Polk County added 16 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Monday, bringing the total to 270. New county-level data compiled by Johns Hopkins University reveals that Polk’s rate of deaths among confirmed cases — 3.15 percent — puts it at 19th among Florida’s 67 counties.
Polk’s ninth COVID-19 death was recorded on Monday. It involved a 91-year-old man who had not traveled and who had contact with another known case. His case was first reported last Thursday.
Florida Department of Health’s evening report Monday shows that 4,229 people have been tested in Polk, up 335 from the previous day. In addition to the 270 positive readings:
- 3,956 were negative
- 3 were inconclusive
- 14 await results
The number of positive cases is likely 10 times the official number, Polk County Health Department Director Joy Jackson told city commissioners Thursday. Those who test positive now probably contracted the disease two to three weeks ago, given the time it takes for symptoms to show and test results to be processed.
In addition, the numbers of people being tested remains tiny compared with Polk County’s estimated population of 708,000 people. A shortage of test kits means only people who meet CDC criteria are being tested.
The number of people who have been hospitalized with confirmed COVID-19 cases in Polk grew by five to 82 on Monday. State officials note this number is cumulative and does not reflect the number of people currently in hospitals.
Monday evening’s report cites 19 cases reported at nursing homes or other long-term care facilities in Polk.
That’s down two from the previous evening’s report. The report doesn’t indicate whether the reduction is because of death, transfer from the facility or patients no longer testing positive.
A spokeswoman for the Polk County Health Department offered the possibility that the numbers changed when data was re-checked. When asked to clarify the reduced number, she said: “As epidemiology investigations are conducted and information is processed, occasionally this information is subject to change as cases and data are reviewed and verified.”
The Florida Department of Health public reports do not list the names or cities of the facilities.
Johns Hopkins University has updated its popular COVID-19 dashboard to include richer data for counties in the U.S. As seen in the screen shot above (get a larger view), the county data includes demographic information, hospital bed capacity, health insurance information and death rates.
The chart puts Polk County’s rate of deaths among confirmed cases at 3.1 percent, 19th among Florida’s 67 counties. Many of those counties are rural ones with small numbers of cases, so one or two deaths can lead to an outsize percentage; the highest proportion is Glades County, where one death out of four confirmed cases yielded a 25 percent rate.
Three counties in Florida’s top 10 metropolitan areas have proportions higher than Polk: Sarasota at 5.31 percent (12 deaths/26 case), Palm Beach at 4.92 percent (81 deaths/1,646 cases) and Volusia at 3.48 percent (7 deaths/201 cases).
ZIP code data for Lakeland on Monday:
5 to 9 cases:
1 to 4 cases:
View an interactive ZIP code map here or at the end of this article. To find local ZIP code data, click on the “Cases by Zip Code” tab below the map and then scroll to Polk and click. Learn how ZIP code data is reported.
Current totals reported for Polk cities are:
- Lakeland, 81
- Winter Haven, 52
- Davenport, 45
- Kissimmee, 23*
- Auburndale, 13
- Lake Wales, 12
- Mulberry, 7
- Haines City, 6
- Lake Alfred, 5
- Fort Meade, 5
- Frostproof, 3
- Poinciana, 3
- Bartow, 2
- Champions Gate, 1
- Dundee, 1
- Eagle Lake, 1
- Indian Lakes Estates, 1
- Polk City, 1
* While Kissimmee is in Osceola County, the Health Department classifies a portion of east Polk as Kissimmee. It maintains a separate number for the Osceola portion of Kissimmee.
Tracking the cases
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