Florida Covid Statistics: What Is Really Happening, November 4, 2021

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

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 three weeks, 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 October 29–November 4, 2021:

  • 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

The vaccination rate of 73% represents only those eligible for vaccination. It includes partially vaccinated people. Florida’s population is currently 21,975,117, so 55.8% 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.

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 22–28, 2021 came from Dr. Salemi’s archives. My browser would not download the FL Dept of Health Weekly Report last week, citing it as a security risk. However, you cannot find any archived Covid information on the FL Dept of Health web site:

  • New cases = 12,880; Cumulative cases = 3,647,227
  • New deaths = 56; Cumulative deaths = 59,670
  • Vaccination rate = 73%
  • Fully vaccinated people minus those with booster shots = 11,089,145
  • Total booster doses: 1,116,459

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

October 28, 2021 Florida Statistics: What is Really Happening?

 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 4th New Deaths from the Cumulative Deaths should give us the number of October 28th Cumulative Deaths. However, doing that reveals 625 deaths which were not included in the November 4th New Deaths. There was a total of 664 deaths reported in Florida during that week. Yet only 5.9% of deaths (39) are reflected clearly on the November 4th report. This is a 23% decrease from last week (867).

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

October 28, 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 October 28th and adding data from November 4th simultaneously, only people who have saved the older data can see what they are doing. It looks like the death rate is 94% 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?

Since August 1st, 19,860 permanent residents of Florida have died from Covid-19. This is 66 more than the state had reported to the CDC by October 28th (19,794). All FL residents at least sixteen years old became eligible for vaccination on April 1st. SARS-CoV-2 infections have killed 25,927 permanent residents of the state since that date to November 4th. Despite having only 6.6% of the US population, this represents 13.5% 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 (984.4/100,000):

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?

Covid Cases in Florida:

On the November 4th report, Florida reported 3,657,775 cumulative cases. Of those, 11,069 were new, a 14% improvement from the prior week (12,880). Subtracting the new number from the cumulative one should give us the cumulative number from the previous week: 3,646,706.

However, the October 28th report shows a cumulative number of 3,647,227. This week, the state is under-reporting 521 cases (4.7%). Why that difference exists remains unclear. The state should be reporting 11,590 new cases.

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

October 28, 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 October 28–November 4, 1,588 children under twelve tested positive in Florida, a decrease of 9% over the previous week (1,754). Among those 12–19, 860 tested positive, a decrease of 22% from the prior week (1,106). In total, 2,448 Florida residents under the age of twenty tested positive. The CDC recommended vaccination for children under twelve on November 2nd, so we should see some statistics for that age group beginning next week. Currently, children under twelve have the highest positivity rate in Florida.

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

October 28, 2021 Florida Statistics: What is Really Happening?

In the Hillsborough County School District, only 71 cases were reported during October 28–November 4, 0.6% of the 11,744 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 seven weeks. During August 28th–September 2nd, the increase from the prior week was 87%. Our elementary school has had 60 cases, the same as last week.

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

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 seventh best hospitalization rate for adults in the nation to the fourth best on November 8th (from 9.2 to 7.4/100,000).

Florida’s pediatric hospitalization rate dropped from 28th worst on October 28th to 31st on November 8th (0.73 to 0.54/100,000).

The rise in rank from twenty-second to tenth worst which coincided with changes in the school masking and quarantine policies enacted on September 22, 2021, by the new FL Surgeon General, appears to have abated. 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

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

For August 1, 2020–November 4, 2021, Florida had 312,466 new admissions for Covid patients. This represents 9.6% of all Covid hospitalizations in the US for 6.6% of the US population. The daily average over the past seven days was 233 new admissions (a decrease of 16% in the past week (from 278) and of 91% from the peak during August 11–17, when there were 10.42 admissions/100,000 Floridians). Every age group declined. On November 4th, there were 0.97 new admissions/100,000 Floridians; 1.20, the week before:

50–59   0.97*
all ages0.97

* This line was so close to “All Ages” that I could not segregate it

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. However, the percentage who are children has risen, reaching its highest percentage since at least July 22nd:

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

September 16, 2021 Florida Statistics: What is Really Happening?

September 9, 2021 Florida Statistics: What is Really Happening?

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 6th, 2021, 78% of hospital beds in Florida were full, down one percent from the past four weeks. The 2,254 Covid patients accounted for 3% of utilized beds, also down one percent.

Seven percent of ICU beds in use in Florida were occupied by 381 Covid patients. That is down from 9% the previous week (572). State-wide, 103 fewer ICU beds were occupied, down 2%:

HHS: Inpatient Bed Utilization by State

Many hospitals are publishing their own occupancy statistics. For example, Tampa General Hospital released this on October 27th:

  • There were 21 Covid-19 admissions, down from 32 the week before
  • Six Covid patients were in their ICU, down from 17 a week before

Tampa General : Hospital Bed Availability for COVID-19 Patients

In Florida, the number of deaths, cases, and hospitalizations due to Covid-19 are all declining significantly. However, the state is continuing to claim only 6% 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 5%.

Throughout the course of the pandemic, 10% of all hospitalizations in the US have been within the state. Adult hospitalizations have dropped so much that pediatric hospitalizations are at their highest percentage of all hospitalizations since at least July 22nd.

Between April 1st and October 28th of this year—when vaccinations were available to all Floridians over the age of 16—13.5% 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?