Coronavirus Data Dump: Good News, Bad News, and The Only Stat That Matters

Coronavirus Data Dump: Good News, Bad News, and The Only Stat That Matters

By Brian Burgess, The Capitolist

After spending the better part of the past two days sifting through mountains of available data – not all of it consistent – there’s a LOT of good news out there, with a little bit of bad. The worst of the bad news is that to make sure things start trending in the right direction (which they will at some point), we’re going to have to remain isolated from one another for a little while longer. Here’s what we found:


A significant spike in COVID-19 cases this week occured not because of a sudden increase in infections, but because of a significant surge in new testing. Over the past three days, Florida tested more people (13,493 between March 25-27) than we tested in the previous three weeks combined (12,865 from March 1-23). And of course, we got a surge in positive cases to go with it.

“If you go back and look where we were just a week and a half ago, the number of tests that were being done a day, to where we are now, that’s a huge sea change…so some of this is just identifying what’s already been out there.”  –Gov. Ron DeSantis, March 27th, 2020

The good news is that the percentage of positive cases (10%) remains fairly consistent, despite the surge, indicating that most of the growth in new cases we’re seeing can be directly attributable to the number of new tests.

Here’s a chart to visualize the data:

The state’s own ramped up testing wasn’t the only contributing factor, either, according to Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees. Part of the massive spike is attributable to a backlog of cases being dumped to the Florida Department of Health by a private lab, which sent 4,000 patient test results to the state on Wednesday night.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Keep a sharp eye on the rate of positive COVID-19 tests. Miami-Dade County, with 27% of all COVID-19 cases in the state, also has the highest percentage of positive test results, at around 14 percent of all tests coming back positive. Leon County, by contrast, has a rate of just 4 percent positive. Statewide, we’re seeing about 9 percent positive. Theoretically, that rate should start going up as the number of cases increases.


The sole reason that 21.3 million Floridians have spent the past two weeks hunkered down at home, guarding their toilet paper stash and trying to cope with increasingly bored kids isn’t because we’re trying not to get coronavirus. Chances are, most of us will eventually get it, just as most of us also get the flu or common cold. No, the real reason we’re social distancing is because we’re trying to prevent our health care systems from becoming overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. And in the end, that’s the only thing that matters.

HOSPITAL MATH: Depending on the data source, Florida has anywhere between 45,000-52,000 total hospital beds, of which about 15,000-20,000 beds are unoccupied and available at any given point in time. We also have a couple thousand intensive care unit (ICU) beds which will be critical for coronavirus patients with the most serious symptoms.

In a press conference, Governor DeSantis announced that as of today, three weeks into the outbreak, we have exactly 503 people hospitalized in the state with COVID-19, and we still have more than 19,000 beds available. That means we still have about 98-99 percent of our hospital capacity left. Yes, that’s a lot, but it can evaporate quickly because of the exponential growth of hospitalizations that we’re starting to see.

There is also a lot of evidence that most hospitals around the state are currently seeing a surprisingly low volume of patients. In many cases, nurses have seen their hours reduced, and ER wait times around the state remain incredibly low – likely because people are staying home, taking fewer risks, engaging in less dangerous activities, and avoiding social contact which has a large impact on the number illnesses and injuries our hospitals usually deal with.

WHAT TO WATCH FOR: As I’ve said, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations is the only metric that really matters in this crisis.You can ignore everything else because non-hospitalized COVID-19 cases are largely irrelevant but for the new people they infect, which in turn, aren’t relevant either, unless they are hospitalized.

Keep a sharp eye on the hospitalization number (available from the state health department here, in red) and compare it with previous days to understand how fast it’s growing. Don’t worry, if you don’t have the previous day’s data, we’ll keep track of it for you – check out the chart below.

