, 2022. Despite having only 6.6% of the US population, this represents 10.3% of all American Covid-19 deaths since everyone at least 16 years old qualified for vaccination.

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

Since the pandemic began, 1.0% of all permanent Florida residents at least 65 years old have died due to Covid-19 (1020/100,000). That is 8.2% of people in that age group who tested positive. The percentage fell almost 10% in the last week (from 9.0%), indicating that a lot of Florida’s senior citizens have just tested positive. Nationwide, 9.7% of senior citizens who have tested positive have died:

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

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

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:

CDC: Excess Deaths Associated with COVID-19

Florida has a higher than expected proportion of excess deaths compared to other states. This is the total number of excess deaths throughout the pandemic, not the number per 100,000 people:

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

Two weeks ago, Florida improved from the deepest shade of blue for the first time since I began downloading this graphic. If you go to the CDC’s site and click on Florida, you will see that only 23 deaths are reported for the last 7 days, despite 184 occurring during December 31, 2021–January 6, 2022. The other large states have much higher numbers for the week. For the first time that I have seen, we have dropped to the second highest proportion of Covid deaths among the six largest states: CA (193); TX (259); FL (291); NY (217); PA (293); IL (249).

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

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Covid Cases in Florida:

On the January 6th report, Florida reported 4,562,954 cumulative cases. Of those, 397,114 were reported as new, a 33% increase from the prior week (298,455). Subtracting the new number from the cumulative one should give us the cumulative number from the prior week: 4,165,840.

However, the December 30th report shows a cumulative number of 4,166,392. This week, the state is under-reporting 552 cases, 0.1% of the total. That is much more accurate than usual. There were really 397,666 new cases reported. Compared to four weeks ago—when the omicron variant was first detected—Florida has experienced an increase in new cases of 2,852%.

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

December 30, 2021 Florida Statistics: What Is Really Happening?

December 2, 2021 Florida Statistics: What Is Really Happening?

Miami-Dade County was one of the first places in the state to detect the omicron variant. On December 16th, 80% of samples sequenced there were the omicron variant. Only two weeks before, 99% had been the delta variant. Look at what has happened there in the seven days before January 6th:

  • 110,000 cases despite 85% of the eligible population being fully vaccinated. Three weeks ago, there were 11,500 cases. This is an increase of 960%. They also had 100,000 cases there last week.
  • Four percent of the population tested positive during last week.
  • A 35% positivity rate, meaning the actual number of cases is likely 7 times higher. This is about the same as the positivity rate from the previous week.
  • 50% more hospitalizations than a week ago, after the rate had risen by 124% in 7 days.
  • Thirty-six people died, 100% more than a week ago.

CDC: Integrated County View, Miami-Dade FL

ABC News: Omicron Makes Up 80% of Cases in Miami-Dade

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

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.

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

During the week of December 31, 2021–January 6, 2022, 33,159 children under twelve tested positive in Florida, an increase of 60% over the previous week (20,674). Among those 12–19, 35,300 tested positive, 32% more than the prior week (26,740). In total, 68,459 Florida residents under the age of twenty tested positive, an increase of 136% from the week before (47,414).

Since vaccination was approved for ages 5–11, the highest positivity rates in Florida have shifted from children to adolescents and adults under 60. Booster shots are approved for anyone at least 12 years old who had a second shot of an mRNA vaccine over five months ago or got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine two months ago. Those aged 12–17 are limited to the Pfizer vaccine.

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

December 30, 2021 Florida Statistics: What Is Really Happening?

CDC: COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots

In the Hillsborough County School District, as of January 6, 2022, there have been 14,740 cases during this school year. The 2,062 cases reported during December 31–January 6 constitute an 860% increase from the last week of the fall semester week (215 during December 10–17, 2021). This school year began on August 10th, and the district instituted a mandatory mask mandate on August 18th. They ended it on October 15th. Florida law now leaves the decision about quarantining after a close contact at school to the child’s parents.

HCSD: Covid FrequentlyAsked Questions

My daughters’ high school has had 91 cases, with 21 of those in the last week. There had been none in the previous sixteen weeks. Our elementary school has had 83, with 19 occurring last week. None had been reported for several weeks before the fall semester ended.

Hillsborough County Public Schools Covid Dashboard

Here are a few of the FL Dept of Health county positivity rates. Hillsborough County’s rose 18% from 26.0% to 30.8%. The state average rose 17% in one week, from 26.6% to 31.2%. That means there are likely five unreported cases for each positive test. We cannot tell from the state report that the number of cases in Hillsborough County rose 47% in the past week (from 15,027):

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

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 the date reflects the beginning of the week. It indicates that Hillsborough County’s cases rose 47%, from 996/ 100,000 people to 1,467/100,000 during December 31, 2021–January 6, 2022. On his site, you can click on the maps for detailed information on each county:

He also lists the data for each week since May 28, 2021, when Florida deleted its daily dashboard. I have excluded some weeks to fit the most recent date into the screenshot. The 47% increase in Hillsborough County cases this week is evident here:

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

CDC: COVID-19 Integrated County View, Hillsborough County FL

Until yesterday, the state continued to emphasize monoclonal antibody treatment. Mutations which have resulted in the omicron variant render ineffective almost all the monoclonal antibodies currently in use. In the region which includes Florida, 98% of cases are now due to that viral strain:

Florida Covid-19 Response

CDC: Variant Proportions

The Hill: DeSantis Calls for States to Be Allowed to Buy Monoclonal Antibody Treatments

There is only monoclonal antibody produced in the US and UK which can attach to circulating omicron particles. Sotrovimab works against the omicron variant at a dosage three times that required to neutralize the delta variant. With the sudden shift in predominating strains, it is likely to be very difficult even for people at the highest risk to access the limited supply of monoclonal antibody treatment for an omicron infection. Last week, hospitals in Florida used 140 of the state’s stockpile of 4,400 doses, in contrast to over 2,700 doses of the now-ineffective Regeneron Monoclonal Antibody.

Covid-19: The Omicron Variant

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

Even Tampa General Hospital is warning prospective patients not to rely upon that treatment:

Tampa General: Treatment Options for Omicron Variant

This week, the Florida Surgeon General decried the “testing psychology” which seeks to identify all Covid cases to slow the rate of community transmission. Amidst the scandal which erupted on January 7th concerning the 1,000,000 expired antigen tests, Florida’s web site has also shifted its focus to testing. Specifically, that people who are not high-risk should avoid using them. Today, the governor announced the state is shipping 1,000,000 test kits to long-term care and nursing facilities followed by communities with high proportions of elderly individuals:

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

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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 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.

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

In regions where the omicron variant is predominant, hospital officials are seeing more incidental Covid cases among people who are in the hospital. Roughly one-third are admitted for a primary diagnosis of Covid; one-third for a Covid infection making an underlying condition worse; and one-third for reasons unrelated to their viral infection.

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

Sixteen weeks ago, Florida had the highest adult hospitalization rate in the US. Until three weeks ago, Florida had remained the second best (ending at 8.9/100,000) for six weeks. In one week, Florida rose to from 34th (25.3/100,000) to 17th (48.4/100,000), an increase of 91%:

Florida’s pediatric hospitalization rate rose from 19th worst on December 30th to 15th worst on January 7th (from 2.82/100,000 to 4.82/100,000):

Salemi USF: COVID-19 Currently Hospitalized in Florida

For August 1, 2020–December 30, 2021, Florida has had 340,695 new admissions for Covid patients. This represents 8.9% of all Covid admissions in the US for 6.6% of the US population:

For December 30, 2021–January 6, 2022, there was an average of 1,646 admissions per day. This is an increase of 86% from the previous week (886) and a decrease of 27% from the peak during August 11–17, when there were 10.42 admissions/100,000 Floridians. Except for the most recent day posted, the number of admissions increased as the week progressed, with 50% more admissions on January 5th than on December 31st.

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

Hospitalizations increased for every adult age group ranging from 40% for ages 18–29 to 115% for people over 70. Two weeks ago, individuals aged 30–59 were less likely to be hospitalized than those in the 18–29 age bracket. Among adults in Florida, people aged 18–29 are the least likely to be vaccinated, although they have been the adult demographic most likely to get vaccinated during the last few weeks. Apparently, the news about omicron’s severity has spread. Pediatric hospitalizations rose 88% after a 203% rise during the last week of December.

On January 6th, there were 7.66 new admissions/100,000 Floridians; 4.13 the week before:

AgeAdmissions% Change
0–171.8388
18–294.2740
30–395.3658
40–494.9567
50–596.9370
60–6910.0697
70+15.75115
all ages7.66137

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

December 30, 2021 Florida Statistics: What Is Really Happening?

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

The number of adults in the hospital was steadily dropping until five weeks ago. On January 7th, the number of adult admissions had risen by 775% to 8,466. It was 4,431 on December 31st, a rise of 91% in just the last week. One-eighth of hospitalized adults are in the ICU (12%, the same as a week ago).

Pediatric hospitalizations are 60% higher than last week, with 205 children in Florida hospitals. There were 81 pediatric admissions/day, 80% higher than during December 24th–30th:

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida Hospital Admissions by Age

HHS tracks Hospital Utilization. On January 7, 2022, 82% of hospital beds in Florida were full, up 4% from last week. Covid patients accounted for 9,416 of them (16% of utilized beds, up by 9%). Last week, there were 4,933 hospitalized Covid patients, making this an increase of 91%:

Eighteen percent of ICU beds in use in Florida were occupied by 1,117 Covid patients, 110% more than the previous week (531). A week before, 9% of ICU beds were used by Covid patients:

HHS: Inpatient Bed Utilization by State

December 30, 2021 Florida Statistics: What Is Really Happening?

Many hospitals are publishing their own occupancy statistics. For example, Tampa General Hospital released this on January 8th:

  • There were 159 Covid-19 admissions, up from 73 a week before
  • Twenty-one Covid patients were in their ICU, up from 11 a week earlier

Tampa General: Hospital Bed Availability for COVID-19 Patients

December 30, 2021 Florida Statistics: What Is Really Happening?

Archived posts on Florida Covid statistics are available here

Florida Covid Statistics: What is Really Happening?