Florida Statistics: What is Really Happening? November 11, 2021

I have also published delta variant information and in-depth Covid-19 information.

To download a pdf of this post, click here.

Florida is the only state in the US which is releasing statistics on a weekly, not daily, basis. Information available in those reports is far more limited than what the state formerly provided.

For the past month, I have made multiple attempts to access the FL Dept of Health Weekly Report and 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. While I’m not sure the events are related, I had to rely upon the Tampa Bay Times on October 17th for that week’s report. I was finally able to locate this week’s information on an unsecure site. 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

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

Here is some of the data from November 5–November 11, 2021:

  • New cases = 10,746; Cumulative cases = 3,668,077
  • New deaths = 33; Cumulative deaths = 60,697
  • Vaccination rate = 67%
  • Fully vaccinated people minus those with booster shots = 9,194,415
  • Total booster doses: 1,958,698

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

The vaccination rate reported by the state dropped from 73% to 67% due to children aged 5–11 becoming eligible for vaccination. This figure represents only those eligible for vaccination and includes partially vaccinated people. Florida’s population is currently 21,975,117, so 50.8% 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.

I have no idea how we have 9% fewer people who have completed a vaccination series or received a booster shot (1,103,491 less than a week ago). Apparently other epidemiologists don’t know why either and it is not the only error in this week’s report on vaccination statistics:

Twitter

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 October 29–November 4, 2021, came from Dr. Salemi’s archives. My browser would not download the FL Dept of Health Weekly Report over the past month, citing it as a security risk. Nevertheless, you would not find any archived Covid information on the FL Dept of Health web site:

  • New cases = 11,069; Cumulative cases = 3,657,775
  • New deaths = 39; Cumulative deaths = 60,334
  • Vaccination rate = 73%
  • Fully vaccinated people minus those with booster shots = 10,896,619
  • Total booster doses: 1,359,985

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

November 4, 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 November 11th New Deaths from the Cumulative Deaths should give us the number of November 4th Cumulative Deaths. However, doing that reveals 330 deaths which were not included in the November 11th New Deaths. There was a total of 363 deaths reported in Florida during that week. Yet only 9% of deaths (33) are reflected clearly on the November 11th report. This is a 45% decrease from last week (664).

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

November 4, 2021 Florida Statistics: What is Really Happening?

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 November 4th and adding data from November 11th simultaneously, only people who have saved the older data can see what they are doing. It looks like the death rate is 91% better than it is.

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

On June 4th, the state removed all data from anyone who has not established permanent residency and stopped reporting information from visitors, seasonal residents, and migrant workers. This deleted 744 deaths. I can no longer access this file, as my browser deems it a security risk:

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

Florida began withholding previously available information from our state’s residents on June 5, 2021. An analysis by the Tampa Bay Times using CDC data with June 5th as a start date through October 17th indicates that Florida has had the worst Covid death rate in the US.

TBT: Why Doesn’t Florida Trust Its Residents with Basic COVID Information?

Over the course of the pandemic, Florida has one of the worst death rates in the nation (283/100,000 people):

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

Since August 1st, 20,284 permanent residents of Florida have died from Covid-19. This is 179 more than the state had reported to the CDC by November 11th (20,105). All FL residents at least sixteen years old became eligible for vaccination on April 1st. SARS-CoV-2 infections have killed 26,355 permanent residents of the state since that date to November 11th. Despite having only 6.6% of the US population, this represents 13.2% 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

Almost 1% of Floridians at least 65 years old have died due to Covid-19 (989.5/100,000):

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

A comparison of Covid deaths in the six largest US states a month ago reveals that Florida had the highest proportion when all Americans over the age of 16 were eligible for vaccination:

Tampa Bay Times: Fatal Flaws: Why Does Florida have So Many More COVID Deaths than Other Large States?

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Covid Cases in Florida:

On the November 11th report, Florida reported 3,668,077 cumulative cases. Of those, 10,746 were new, a 3% improvement from the prior week (11,069). Subtracting the new number from the cumulative one should give us the cumulative number from the previous week: 3,657,331.

However, the November 4th report shows a cumulative number of 3,657,775. This week, the state is under-reporting 444 cases (4%). Why that difference exists remains unclear. The state should be reporting 11,190 new cases.

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

November 4, 2021 Florida Statistics: What is Really Happening?

