Rise in Brevard COVID-19 cases slows but continues to stress local hospitals
Some 200 million new coronaviruses would fit on point at the end of that sentence. But the tiny virus continues to inflict huge impacts on the Space Coast and the rest of Florida, again prompting public health officials on Friday to advise us to mask ourselves, keep our distance and vaccinate.
COVID-19 cases have risen further in Brevard, with 3,836 new cases reported for the seven-day period that ended Thursday, bringing the county total for the pandemic to 55,378 cases, according to a report released Friday evening by the Florida Department of Health. The data value for the most recent week averaged 548 new cases per day for the week of July 30 to August 5, compared to an average of 502 new cases per day for the previous week.
Weekly cases did not double as local health officials predicted and feared, but were still enough for them to call for vigilance on Friday. And those numbers further surpassed the county’s previous peak last January, when the number of daily cases peaked in the low 400 and averaged around 350 per week.
Hospitalizations have also increased, exceeding last winter’s previous peak by 40%, and new hospitalizations among children nearly doubled the state’s previous peak in January, according to John Hopkins University.
“Our healthcare system is very stressed and at peak right now,” John Davis, director of community health for the Florida Department of Health-Brevard, said on Friday in a county update on Facebook Live COVID-19 .
Brevard County government and health officials on Friday urged those eligible to get vaccinated against COVID-19, as the number of cases continues to rise and hospitals are overwhelmed with patients infected with the virus. virus.
In the past week, the number of new cases per 100,000 population in Brevard topped 600. That’s less than 50 new cases per 100,000 as of the end of May, Davis said.
Brevard’s three main hospital systems – Health First, Parrish and Steward – are facing an increase in COVID-19 patient numbers by converting general patient rooms for use by COVID-19 patients, the director of COVID-19 said on Friday. Brevard County Emergency Management John Scott. As an example, the Parrish Medical Center in Titusville said in a Facebook post on Friday that it had 63 COVID-positive patients among the 130 people hospitalized. That’s up from 59 COVID positive on Thursday, and the post noted that Parrish had exceeded the capacity of its 12-bed intensive care unit, had to lift a second and had 20 patients held in the emergency room awaiting admission.
The 3,836 new cases last week compare with the 3,516 new COVID-19 cases reported for the seven-day period that ended Thursday, July 29, according to FDOH data, an increase of 320 cases, an increase of 9%.
And the week before, there were 2,166 new cases in Brevard, 1,443 three weeks ago and 693 four weeks ago.
Statewide, new cases also continue to rise: to 134,506 cases in the week ending July 30, up from 110,420 the week before and 73,177 the week before.
In the latest weekly report, the percentage of COVID-19 tests in Brevard that were positive for the virus was 16.5%, against 15.7% the previous week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that, ideally, positivity rates should not exceed 5%. Statewide, the cumulative percentage is 18.5%.
Infections among young people and children in the state also appear to be on the rise. The latest data showed 13,596 new cases in children under 12 in Florida with a 20% positivity rate. In comparison, people 65 and older – the most vulnerable to the virus – recorded 14,716 new cases and a positivity rate of 12.5%.
Data from the previous week showed 10,785 new cases in children under 12 with a positivity rate of 18.2%. In comparison, people aged 65 and over recorded 11,113 cases and a positivity rate of 11.3% the week before.
The latest data from Florida shows 323,175 people have been vaccinated with Brevard, or 60% aged 12 or older. In the seven days ending Thursday (August 5), Brevard had 3,836 more vaccinated.
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Deaths have remained relatively stable in recent weeks. Statewide, the death toll rose to 39,695, from 39,079, or 616 more in the seven days ending Aug.5.
The Florida Medical Examiners Council decided last August to stop investigating cases of COVID-19,unless there is trauma or there is no attending physician, so there is no information on the co-morbidities of those who die from the disease.
Worldwide, the infection mortality rate (IFR) of COVID-19 is around 0.15%, according to estimates published last March in the European Journal of Clinical Investigation by John Ioannidis, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Stanford. But that rate varies widely from region to region due to susceptibility, demographics and differences between regions and countries, studies have found. The IFR is closer to 0.3% and 0.4% in Europe and the Americas, Ioannidis found, while Africa and Asia are around 0.05%.
Health officials have warned of variants of the virus that are more infectious, but with better treatments and vaccines, the variants are proving less deadly.