Florida COVID Positivity Rate Continues to Fall

Florida COVID Positivity Rate Continues to Fall

The latest reports from the Florida Department of health show that for the second consecutive day the COVID positive test rate is below 8%.

The numbers for August 15 show that 7.73% of 50,486 tests were positive. The August 14 update reported a 7.69% positive rate with 96,000 tests.

The chart below shows the 7-day average of the Florida COVID positive test rate has been trending down since a 15.44% rate on July 8, 2020. After the peak, the 7-day average has fallen to 9.13% as reported on August 15th.

The current COVID hospitalizations are following a similar trend with the peak occurring around July 20th.

This chart shows daily case testing results, which include the number the number of people who test PCR- or antigen-positive for the first time on that day as well as the total number of people tested on that day, excluding people who have previously tested positive. The daily number of positive persons is largely a function of the daily number of tests rather than a measure of how fast the virus is spreading. The sources for Florida Covid-19 testing statistics are the daily State Report and County Report published by the Florida Dept. of Health.

Source: https://business.fau.edu/covidtracker/data/florida-data/

9 Responses to "Florida COVID Positivity Rate Continues to Fall"

  1. Everybody calm down! It’s a virus. It will run its course. The truth is the numbers are getting better. The truth is we just need to wear mask indoors in public places and keep washing hands. I just want to know have any of you got a flu shot? Will you get the vaccine when it comes out? If you say no to either one, then you have no right to any opinion about COVID because you’re part of the problem. I chose to be part of the solution!

  2. Covidtracking.com shows 3800 new cases out of 26164 new tests. How is that not 14.5%? On the Johns Hopkins University data it shows at 16%.

    1. While it is true that 3800 / 26,164 = 14.5%, that is not an accurate representation of either the number of tests or the number of positive cases for the day in question.

      From looking at CovidTracking’s historical data for FL, it appears you are citing their data from 8/19.

      In recent days, CovidTracking’s historical data for FL (https://covidtracking.com/data/state/florida) is inconsistent with the official reports from the FL DOH (https://www.floridadisaster.org/covid19/covid-19-data-reports) and also with the data in arcgis (https://floridacovidaction-covidaction.hub.arcgis.com/datasets/df838ec1e30644618517e14e2cf31f80_0/data).

      For example, for Wed Aug 19, they are reporting 27,199 new tests. However, the state report shows 77,172 new tests for that day (https://www.floridadisaster.org/globalassets/covid19/dailies/august-2020/state_reports_20200820.pdf)

      Their “Florida’s Best Current Data Source” link points to:

      Right now, that page shows:
      Testing Data for State from previous day (8/20)
      Total FL Residents Tested: 68,393
      Positive: 4,605
      Negative: 63,788

      Yet, CovidTracking’s page shows only 29,513 tests for 8/20.

      I have contacted them and asked them to explain the why their recent testing numbers for FL grossly underestimate the publicly available state data, and I have specifically ask them to explain how they came up with 27,199 new tests for 8/19.

      Unless there is evidence that (1) there has been a precipitous decline in the actual number of tests done in FL, (2) FL DOH has been manipulating the data to hide this fact from the public, and (3) CovidTracking has somehow gotten the real data, I would put more credence in the primary data source from the state of FL.

      For the day in question (8/19), that data shows:
      77,172 new tests
      4605 new cases
      6.78% positivity

      Note that when you simply divide the new cases by total tests (4605 / 77,172), you get 5.967%, not 6.78% as reported. That’s because the reported number excludes in the denominator people who have previously tested positive, which is a more accurate way of reporting percent positivity.

  3. What a horrible comment by Casey. Instead of looking at information he chooses to be insulting. This is the attitude that gives Florida still one of the highest positivity rates in the country. Still double most states and still 70% higher than the national average. I guess there’s no reasoning with someone so hateful. I personally am tired of the divisiveness, politics and personal attacks by people that have no consideration for their fellow Americans.

  4. I dug into your claims #1-4, and here’s what I found:

    Claim #1:
    If the goal is to understand how much the virus is spreading in the community, we *don’t* want to keep including multiple tests on the same person who we already know has the virus. That will skew the results disproportionately toward higher positivity rates. Likewise, any person who tested negative a week ago is just as likely to get the virus the next week as someone who has never been tested (possibly even more so, since people who are tested regularly are in a high risk category). Therefore, we *do* want to include those results. Looking at this purely scientifically (with emotion removed), it seems the way the data is being reported provides the most accurate indication of community spread.