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 November 4–11, 1,444 children under twelve tested positive in Florida, a decrease of 9% over the previous week (1,588). Among those 12–19, 952 tested positive, an increase of 11% from the prior week (860). Last week, I reported a 22% decrease, so that shift is concerning. In total, 2,386 Florida residents under the age of twenty tested positive, a decrease of 2%. The CDC recommended vaccination for children aged 5–11 on November 2nd. Currently, they have the highest positivity rate in Florida.

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

November 4, 2021 Florida Statistics: What is Really Happening?

In the Hillsborough County School District, only 60 cases were reported during November 4–10, 0.5% of the 11,804 cases during this school year. Eight weeks ago, the rate of increase was 87%. The school year began on August 10th, and the district instituted a mandatory mask mandate on August 18th. They ended it on October 15th.

HCSD: Covid FrequentlyAsked Questions

My daughters’ high school has had 70 cases, with none in the past eight weeks. During August 28th–September 2nd, the increase from the prior week was 87%. Our elementary school has had 60 cases, the same as the last two weeks.

Hillsborough County Public Schools Covid Dashboard

Here are a few of the FL Dept of Health county positivity rates:

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 it has not been updated this week:

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.  

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

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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

Eight weeks ago, Florida had the highest adult hospitalization rate in the US. Over the past week, Florida improved from the fourth best hospitalization rate for adults in the nation to the second best on November 8th (from 7.4 to 6.5/100,000).

Florida’s pediatric hospitalization rate dropped from 31st worst on November 8th to 37th on November 13th (0.54 to 0.45/100,000).

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.

Salemi USF: COVID-19 Currently Hospitalized in Florida

TBT 9-30-21: Florida’s School Mask, Quarantine Rules Draw More Criticism

For August 1, 2020–November 11, 2021, Florida had 313,846 new admissions for Covid patients. This represents 9.5% of all Covid hospitalizations 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 over the past seven days was 196 new admissions. This represents a decrease of 16% in the past week (from 233) and of 92% from the peak during August 11–17, when there were 10.42 admissions/100,000 Floridians. Every age group declined, except for 0–17, which did not change and 60–69, which rose 16%.

On November 11th, there were 0.92 new admissions/100,000 Floridians; 0.97, the week before:

AgeAdmissions
0–170.20
18–290.45
30–390.53
40–490.69
50–59   1.00
60–691.53
70+2.02
all ages0.97
  
  


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

The number of people in the hospital is now steadily dropping. Over one-fourth of hospitalized adults are in the ICU (27%).

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

HHS tracks Hospital Utilization. Searching by facility does not include the number of Covid-19 patients. However, after scrolling down to Inpatient Bed Utilization by State, you can choose Florida. On November 13th, 2021, 78% of hospital beds in Florida were full, the same as last week. The 1,469 Covid patients still accounted for 3% of utilized beds. However, last week, there were 2,254 hospitalized Covid patients, a decrease of 35%.

Six percent of ICU beds in use in Florida were occupied by 319 Covid patients. That is down from 9% the previous week (381). State-wide, 62 fewer ICU beds were occupied, down 16%:

HHS: Inpatient Bed Utilization by State

Many hospitals are publishing their own occupancy statistics. For example, Tampa General Hospital released this on November 13th:

  • There were 21 Covid-19 admissions, the same as the week before
  • Five Covid patients were in their ICU, down from 6 a week before

Tampa General : Hospital Bed Availability for COVID-19 Patients

In Florida, the big mystery this week is why the state removed over 1,100,000 people from the Vaccination “Series Completed” and “Additional Dose” categories.

Thankfully, the number of deaths, cases, and hospitalizations due to Covid-19 are all declining significantly. However, the state is continuing to claim only 9% of Covid-19 deaths reported for permanent residents of Florida during the past week as “New Deaths.” They are also under-reporting the number of “New Cases” by 4%.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, 9% of all hospitalizations in the US have been within the state. The current daily hospital admission rate for the entire US is approximately twice what Florida’s was in August. 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.

Between April 1st and November 11th of this year—when vaccinations were available to all Floridians over the age of 16—13.2% of all Covid-19 deaths have occurred in Florida, a state with 6.6% of the population. Since the state began withholding information on June 5, 2021, Florida has had the worst Covid death rate in the nation.

Archived posts on Florida Covid statistics are available here:

Florida Covid Statistics: What is Really Happening?