THE BAD NEWS: Despite the reduced number of overall hospitalizations, the past nine days have seen COVID-19 hospitalization numbers double twice, and we’ve added 50 percent of that total in just the last three days. Deaths have also started to grow quickly:

At our current rate of exponential growth, we can sustain only five more doublings before we hit the limit in terms of patients we can treat in hospitals. If cases keep growing at this rate, we’ll hit that limit around April 18th, about the time experts predict the number of cases in the U.S. will hit their peak. That is, of course, a worst-case scenario. There is ample evidence to suggest that coronavirus isn’t growing at a steady exponential rate, but at a slowly decaying exponential rate, meaning that in a week or so, instead of cases doubling every 4 days, they might only be doubling every 5 or 6 days.

THE GOOD NEWS: Here’s a more optimistic outlook, which predicts we won’t hit the peak number of hospitalizations in Florida until May 14th, and at that, worst-case, it’ll only be around 5,600 beds, or about 30 percent of our total capacity (click the image to enlarge it- if you’re viewing on mobile, sorry…):

MORE GOOD NEWS: We have yet to see the full impact of social distancing measures put into place, which will almost certainly be visible very soon in the number of daily cases, and in particular, the number of hospitalizations.

We also have a top-notch state emergency management team, with skills honed annually by Florida’s hurricane season. As any of those state experts will tell you, emergency management is not about the crisis itself, but managing the logistics of recovery after the storm has passed. Apply that same expertise to the coronavirus outbreak, and we can be confident that our state leaders will be able to identify critical supply shortages and surpluses, and rapidly shift essential medicine, equipment and personnel to where they are needed most.


The number of COVID-19 tests in the United States has grown significantly over the past week, and with it, the number of COVID-19 cases we have identified. Our nation now leads the world in total number of cases identified – with more than 101,000 so far. Of those, a shocking 44% are located in New York State, and half of those cases are in New York City. Without a doubt, COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus with serious consequences for about 20% of the population.

In New York, this is an extremely serious crisis without parallel in modern life. Here in Florida, the situation is still fluid, but currently under control, albeit with severe restrictions on everyday life.

As other media outlets continue to report on the sheer number of cases, keep in mind that number is largely irrelevant, as the only statistics that truly matter are the number of hospitalizations and deaths. Those figures are NOT going up due to a sudden surge in testing, but because they are real people requiring real medical care. And those are the numbers that will also matter politically when this terrible outbreak is finally behind us.

The best thing we can do right now is to hunker down, heed the advice of our elected leaders, and help reduce the impact of this nasty virus.

More analysis soon when more data becomes available. Stay tuned…

This article was originally published at The, and is reprinted here with permission.

15 Responses to "Coronavirus Data Dump: Good News, Bad News, and The Only Stat That Matters"

  1. “Sooner or later, we’ll all probably be positive with the Coronavirus”. That is certainly NOT our family’s attitude or intent. We aren’t going through this hardship just to become victims down the road. Many of those who become positive will have mild or no symptoms, require no hospital and upon recovery will become immune. Those of us who are at greater risk, older and perhaps sicker, must do our utmost to ensure our safety.

  2. Today I continue to pray with and for all of my fellow Americans – and everyone around the world – for patience, strength, and perseverance through these troubling times. I pray that everyone be safe, make smart choices, and reject the media-manufactured hysteria. Informed Americans are thankful for a President and Administration that recognized the concern early, and took decisive action to minimize the impact to America and Her citizens.

    Thank you, President Trump… for your quick action, dedication, loyalty, and leadership…. I can think of no one else better suited to guide this nation through these difficult times and to a full recovery… Godspeed sir

    May God continue to bless and protect America, Her President, Her Constitution, Her Laws, Her Sovereignty, and Her Citizens.

  3. New Maven, for you. Great current Open Source on sealed/ undealed indictments:

    search ND-FL for more info on N. Fl. District, .pdf in there.

    Maybe the sealed indictments here and elsewhere will line up approximately with CoVid19 cases/deaths. Some will go out quietly, others may let pride get in the way. Some may not get a choice.

    Some reading for you when you get bored.


    Imagine if you can if the virus had hit, IN A WORLD where Barack Hussain Obama, was still leader of the FREE WORLD!!!

