Florida COVID-19 update; ex-DOH employee, Rebekah Jones, starts her own dashboard

The Florida Department of Health (DOH) has reported as of this morning 73,552 total COVID-19 cases and 2,925 deaths. This is up more than 2,500 cases and 48 deaths since Friday’s released data.

Nearly 1.4 million tests have been performed to date, according to DOH data.

When asked about the spike in cases, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Friday the numbers are increasing as the state continues to ramp up testing to anyone who wants to be checked for COVID-19. Testing in the early stages of the pandemic focused almost entirely on people who were sick and elderly.

He also noted there have been outbreaks in some agriculture communities affecting farmworkers.

That’s the official Florida data. And then there is the data compiled by ex-DOH employee, Rebekah Jones, who recently launched her own COVID-19 dashboard–Florida’s Community Coronavirus Dashboard.

As of this writing, Jones’ dashboard has the total number at 78,688 and 3016 deaths. Jones says the new site uses “a community-mapping approach, where data is scaled to the local level and community members can submit data instantly online.”

Jones notes on her dashboard: DOH “Cases” include residents and non-residents, but exclude those who received positive antibody test results. She also includes officials DOH numbers.

“We count everyone who has had a confirmed-positive COVID-19 lab result, including antibody testing,” a press release announcing the site says. “Any cumulative count of positive people in Florida should include any person who has a confirmed-positive lab result, whether tested while symptomatic or not. This helps us better track the disease burden on healthcare systems and its spread in the community.”

That could be a mistake, cautioned Dr. Terry Adirim, chairwoman of Florida Atlantic University’s Department of Integrated Biomedical Science. She warned against combining the results because antibody tests are more prone to false positives.


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