Update: Leading indicators show Florida’s COVID-19 curve starting to flatten

by | Jul 22, 2020

This story has been updated with stats from Tuesday, which were not available at press time yesterday. The story also includes new chart, one updated chart, and a link to Florida’s hospital capacity dashboard.

A handful of leading statistical indicators show that Florida’s July COVID-19 “surge” may be contained and could soon start to decline. While new cases have remained above 10,000 for each of the past five days, that’s actually a decline versus last week when we had days above 12,000 and a peak of 15,000 cases on July 12th, more than eight days ago. Because the peak occurred more than a week ago, Monday’s report dropped it off the 7-day moving average for cases, moving Florida’s new case curve sharply downward. Tuesday’s cases were also down, with just 9,440 new infections, but it didn’t move the average down because last Tuesday’s report was about the same:

A look at the actual case numbers shows a similar story:


In order for the trendline to actually increase this week, Florida will need to average more than 11,500 new cases per day, otherwise, the trendline will decline overall versus last week. Other indicators, such as positive test rate, and the number of ER visits by patients with flu-like and COVID-like symptoms, also peaked in early July and are now starting to decline:


Assuming the new case trends hold, hospitalizations and deaths will likely continue to climb this week, then flatten out and decline in the weeks ahead. That’s because serious symptoms tend to lag testing by 5-10 days.

Meanwhile, the state’s number of unoccupied hospital beds continues to increase, despite the steady influx of COVID-19 patients. Last week we were at 12,100 beds. This week, the state has 13,168 beds available (down from 13,800 yesterday). Keep in mind that available beds are not a direct reflection of coronavirus cases, as beds can become occupied for any reason, including injuries or illnesses unrelated to the disease.

Here’s the link to monitor the bed capacity situation: Florida Hospital Capacity Dashboard.

Despite the headlines declaring that Florida is running out of ICU capacity, the state still has more than 1,000 ICU beds available, out of 6,149 total. That’s 1-in-6, or 16% of available capacity as of 9 a.m. Tuesday morning. And while a number of individual hospitals have reached ICU capacity, not a single county in Florida with ICU beds has filled them all.

It’s worth repeating that those numbers are likely to get worse over the next week because the serious symptoms from last week’s surge in cases will take some time to manifest. And even though cases overall might decline this week, the disease is also starting to shift – slightly – to the older, more vulnerable population, which is also likely to contribute to more serious cases, despite the overall decline in spread.

Bottom line, wear a mask. Take precautions. But don’t live in fear, as it appears that, once again, Florida is getting the latest surge under control.


  1. George

    Gov. DiSastrous is correct, FL is not NY.
    They have competent Cuomo we have a Trump lapdog and moron, who thinks he can do nothing and Covid-19 will go away.

  2. Matt

    George, they also have a death rate 8x what we have in Florida. Cuomo and his nursing home policy alone resulted in more deaths than all of the Covid deaths in Florida. Desantis has been far from perfect, but Coumo is a disaster. Try looking at what the actual results have been instead of regurgitating talking points.

  3. Anonymous

    George must be from New York and should probably go back

  4. Mario

    George needs to get back on his meds. He’s hallucinating.

  5. Dave


    NY deaths: 32,203
    FL deaths: 5,071
    (plus Florida has more people…)

    Google it, and prevent yourself from look as incompetent as Cuomo.

  6. Steven Webster

    Competent Cuomo who shipped covid patients to nursing homes? I can hear Hotlips Houlihan screaming, “This isn’t a hospital. It’s an insane asylum.” Feel free to move there. I’ll remain here and Georgia, thank you.

  7. Steven Webster

    Back on his meds? I did not know there was a pill for stupid.
    (Apologies to all, I rarely indulge in ad hominem — but HE STARTED IT! 🙂

  8. Donna G

    Oh George, you are so misinformed. So sad!

  9. Paul

    If we’re at 2 weeks and still seeing a decline ok. But don’t try to tell me after a couple of day a little lower that we’re on a decline. That ignorant!

  10. Dena

    We have one of the highest number of cases in USA on a daily basis and you are saying flattening is happening?How stupid can you be?

  11. Jorge

    Yes. Cuomo finally closed the barn door. It’s something I guess…

  12. Jorge M. Camacho

    George. NY leads the nation with over 32,000 dead. NY is second only to NJ in deaths per million with over 1,600. Florida is at 247 per million. But Cuomo is the competent one? SMH.

  13. Louis Davidson

    >>We have one of the highest number of cases in USA on a daily basis and you are saying flattening is happening?<<

    Because flattening is not about how high the magnitude of the cases is, but that the magnitude is not increasing. if the average stays at 10, 100, 1000, or 1000000, that is still flattening. If the average is 10, then 20, then 50, then 100; then 1000, that means there is exponential growth and soon you get to the million.

    It doesn't mean that 10000 a day is good, just just 10000 a day is a flat curve and that people who have the disease (on average) are not giving it to more than 1 other person. So whatever capacity you have for treating them is not overwhelmed.

  14. John

    FL death rate is very low, and at that 69% of deaths are in nursing home environment! Super caution is warranted but give FL some credit for properly managing the sick. It is not a death sentence (for most) to contract it. At our death rate level, herd immunity might not have been bad considering the devastation to our lives and the economy for years to come. Maybe Darwin was right.

%d bloggers like this: