Local COVID numbers show steady increase

Coronavirus illustration

New COVID cases topped 1,000 in Alachua County last week as Florida continues to be one of the national hotbeds in the latest surge.

According to the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) bi-weekly report sent on Friday, Alachua County’s new positive cases increased from 964 to 1,156 for the seven-day period ending July 14. 

Florida now leads the country with 364.3 cases per 100,000 over the past seven days, according to the CDC website. California is second at 336.5 and Texas is third with 302.5. 

As of Friday, the CDC listed 58 of 67 Florida counties as “high risk” for level of transmission, while the other nine counties are at “medium risk.” That’s up from 10 counties the CDC designated “high risk” at the end of May.

UF Shands Hospital’s numbers have increased by 33 in the past two weeks. On Monday, Shands reported 124 COVID-related patients, with 85 positive cases and 29 in either the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) or Intermediate Care Unit (IMC). Another 39 non-infectious patients were admitted but no longer positive. 

On July 5, Shands had 91 total cases, including 66 positives, 19 in the ICU/IMC, and 25 non-infectious patients. 

HCA Florida North Florida Hospital remained steady with 40 COVID-positive cases on Monday after reporting 39 patients on July 6. 

In the surrounding counties over the past two weeks, Columbia increased from 180 cases to 271, Levy jumped from 97 to 180, Suwannee went from 115 to 165, Bradford from 56 to 108, Gilchrist from 52 to 96, Dixie from 65 to 78 and Union from 34 to 43. 

The July 15 FDOH report showed the following new regional cases and cases per 100,000 population:

  • Alachua County – 1,156 positive cases (416.0 cases per 100,000 population)
  • Columbia County – 271 (379.4)
  • Levy County – 180 (425.0)
  • Suwannee County – 165 (357.1)
  • Bradford County – 108 (373.3)
  • Gilchrist County – 96 (506.5)
  • Dixie County – 78 (465.0)
  • Union County – 43 (277.8)

The current outbreak remains smaller and milder than the omicron surge in January, when 30.7% of Alachua County residents tested positive and hospitalizations surged above 300. More than 450 COVID-positive patients were hospitalized in Alachua County during the height of the delta variant outbreak in August 2021.

CDC Florida COVID-19 Community Levels map 7-17-22
Courtesy of CDC
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