Florida Statistics: What is Really Happening? September 22, 2021

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

For a downloadable pdf of this post, click here.

Florida is the only state in the US which is releasing statistics on a weekly, not daily, basis. Let’s look at these two charts from the Florida Department of Health.

Here is some of the data from September 17–23, 2021:

  • New cases = 56,325; Cumulative cases = 3,539,273
  • New deaths = 355; Cumulative deaths = 53,580
  • Vaccination rate = 70%
  • Fully vaccinated people = 11,208,873
  • Roughly 600,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in August.

The vaccination rate of 71% represents only those who are eligible for vaccination and includes partially vaccinated people. Florida’s population is currently 21,975,117. That makes the actual full vaccination percentage = 51.6%.

Florida Covid-19 Weekly Situation Report: September 17–23

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 chart for September 10–16, 2021 is from a screenshot because Florida is immediately removing all traces of older Covid data when the new data is put online:

  • New cases = 75,906; Cumulative cases = 3,485,163
  • New deaths = 384; Cumulative deaths = 51,240
  • Vaccination rate = 70%
  • Fully vaccinated people = 11,208,873
  • Roughly 600,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in August.

September 16, 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 September 23rd new deaths from the cumulative deaths should give us the number of September 16th cumulative deaths. However, doing that reveals 1,985 deaths which were not included in the September 23rd data. There was a total of 2,340 deaths reported in Florida during that week. Yet only 15.2% of deaths (355) are reflected clearly on the September 23rd report.

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

This is a 5.5% decrease from last week (2,468). For the first time in six weeks, Florida has not broken its record for the number of Covid deaths. In the last six weeks, 12,814 permanent residents of Florida have died from Covid-19.

September 16, 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 September 16th and adding data from September 23rd simultaneously, only people who have saved the older data can see what they are doing. It looks like the death rate is 85% 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:

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

Covid Cases in Florida:

On the September 23rd report, Florida reported 3,539,273 cumulative cases. Of those, 56,325 were new, a 35% improvement from the prior week (75,906). Subtracting the new number from the cumulative one should give us the cumulative number from the previous week: 3,485,163.

However, the September 23rd report shows a cumulative number of 3,482,947, a discrepancy of 2,216 extra cases (3.9%). Why that difference exists remains unclear.

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

Given the current situation in Florida schools, any mention of the number of cases occurring specifically in children under the age of 12 is notably absent:

Florida Covid-19 Weekly Situation Report: September 17–23

A professor from the University of South Florida has been compiling data from the state since May 28th. Here is what he has posted about pediatric cases since then until September 17th. I have omitted the earlier weeks to fit the data into one screenshot:

During the week of September 10–September 17, 8,872 children under twelve tested positive in Florida, a decrease of 38% over the previous week. Among those 12–19, 6,839 tested positive, a decrease of 41%. In total, 15,711 Florida residents under the age of twenty tested positive.       

Salemi USF: COVID-19 in Florida

In the Hillsborough County School District, 11% of the 10,670 cases have occurred in the past week. Three 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.

My daughters’ high school has had 70 cases, with none in the past week. During August 28th–September 2nd, the increase from the prior week was 87%. Our elementary school has had 56 cases, an increase of 12%. That rate of increase dropped by 7%.

Hillsborough County Public Schools Covid Dashboard

Look at the difference in ease of use between the Dept of Health’s county positivity rates:

Florida Covid-19 Weekly Situation Report: September 17–23

and Jason Salemi’s:

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

Three weeks ago, Florida had the highest adult hospitalization rate in the US. Over the past week, Florida improved from the ninth worst hospitalization rate for adults in the nation to fourteenth worst (from 52.9 to 38.8/100,000).

Florida dropped from fifth worst for children to the fourteenth in the past week (3.17 to 2.55/100,000):

Salemi USF: COVID-19 Currently Hospitalized in Florida

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

For August 1, 2020–September 22, 2021, Florida had 295,698 new admissions for Covid patients, with a daily average of 893 new admissions over the past seven days (a decrease of 24% in the past week and of 60% from the peak during August 11–17). Every age group declined, with pediatric admissions down by 18%.

On September 22nd, there were 4.16 new admissions/100,000 Floridians:

AgeAdmissions
0–170.82
18–291.59
30–393.03
40–493.76
50–595.11
60–695.84
70+8.95
all ages4.16
  

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

Despite this encouraging news, the number of people in the hospital remains high:

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 September 25th, 2021, 81% of hospital beds in Florida were full. The 7,185 Covid patients accounted for 12% of utilized beds, an improvement of 4%.

Twenty-nine percent of ICU beds in use in Florida are occupied by 1,887 Covid patients. That is down from 37% the previous week. State-wide, 86% of ICU beds are occupied:

HHS: Inpatient Bed Utilization by State

Many hospitals are publishing their own occupancy statistics. For example, Tampa General Hospital released this on September 18th:

  • Over 90% of beds allotted to Covid patients were in use
  • There were 107 Covid-19 admissions, down from 135 one week before
  • 42 Covid patients were in their ICU, down from 49 one week before

Tampa General : Hospital Bed Availability for COVID-19 Patients

While the number of cases and hospitalizations are now declining significantly, the number of Covid-19 deaths came close to breaking the previous record for the fifth week in a row with a decrease of 5.5% from last week’s peak.

Why we have a 4% discrepancy in the new reported vs. cumulative cases (2,216 people) remains unclear.

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Archived posts on Florida Covid statistics are available here:

Florida Covid Statistics: What is Really Happening?