Florida COVID-19 Reality Check – October 19th, 2021
Bottom Line: Quoting Dr. Thomas Unnasch of the University of South Florida “the state is at the end of the delta surge”. Nothing is brewing in the tropics, we have cooler beautiful weather and we’ve put the Delta surge behind us. All good news this week.
We’ve continued to experience a rapid decline of new COVID-19 cases, now 88% below peak levels and we’ve experienced a similar decline in hospitalizations. The peak of the summer surge in cases occurred August 17th and Florida’s trendline has steadily improved ever since. Vaccination rates have continued to rise, with over 71% of Florida’s eligible population having been vaccinated and without catalysts of concern on the horizon the news is set to continue to improve significantly over the next two weeks.
The Mayo Clinic’s tracker and projection tool has been highly accurate throughout the pandemic. Looking at the 14-day projections, the news looking out over the next couple of weeks remains 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. With new cases currently at three-month lows, here’s what’s anticipated over the next couple of weeks.
Under the worst-case projection from the Mayo Clinic, Florida’s cases would hold steady with where we are today, leaving the state pacing around 2,700 new cases daily. The average projection has Florida seeing a 33% decrease in cases to around 1,800 daily cases. The best-case scenario continues to provide much better news. Under that scenario we’d see a decline in cases to around the earliest weeks of the pandemic with a decline of 67% over the next two weeks leaving us with around 900 daily cases.
There’s a lot that’s encouraging about where we currently are at this phase of the pandemic. While many experts expect a winter surge in cases, so perhaps we’re not out of the woods with the pandemic yet, indications are that we should continue to see meaningful progress for now.