Florida posts fourth straight day of flat COVID-19 case growth. Is the curve already bending?

by | Mar 25, 2020


The number of new coronavirus cases in Florida appears to be flattening, but it’s unclear if the trend will hold. Based on case data from the past three weeks and the expected exponential growth curve that epidemiologists and national public health officials are seeing in other locations, Florida should have posted somewhere in the neighborhood of 340 to 380 new coronavirus cases today.

That didn’t happen.

Out of the 1,961 test results that came back today, the state identified just 240 positive cases, while the rest, nearly 88 percent, or 1,721 cases, came back negative. Those relatively low numbers come after Florida’s Department of Health found just 200 cases on Monday, which was 44 fewer than Sunday’s all-time high. But even Sunday’s total should have been significantly higher if Florida was experiencing steady exponential growth.

The conclusion is obvious: Florida expected exponential growth curve for the virus has inarguably started to flatten out over the last several days, which has lowered expectations going forward, too (note the new, much lower trendline in green on the chart below):

The low case numbers have almost certainly underpinned Governor Ron DeSantis‘s steadfast resistance to Democrat demands that he push the panic button and lock down the state. Meanwhile, other states, many with much smaller populations, are posting significantly higher numbers of cases.

In New York state, one in every 761 residents has contracted the virus. In Louisiana, that number is one in every 3,356 residents. But in Florida, the ratio is just one out of every 14,493:

Whether or not Florida’s luck will continue to hold is the big question. It is unrealistic to expect the number of cases to go down right away, but if the number of new cases keep trickling in, and the cases we do have start to recover (which we should also start seeing very soon) what should we do about it?

Already, Democrats and special interest groups are clamoring for federal and state aid, demanding handouts and debt relief, and pressuring lawmakers to ram through emergency measures they think will help lessen the economic damage. But the surest way to fix the problem is to find a way to return to a sense of normalcy as quickly as possible. That may still be several weeks off, depending on the case numbers, but if nothing else, the current data makes a very strong case that it’s time for everyone in Florida to take a deep breath and stop assuming that the Sunshine State is going to turn out exactly like New York.

DeSantis’s measured approach, empowering state and local governments to make the decisions that are best for them, appears to be the right one. It’s not time to push the panic button and lock down the state just yet.

41 Comments

  1. Rollo Fagan

    I find it Hard to believe California isn’t in a race with New York . I doubt they have an organized Testing going on . In the Homeless shelters alone . . .

    Reply
  2. Claudia LeFevre-Lowry

    With all the New Yorkers coming down because of their fear of NYC, how long can we stay safe?? Keep them quarantined once here!

    Reply
  3. Andree m Robinson

    The numbers are skewed because we in Florida are in our homes possibly sick without symptoms and no testing has been offered. How can the Data be considered accurate of no one is being tested unless they show up at a care center of hospital?

    Reply
  4. Mary Dozier

    Agree, people coming into the state should be responsible quarantine themselves for 14 days

    Reply
  5. Dee

    They aren’t testing people, even those with several “inclusions” to warrent testing. So who the heck are the tests coming back “negative” being used on?
    Probably people “who know people” are getting the preferential treatment to get tested! Unsick people that just want to be tested to be “sure” even though they have NO symptons?
    I was refused a test with the Health Department even though my Dr. requested it because I had traveled Internationally in the past 14 days, have coughing, low grade fever, sore throat, swollen lymph nodes, and my Dr. diagnised me as having rapid onset bronchitis!
    But was refused a test by the Health Department when requested I be tested!

    Reply
  6. Doc Lee

    This article won’t age well.

    Reply
  7. Brian J. Burgess

    Why not? It’s just a look at existing data and asks the obvious question.

    Reply
  8. Doc Lee

    Because it’s inaccurate to look at the numbers and try to make a trend line from them. It’s a misuse of the data. A week or so ago, we didn’t have adequate testing in Florida as the governor refused to implement testing for people with symptoms outside of a narrow criteria such as age and travel to a Level 3 or 4 country. That artificially keeps the initial numbers low. Why did he do this? Probably to make it seem like there was no community spread even though the first case in Florida had no travel history which indicates that there was already community spread. The accurate way to conduct this analysis would be to wait until all testing facilities are online and running at capacity. Then you can actually get a trend line.