    Claim #2:
    This claim is not true for the data presented in the article. The author of the article cites the source for the data as https://business.fau.edu/covidtracker/data/florida-data. I went to that website and found that their data is coming from the daily report published by the FL DOH. You can find all of those daily reports here: https://www.floridadisaster.org/covid19/covid-19-data-reports/. If you look at the report for 8/16, and scroll down to the bottom of page 2, you will see that daily testing results are for “Florida Residents” only (both positive and total tests). Those numbers match up exactly with what is reported on the FAU website. As best I can tell, these numbers do not include positive or negative test results from non-residents. On the first page of the daily report, you will see the overall testing data (all time, not daily). There you can see that the numbers are reported separately for FL residents and non-FL residents. Nothing misleading about that. Even if at one point the positivity rate did include the negative but exclude positive non-residents, it would make very little difference in the overall positivity rate. There are only 6041 positive non-residents out of 567,375 positive residents. If you add those 6041 positive cases to the total and recalculate the positivity rate, it would only change by a minuscule amount (2 tenths of one percent). To bring this up with such fervor seems to be making a mountain out of a molehill, and in fact, a molehill that doesn’t even exist in the first place.

    Claim #3
    If we are separating FL residents from non-residents, there needs to be a way or making that determination. Presenting some form of legal ID documenting that you are a resident seems like a very reasonable approach. Since the data is being reported for both categories, the numbers are in plain sight for anyone to see. There is no subterfuge or deception. In fact, you can find the data for every single case in FL here: https://floridacovidaction-covidaction.hub.arcgis.com/datasets/8b717eb5bf264374965e8b7315ca6436_0/data

    That data set includes one row for every person who tested positive for Covid in FL. There is a column there called “Jurisdiction”. If you select it filter by “Non-FL resident”, you will see every non-resident positive case, all 6,041 of them. If you have evidence that the FL DOH is somehow throwing out positive cases from non-residents, please present it.

    Claim #4
    This is not really a claim, but just a regurgitation of the previous claims #1-3, which fall apart under scrutiny.

    Before making claims of fraudulent misrepresentation, deceptive governmental/political practices, and journalistic malpractice, it would be wise to dig into the data for yourself and get the facts first hand. You might find that the real journalistic malpractice was a politically biased article that lead you to believe in the first place that there is fraudulent misrepresentation and deceptive governmental/political practices going on in FL.

    1. I have read both Mike’s and Joe’s comments. If I were to re-read them aloud, I would yell and thrash papers around during Joe’s to reflect more emotion. Mike’s would get the monotone English accent treatment to reflect more intellect. Don’t know either one of them. Weird.

      As for Mark swiping at Casey – attitudes do not influence viruses any more than masks.

      15 days to flatten the curve has now gone well past 150 days and the frustration in everyone is flaring. Viruses do what viruses do and the historical models show we are naive to think otherwise.

  5. It is absolutely irresponsible to keep reporting the DOH “positivity rate” without AT THE VERY LEAST mentioning the documented fact that it is NOT an accurate measurement of the number of people testing positive, and cannot in any way be compared to the rates disclosed by other states that ARE reporting accurately. The DOH, and the governor himself have admitted to the following multiple times:

    1) Individuals are only ever counted as possible ONCE, yet may be counted as negative again day after day after day for those testing regularly.

    2) Tests taken by non-residents ARE included, but the positives are NOT. The reciprocal is also NOT the case as Florida residents testing positive elsewhere are also NOT counted.

    3) Even full-time Florida residents with no other address, but without legal status are NOT counted.

    4) Worst of all, despite these and other misleading tactics, the worst of them is that all those tests ARE counted, but since none of those scenarios ever counts as a positive, it instead effectively counts as a NEGATIVE since it is still left in the pool of tests taken, and the “positivity rate” is essentially legal residents tested here as positive for the first time divided by ALL the tests taken.

    This is so maliciously deceptive it bares repeating: If someone tests positive 10 times, the Florida DOH effectively computes this as one positive and 9 negatives for the sake of computing the”positivity rate.”

    It takes only a middle school grasp of statistics to understand this is a fraudulent representation. You or I may not be able to stop the DOH from such deceptive practices, but it is flat out journalistic malpractice to keep parroting this disinformation as fact. You are misleading your readers into believing that less than 10% of people being tested are coming back positive, and that this rate can be compared directly to the rates in other states without these deceptive practices.

    Both are provably false. This is not my opinion. The DOH has addressed these practices and said publicly that they know they are misleading, but choose to keep publishing them the same way since it would be “too confusing” to correct them now that they’ve already been reporting them this way.

    Do your job.

    Lives depend on it.

      1. You’re welcome to go hide under your bed with your mask, gloves and hazmat suit on. The rest of us are getting on with our lives.

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