    We can only shudder in fear as we contemplate the arrogant leftist elite mismanagement on the Federal level complete with kickbacks to favey faves like Solyndra. The never let a crisis go to waste mentality.

    And most importantly the high unemployment and total shambles of our economey under Barak Hussain Obama. My childern we would be sunk in deep do do never to recover by this time under BHO.

    I know secret leftist readers and never Trumpers are getting triggered about now if you guys did not give up reading already. Thank God for Donald Trump being here when the virus hit our Great Nation!!!

    1. @Snidely –

      Remember when Trump said we had 15 cases and insisted ‘we would soon be at zero’ cases? He was a weensy bit off. It was in February he said that! Oops! Remember when we were going to be open again by Easter? Oops! Remember when it was ‘just the flu’? Oops! Remember when it was a hoax? I do!

      In case you missed it, here is a simple video that can show you a few of the times Trump has been completely, 100% wrong about the corona virus pretty much every time he opened his idiot mouth. Sadly, the video needs updating, but you can get the picture.

      Remember when he was so stupid he thought a regular flu vaccine might be helpful and had to be told again and again and again by actual doctors that it wouldn’t work? Like, he waited until six weeks after Wuhan, and then, couldn’t be bothered to ask for a meeting with, say, the Surgeon General, or literally anyone from the entire federal government. Nope, an amazing idea struck him that maybe vaccines just worked on everything, because they have the word flu in them. Like he honestly thought that pharmaceutical executives and infectious disease specialists might say, “Gee, Mr. President. We hadn’t thought of that! It will work! You’ve saved the day!” How dumb do you have to be to have those words slip out of your mouth, thinking that it hadn’t occurred to anyone else?

      Here is a link to an idiot speaking the first thing that comes to his mind surrounded by actual experts. I’m surprised one of them didn’t have a stroke trying to explain to him the difference between having a vaccine to test, and having a vaccine you knew actually worked and could be deployed at scale.

      What you see there on display is a dumb, dumb, dumb person. Our national response has been behind because there was no priority placed on testing, at all. South Korea has been testing 15K people a day for a month before we got around to doing anything.

      It is the most public display of the Dunning-Kruger Effect and people continue to lap it up! Trump is a stupid persons idea of a smart guy because he says things with confidence. “We’ll open up by Easter because it would be beautiful!” “Soon we will be at zero cases.” (he said that!) But you would never, ever try to hold him accountable for saying blatantly false things, even things that could get people killed, because Obama was brown.

      It is an amazing display of cognitive dissonance. And again, usually I am content to occasionally snipe at this kind of thing, but if people in Tallahassee actually listen to the thought processes espoused here, they may wind up killing someone I know. I don’t like that. What you are saying, is dangerous. The way that the administration handled this is going to get more people killed. The patchwork of states refusing to implement stay at home because ‘they aren’t china’, or mega churches continuing to hold services *are going to get people killed*.

      Get bent.

      1. Whoa man, thats a lot of words and stuff. You must be like a professor or something. Maybe your PhD can help explain why the EU has 396,857 cases with 23,338 deaths while in the US we have 122,653 cases with 2,112 deaths.
        Is it that socialized medicine you like so much, where they government decidrs who lives and dies?
        And why did John Hopkins stop counting EU numbers all together. and break it down by country? Now I have to do all that math to get the truth. I think they hate the Pres more than you do.
        What you tryin to provoke anyway?

        1. @Mike –

          “Maybe your PhD can help explain why the EU has 396,857 cases with 23,338 deaths while in the US we have 122,653 cases with 2,112 deaths.”

          Because they started getting infections sooner? Because they did the same thing we did, failed to take preventative action? Will you be giddy when 1000 Americans are dying every day?

          “Is it that socialized medicine you like so much, where they government decidrs who lives and dies?”

          The US ranks 32 in hospital beds *per capita*, largely as a function of our insistence that hospitals should be operating to make a profit. If you don’t think there will be decisions being made about who gets saved and who doesn’t, here, in America, you are so utterly naive.