    Furthermore, with an incubation period averaging ~5 days and up to 14 days, the numbers that we’re seeing now were already baked in up to two weeks ago. They don’t represent “new” infections. They are people already infected that are just now being diagnosed. You won’t be able to tell if this is a trend until you can measure second and third generation transmission from the people that are currently infected to others.

    The update this morning puts the number of new cases in Florida for today at 213. There are two updates a day. It is highly unlikely that we’re only going to see 27 more cases in the evening update which will blow the trend.

    To look at the data, you actually have to know what you’re looking at.

    Reply
  9. Wayne coatney

    Today is my 8th day since tested still do not know either way im doing what they said to do when the answer when i die.

    Reply
  10. Kim w

    Today is the 8th day since my test as well. The numbers they are graphing are nowhere near accurate. In the meantime, I am quarantined until we get the results?

    Reply
  11. Katelyn

    You conveniently published this article before the evening confirmed cases and deaths tally came in. How embarrassing. How do DeSantis’ boots taste?

    Reply
  12. Doc Lee

    Cases increased by 508 today. Do your assumptions still hold true?

    Reply
  13. claudia

    Most Californians don’t live or work in high rises or skyscrapers and drive cars more than public transit. I suspect that is why they haven’t caught up with New York.

    Reply
    • ub52

      Los Angeles has been on lockdown for over a week, in some places nearly 2 weeks. That’s why we only have 13 deaths here. But the testing is way off. The county is only showing 799 cases but most people can’t get tested. Same problem everywhere.

      Reply
  14. Lauren

    As many have said, cases actually DOUBLED today; they didn’t stay flat – which was predictable given that you published before the numbers came out.

    If this is a decent news source, you need to issue a correction.

    Reply
  15. ub52

    I predict Florida will have 4000 cases by the end of the month, probably more. The reason is because it seems like cases double every 2-3 days. Given that Florida isn’t exactly testing everyone, you’ll never really know what the actual count is. But you should hit 4,000 by the 29th. Maybe more because no one is really doing anything to stop it.

    Reply
  16. Fk Desantis

    Propaganda.
    The state isn’t testing enough.

    My grandma and my mom both have pneumonia and are showing all symptoms but have been refused tests, so they’re stuck home sick, possibly with coronavirus.. we’ll never know because the state isn’t providing enough tests.

    Reply
  17. Anonymous

    thanks Andree

    Reply
  18. Stormy

    Our numbers have flattened because it’s IMPOSSIBLE TO GET TESTED!! I have a doctor’s order for testing and all the symptoms and can’t fina a location that actually has kits available

    Reply
  19. Anonymous

    Thank you for your response to the data- logical

    Reply
  20. Joe

    A little quick on the articl trigger huh Brian? Florida reported 510 cases the day that you wrote this article, more than twice the 240 from the day before that you’re writing about.

    Reply
  21. Joe

    Unfortunately Florida reported 510 cases yesterday not 240

    Reply
  22. CP

    Based on the Dept of health site, more than 200 cases “traveled” into Florida yesterday. Traveled.

    This is a major issue.

    Reply
  23. B Middlebrook

    This is a health issue in which only politics should not take part. Who can we trust? This article is so clearly slanted. True journalism reports facts.

    Reply
  24. LM

    It would be something! Hopefully it’s not because they’re not testting the people we should be testing and they’re not testing correctly. Know a local clinic that is doing nasal swabs instead of nasopharyngeal or oropharyngeal swabs as recommended by the CDC. Completely skews the rest results and can lead to false negatives.

    Reply
  25. Covid Response

    My grandma was admitted to the hospital for all the symptoms but they are still refusing to test her. This is fake news. They’re simply not doing enough tests.

    Reply
  26. Meangjp

    We have a great governor!

    Reply
  27. Vladimir Sonovabitch

    This is NOT CORRECT!!!! Quit spreading false information.

    This is bullshit. I’ve been tracking the virus on my own spreadsheet since my parents live in FL. Last 4 days flat Growth?

