The recent COVID surge that began in May and peaked in July appears to be dwindling across Florida and throughout the country.
According to the Florida Department of Health’s (FDOH) COVID data report released on Friday, new positive cases have dropped for seven straight weeks from a high of 78,218 on July 8 to 35,125. Florida, which led the U.S. with most cases per 100,000 over the past few months, dropped to third at 195.4 over the past seven days. Georgia ranks first with 220.6 cases per 100,000 and Ohio is second at 200.5
The number of counties the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) listed as “high risk” for level of transmission has gone from 64 on Aug. 2 to 33, but Alachua County and the surrounding counties remain on the “high risk” list.
Columbia, Suwannee and Union Counties continue to report a high number of cases per capita. Columbia has 216 new positives, equating to 302.4 cases per 100,000 people, while Suwannee County has 180 (389.6 per 100,000) Union County has 50 (323.0) per 100,000.
Data from the Aug. 26 FDOH report showed the following new regional cases and cases per 100,000 people:
- Alachua County – 565 positive cases (203.3 cases per 100,000 population)
- Columbia County – 216 (302.4)
- Suwannee County – 180 (389.6)
- Levy County – 82 (193.6)
- Bradford County – 62 (214.3)
- Union County – 50 (323.0)
- Dixie County – 31 (184.8)
- Gilchrist County – 24 (126.6)
On Monday, UF Health Shands Hospital reported 110 COVID-related admitted patients with 57 positive cases and five in either the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Intermediate Care Unit (IMC). Another 53 non-infectious patients were still hospitalized but no longer positive. Those numbers have decreased from the 154 total COVID patients on Aug. 2 when the hospital had 103 positives, 25 in the ICU/IMC and 51 non-infectious cases.
HCA Florida North Florida Hospital reported 40 COVID-positive cases on Monday, which is the same number they had on July 18.
The recent COVID outbreak peaked in early July after the surge began in May. It never reached the same numbers or severity as the omicron surge in January, when 30.7% of Alachua County residents tested positive and hospitalizations totaled more than 300. Over 450 COVID-positive patients were hospitalized in Alachua County during the height of the delta variant outbreak in August 2021.