          “And why did John Hopkins stop counting EU numbers all together. and break it down by country? ”

          Because different countries are taking different measures to address the infection? I mean, Jesus, is this so difficult to understand? Do I need to use smaller words?

          “Now I have to do all that math to get the truth.”

          I can see how that might be troubling for you.

          ” I think they hate the Pres more than you do.”

          And again, we get to the dumb part of this whole thing; a set of people who believe John Hopkins “stopped” (?) aggregating data because they Trump. It is so absurd. Yes, it is all a big conspiracy; entire governments are shutting down their society because they hate Trump so much! It’s so clear to me now.

          “What you tryin to provoke anyway?”

          If people take advice from people like Snidely, or you, who think this is just a creation of the media, they will ignore shelter in place orders, and people in Tallahassee I know might die. I’m trying to provoke someone to critically think about the arguments being posted here in the hopes that if even one person recognizes the completely intellectually bankrupt nature of the narrative being pushed by Conservative ‘thinkers’, and realizes it is all horse manure, they might act more rationally.

          By the way, Mike, I can’t help but notice you failed to defend Trump telling us ‘we would soon be at zero cases’. Remember when he said that? You still think that was the thoughts of someone who had the first clue? Or the ramblings of a total moron?

        1. What I love about this the most is the first link returned from google when I pasted it in:

          So, so very true. LOL

          Here are some pictures of refrigerated trucks being used to store bodies in New York because the morgues are full.

          I mean, why did Trump send a hospital ship to New York? For no reason?

          Why are they setting up field hospitals in Central Park along with morgues?

          You and people who think retarded hashtags are meaningful are going to get people killed, EZ.

          1. You’ve got two sides pointing a finger at each other, “You’re killing my (way of) life!!”

            Only one side is right.

            Nobody wants anyone to die, though the look on Bill Gates face when he talks about trimming the world population in his TED talks might say otherwise.

            Your condesending tone (“mouthbreathers, retarded, get bent”) marks you as Deep State, and you strike me as the type to say everything Trump touches dies. Nothing provocative about that, every other argumentative talking-head says the same.

          2. @EZ –

            “Only one side is right.”

            Yeah, and it isn’t the side that thought ‘we would soon be at zero’. It isn’t the side that thinks putting a roadblock up on I-95 and telling people with NY tags to self quarantine is a useful way to stop the spread of the virus.

            “Your condesending tone (“mouthbreathers, retarded, get bent”) marks you as Deep State”

            I’m not politically correct, something that usually gets applause from these quarters. My how the winds of outrage have shifted. In any case, my rationale for being polite goes out the window when people are openly advocating for things that are going to get people killed. Also, your straight faced use of the phrase ‘Deep State’ and filmYourHospital hashtag tells me everything I need to know; your ideas are intellectually bankrupt and don’t deserve respect. Yeah, you have an opinion. It doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be criticized for an abject failure to correspond to reality.

            “and you strike me as the type to say everything Trump touches dies”

            Well. He did bankrupt several casinos. And Trump Steak. How is enrollment at Trump University lately? His first two marriages died as soon as he found a younger woman. Do you think Trump Airlines is going to get part of the bailout? When is Infrastructure Week again? Mexico paid for the wall, right? Hey, when is Trump gonna release his taxes again? I forgot. I remember Trump promising to replace Obamacare on his first day in office. What’s our progress on that?

          3. @DerpStatePropagandizer

            “I remember Trump promising to replace Obamacare on his first day in office. What’s our progress on that?”

            Its Happening Right Now 🙂

  5. The occupied beds will not stay occupied as most will recover so projecting to May and not considering the beds not being used due to recovery is flawed.

  6. We will be victorious, nothing can stop what is coming.

    America divided no more!

    Give thanks to God for good health, for the beautiful days, for living in the best State in the best Country. Despite our doubts, we have all that we need, and most of what we want.

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