    March 23rd – 1007 cases
    March 24th – 1227 cases
    March 25th – 1412 cases
    March 26th – 2357 cases
    March 27th @ 8 AM – 2484 cases

    So in the past 4 days, they’ve seen a 146% INCREASE in the number of cases. If that’s flat growth, I hope my 401K has flat growth like that all the time.

    Reply
  28. Max Fox

    So, who is paying you to post these lies? According to the Florida Department of Health, on March 23rd, there were 287 new cases, NOT 220, and on March 24th, there were 506 new cases, NOT 240. Moreover, on March 25th, there were 553 new cases.

    In fact, the cases are following the “intitial curve” exactly, not you pro-Trump delusional wingnut curve.

    Perhaps DeSantis’s “measured approach”, empowering state and local governments to make the decisions that are best for their corporate masters, appears to have been the wrong one. It’s far past the time to push the panic button and lock down the state, and people like you, who have spread the message that social distancing wasn’t needed and that people should crowd restaurants, bars, and the beach, are directly responsible for hundreds of deaths yet to come.

    People like you should be forced to help take care of all of the hospitalized COVID-19 cases, so that you can see, first hand, the results of your politically motivated lies

    Reply
  29. Karen Miller-Cox

    I wouldn’t go tooting DeSantis horn just yet.

    Reply
  30. Howard Sherr

    Based on the present Data things look good in Florida. The question is, has there been enough testing to have data, that is accurate? Probably not. Time will tell.

    Reply
  31. Patty Register

    Thanks for an unbiased reply Howard. We have to hope and pray and time will tell.

    Reply
  32. paglucio

    Because the Governor of Florida has proven himself to be a complete ignorant jerk, Florida is not testing nearly enough people to really get accurate information. This so-called flattening, is more then likely – FALSE NEWS. Florida – the state with America’s oldest population is no where near the end of this tragic situation.

    Reply
  33. ArchiGuy

    Doc Lee was right. The point of your article is blatantly obvious. Flimsy reporting that gives the Capitolist a bad rep as a news outlet. 🙁

    Reply
  34. RK

    Yes, and please tell that to the mainstream media, who seem more interested in scaring people than simply reporting facts.

    Reply
  35. Doc Lee

    In case you didn’t get the message, the curve hasn’t flattened and is, in fact, increasing exponentially. Sorry if you fell for this propaganda piece and were too lazy to look up the numbers for yourself. That’s the thing about propaganda. It’s designed to fool gullible people. That says a lot about you.

    This article should have never been written in the first place and should be taken down. Instead, it was shared by prominent members of the Republican party in Tallahassee to justify the current ill informed way the governor is handling the pandemic. This isn’t going to get better any time soon.

    Reply
  36. CRE40

    Florida is not testing enough for this to be true. The only testing they are providing is for 65+ with symptoms and first responder. What about the rest of the population? I know of younger adults that have all the symptoms and are denied of testing. Streets are still crowded. People are still going out like nothing is happening. This article is just going to confuse people and make thing’s worst. The lack of interest from the government tells people the wrong message in response they don’t take the situation seriously.

    Reply
  37. Elaine

    This is all bullcrapeth! Especially for my state of Florida. If this state and California would allow more testing, the numbers would continue to rise.
    As I mentioned before, this is bullcrapeth. I’m a nurse, and our government is not telling the truth.

    Reply
  38. Cathy

    We live in Florida too.
    As a.family we have self quarantined. As have many / most of our neighbors and friends.
    We are all committed to flattening the curve.
    Schools & classes are online .. in our homes. Kids are playing with friends online not in the parks or on beaches.
    Pools in our backyards, basketball hoops in our driveways,
    We order everything even our food online for deliveryand then disinfect everything delivered ..from mail to ordered items before bringing it in the house.
    Cooking at home not eating out.at all..using that evening cooking to teach the kids how to prepare a meal!
    No gatherings more than 10 allowed in our state…so even our pastors are doing live feeds so we can pray together in house, pastor at church.
    Self Quatantine is a great time to come together as a family, talk to neighbors across driveways n hedges.
    And for a short time, we return to a more simple lifestyle.
    Todays statistics seem to indicate its working

    Reply

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