Florida COVID-19 Reality Check - August 31st, 2021
Bottom Line: We’re all ready for better news and to turn the corner on the summer surge of COVID-19 cases in Florida. We might finally be there. In fact, we’re potentially now two weeks into better news. While overall new COVID-19 cases have remained consistently above 20,000 daily, the overall trend has slightly been declining for two full weeks. August 17th remains the peak day for Florida’s COVID-19 summer surge trend. Notably, that day also corresponds near exactly to what University of Florida and Johns Hopkins researchers pegged as the potential peak of the pandemic entering August. As for where we go from here?
During the summer surge I’ve cited the Mayo Clinic’s tracker and projection tool weekly for the spread of COVID-19 cases in Florida as it’s been highly accurate. So, what happens here? Using the Mayo Clinic’s 14-day projections, the news is the best it’s been since the Delta variants hit the scene. They provide three different models. What they call the “lower bound” projection, or best-case scenario, the middle, or average projection and an upper bound, or worst-case scenario. I’ll work backwards from the worst-case to the best. This week, even the worst-case news is good news.
Under the worst-case projection from the Mayo Clinic, Florida’s cases would decline by 23% from where we are today reaching a level of about 16,500 daily. That’s a huge improvement over just a week ago. Speaking of improvement. The average projection has Florida seeing a 45% decrease in cases to around 11,750 daily cases over the next two weeks. The best-case scenario is much better news. Under that scenario, cases are expected to decline by 59% over the next two weeks leaving us with around 8,675 daily cases.
The takeaway is this. Even the worst-case projections have significantly improved, and the overall odds are that the pandemic has peaked in Florida – just as UF & Johns Hopkins predicted heading into it. Fingers crossed that proves true and it’s all better news from here.