Florida Covid Statistics: What is Really Happening? October 21, 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 ten days, 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 information published by 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:

Here is some of the data from October 15–21, 2021 as reported by the Tampa Bay Times:

  • New cases = 15,314; Cumulative cases = 3,635,126 
  • New deaths = 106; Cumulative deaths = 58,803
  • Vaccination rate = 73%
  • Fully vaccinated people = not available (two weeks ago was listed as 11,370,030)
  • Total booster doses: 875,991

TBT: Florida Adds 15,314 COVID Cases, 944 Deaths in Past Week

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 51.3% are fully vaccinated.

This chart for October 15–21, 2021 is from a screenshot on an unsecure site, which is why I am not providing a link.

Note that archived data on influenza statistics is readily available on the FL Dept of Health web site: Florida Influenza Surveillance Reports 2003–2021

The data from October 8–14, 2021 came from the Tampa Bay Times, as my browser would not download the FL Dept of Health Weekly Report, citing it as a security risk:

  • New cases = 19,519; Cumulative cases = 3,620,562 
  • New deaths = 123; Cumulative deaths = 57,859
  • Vaccination rate = 72%
  • Fully vaccinated people = not available (last week was listed as 11,370,030)
  • Roughly 600,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in August.

TBT 10-17-21: Weekly Count is 19,519 Infections, 1,192 Deaths

October 14, 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 October 21st New Deaths from the Cumulative Deaths should give us the number of October 14th Cumulative Deaths. However, doing that reveals 838 deaths which were not included in the October 21st New Deaths. There was a total of 944 deaths reported in Florida during that week. Yet only 11.2% of deaths (106) are reflected clearly on the October 21st report. This is a 21% decrease from last week (1,192).

TBT: Florida Adds 15,314 COVID Cases, 944 Deaths in Past Week

October 14, 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 14th and adding data from October 21st 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. Again, I am assuming that practice is continuing; I cannot access the reports.

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:

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 indicates that Florida has had the worst Covid death rate in the US:

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

Since August 1st, 19,269 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 25,078 permanent residents of the state since that date. Despite having only 6.6% of the US population, this represents 14.3% of all American Covid-19 deaths during that time. Overall, Florida’s death rate/100,000 people is 274, compared to 221 for the entire US.

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 (963/100,000):

Florida Covid-19 Weekly Situation Report October 15–21, 2021 (no link due to unsecure site)

A comparison of Covid deaths in the six largest US states reveals that Florida had the highest proportion of deaths during April 1, 2021–September 29, 2021, 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 October 21st report, Florida reported 3,635,126 cumulative cases. Of those, 15,314 were new, a 22% improvement from the prior week (19,519). Subtracting the new number from the cumulative one should give us the cumulative number from the previous week: 3,619,812.

However, the October 14th report shows a cumulative number of 3,620,562. This week, the state is under-reporting 750 cases (4.9%). Why that difference exists remains unclear.

TBT: Florida Adds 15,314 COVID Cases, 944 Deaths in Past Week

October 14, 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

After a great deal of effort, I have just accessed the FL Dept of Health Weekly Report, albeit from an unsecure source.

During the week of October 15–21, 2,293 children under twelve tested positive in Florida, a decrease of 23% over the previous week (2,978). Among those 12–19, 1,436 tested positive, a decrease of 22% from the prior week (1,838). In total, 4,131 Florida residents under the age of twenty tested positive.

Florida Covid-19 Weekly Situation Report October 15–21, 2021 (no link due to unsecure site)

In the Hillsborough County School District, 1% of the 11,650 cases have occurred in the past week. Six 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 five weeks. During August 28th–September 2nd, the increase from the prior week was 87%. Our elementary school has had 59 cases, the same number as the previous three weeks.

Hillsborough County Public Schools Covid Dashboard

This week’s Dept of Health county positivity rates come from an unsecure file, so I am not providing a hyperlink:

A professor from the University of South Florida has been compiling data from the state since May 28th. The county-level data provided by Dr. Jason Salemi are quite helpful:

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 hospitalization 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

Six weeks ago, Florida had the highest adult hospitalization rate in the US. Over the past two weeks, Florida improved from the thirty-first worst hospitalization rate for adults in the nation to the fortieth worst on October 21st (from 18.4 to 12.8/100,000).

Florida’s pediatric hospitalization rate dropped from tenth worst three weeks ago to 30th worst on October 21st (2.03 to 0.87/100,000).

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–October 21, 2021, Florida had 309,266 new admissions for Covid patients. This represents 9.7% of all Covid hospitalizations in the US for 6.6% of the US population. The daily average over the past seven days was 342 new admissions (a decrease of 19% in the past week (from 424) and of 88% from the peak during August 11–17, when there were 10.42 admissions/100,000 Floridians). Every age group declined.

On October 21st, there were 1.43 new admissions/100,000 Floridians; 1.82, the week before:

all ages1.43

* 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, and the percentage of children is now falling also:

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 October 27h, 2021, 79% of hospital beds in Florida were full, the same as the past four weeks. The 2,254 Covid patients accounted for 4% of utilized beds, just as ten days ago.

The Tampa Bay Times reported virtually the same number of hospitalized Covid patients five days earlier: 2,251 Floridians on October 22, 2021.

Nine percent of ICU beds in use in Florida are occupied by 572 Covid patients. That is down from 13% the previous week. State-wide, 76% of ICU beds are occupied, down 3%:

HHS: Inpatient Bed Utilization by State

TBT: Florida Adds 15,314 COVID Cases, 944 Deaths in Past Week

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

  • There were 32 Covid-19 admissions, up from 27 ten days before
  • 17 Covid patients were in their ICU, up from 14 ten days 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 11% 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. Between April 1st and October 21st of this year—when vaccinations were available to all Floridians over the age of 16—14.3% 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?