Ten days ago, on July 31st, Florida had almost 8,300 people hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19. Since August 1st, the state has added almost 4,000 new COVID-19 patients to Florida hospitals, but today, only 6,881 COVID-19 patients remain hospitalized, a decrease since July 31st of about 15 percent.
Over that same span, about 1,300 people have died from the disease. While it’s not clear how many of those deaths can be attributed to the decline in hospitalizations, it is clear that COVID-19 patients are being discharged at a significantly greater rate than they are being admitted, a sign that Florida is on a downward path from the July peak in new infections and serious cases.
Each weekend, the state sees a sharp decline in reported hospitalizations and deaths, likely due to some facilities not reporting data on Saturdays and Sundays. That’s why the state typically sees a spike in cases on Tuesdays, when Monday’s reports are made public.
New cases of COVID-19 infections continue to decline overall. Here’s a chart of new cases versus total daily tests through Saturday:
The seven-day moving average shows new cases at about half the level of the peak back in mid-July. This chart shows hospitalizations and deaths to scale:
Despite the reduction in new cases, the positive test rate remains stubbornly high, hovering around 17 percent since the beginning of the month. One possible explanation for the high percentage of cases could be that during the summer months, fewer cases of flu and other illnesses are going around that might prompt someone to seek a COVID-19 test, which would drive the positive test rate for COVID-19 down.
Here’s the chart of Florida’s positive COVID-19 test rate since April 1st:
Overall, the state is doing a decent job managing hospital resources and ensuring beds are available for those who need them most. More than one out of every four hospital beds in the state are currently unoccupied.