Latest report shows COVID-19 infections are tapering off in Florida. Now what?

by | Apr 13, 2020

New data from Florida’s Emergency Managers show an obvious downward trend in both new coronavirus infections and daily hospitalizations, far below the dire numbers of serious cases projected by most models, including the widely-cited projections from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IMHE).

Since Friday, the state has conducted an increasing number of tests, but is finding fewer and fewer cases of the virus with each passing day:

More than 28,000 tests conducted over the past three days yielded just 3,069 coronavirus cases, for a positive test rate of holding steady at just over 10 percent. And that number hasn’t changed much over the last several weeks, either. If the virus was infecting people at an exponential rate, we could expect to see the positive test rate growing steadily.

Another critical metric, the number of people discharged from hospitals, is not available, but Florida emergency managers are tracking available hospital beds. Those are still abundant because daily new hospital admissions and total admissions are far below the projections made by national models like IHME. Of note, we are using the total number of hospitalizations (not accounting for hospital discharges) for COVID-19, which would obviously mean our numbers look worse than current hospitalizations, so the actual situation is going to be even better than the data charted below:

The trends, if they continue, undercut criticisms of Governor Ron DeSantis, who resisted Democrat calls for a stricter statewide lockdown and allowed local leaders to make their own decisions in the early weeks of the crisis. The strategy attempted to mitigate additional economic damage that would come with a one-size-fits-all lockdown. Despite weeks of dire predictions and comparisons to New York City, Florida appears to be forging its own path, and it appears to be working.

The trouble, of course, is that social distancing appears to be driving the infection rate down, but now that it appears we won’t hit critical mass, people will tend to get bored and restless, which will inevitably lead to pressure to lift the social distancing measures and reopen businesses. That, in turn, could lead to new infections and more outbreaks, prolonging the ordeal.





  1. Geary

    So, what is it going to take to feel reasonably safe in beginning to open the state back up?

  2. Bruce S

    If they have only tested 28,000 in three days, then it is clear that there isn’t enough testing occurring even now. FL has 21 million people. The percentage of asymptomatic people (those who carry the virus but exhibit little to no symptoms) is estimated at 20%. Until widespread, nearly universal testing is available, there should be no attempts at restoration of “normal,” and until testing levels increase massively, that isn’t even a conversation worth starting.

  3. Kathy Canfield

    Who exactly did they test & where? I wasn’t tested here in N. Florida & no one I know was.

  4. Bree steele

    This is bs. No where near enough tests given… trumps lackey is trying to keep numbers low for him. Why? What’s the quid pro quo? We already know DeSantis taught his kid to build a wall

  5. Andrew V Showen

    Thank you for the updated curve. If you can show us the hospitalization and death rates in the next update I would be grateful. And I can believe the imbecility and Trump hate from the other commenters like BS Bree. What are the odds that the infection rate is higher in the cohort of the population that doesn’t turn itself in for testing? I can only hope DeSantis gets elected president in 2024 so Bree’s spleen can stay highly activated.

  6. Bill Henerson

    I have been saying from the beginning that we should be isolating the elderly with underlying conditions, giving strong warnings about the dangers to children of older adults that have no underlying conditions, and just allowing herd immunization like the flu to the healthy majority. This over the top Orwellian control of the citizenship of a free people, is a socialists wet dream. The tens of thousands thousands of antibody tests that have been given, showing a very large number of healthy people that actually have the virus, further support my position. As these tests continue they will continue to drive the mortality rate down.

    I’m 64, still driving for Lyft and Uber, actually hoping I can contract it so I can become immune .

    Its funny. When my wife got the flu, half her office got it and multitudes from our church got it, but we no of nobody that has got the Chi-COM virus, as of yet . . . .

  7. Laurie

    Bravo! My sentiments exactly!

  8. Victoria

    I believe the antibody tests need to be at the forefront of reopening Florida. Then the daycares and schools so that other parents can go back to work. Teachers teaching from home with their own kids trying to go to school at home especially the younger ones is a double whammy!! God bless them all.

  9. Anonymous

    Open the gyms so the younger people can stay in shape. I also think it will help older forks also. Let stop running scare and get on with life.

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