Health department again reports record-high COVID cases for Sarasota, Manatee

·2 min read
David Rucker with Lab Services collects a swab for a COVID-19 PCR test last Wednesday morning at the Venice Community Center.
David Rucker with Lab Services collects a swab for a COVID-19 PCR test last Wednesday morning at the Venice Community Center.

Sarasota and Manatee counties once again broke records for the number of COVID-19 cases reported by the state health department in a week.

The Florida Department of Health reported 6,089 new cases in Sarasota County and 5,423 in Manatee County the week of Jan. 7-13.

These numbers surpass the previous records for weekly case numbers, which were set the previous week. The Department of Health reported 5,010 cases in Sarasota County and 4,567 cases in Manatee the week of Dec. 31 to Jan. 6.

Sarasota County’s positivity rate was 25.9% and Manatee’s was 27.2% for the week ending Thursday, according to the Department of Health.

Background: Sarasota, Manatee counties break records for number of COVID-19 cases reported in a week

More: Sarasota Memorial seeing fewer COVID-19 patients in ICU than previous waves

It’s important to note, though, that Sarasota and Manatee’s most recent numbers aren’t necessarily the highest case numbers of any seven-day period in the pandemic. The state health department only releases the number of cases reported from the Friday of one week to the Thursday of the next week.

A USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data found that 6,092 cases were reported in Sarasota County the week ending Sunday, which is slightly higher than the number reported by the health department for the week ending Thursday. Holiday weekends, such as the Martin Luther King holiday, can often affect case reporting.

Statewide trends

Florida saw its weekly total of new coronavirus cases drop the week ending Sunday. 408,841 new cases were reported during the week, compared to 423,150 the previous week – a 3.4% decrease.

Statewide update: Florida is 11th on list where virus spreads fastest

Florida now ranks 11th among the states where COVID-19 was spreading the fastest on a per-person basis, the USA TODAY Network analysis shows. This is a drop from the previous week – the week ending Jan. 9 – when Florida ranked fifth in the nation.

The Florida counties with the worst outbreaks on a per-person basis for the week ending Sunday were Miami-Dade County with 3,435 cases per 100,000 per week; Broward County with 2,463; and Alachua County with 2,427. The Centers for Disease Control says high levels of community transmission begin at 100 cases per 100,000 per week.

COVID-19 hospitalizations at Sarasota Memorial

Sarasota Memorial, which has hospitals in Sarasota and Venice, reported on Monday that it was treating 186 COVID inpatients, which is down from 190 on Sunday. Last Monday, the two hospitals were treating a total of 161 COVID patients.

26 of the COVID patients were in the intensive care unit on Monday, up from 24 on Sunday.

Sarasota Memorial’s most recent positivity rate is 25.3%, which is down from the rate of 27.6% for the week ending Friday.

Anne Snabes covers city and county government for the Herald-Tribune. You can contact her at or (941) 228-3321 and follow her on Twitter at @a_snabes.

This article originally appeared on Sarasota Herald-Tribune: COVID pandemic Sarasota: Cases again hit record highs

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