CORAL SPRINGS, FL – As coronavirus cases continue going up, Coral Springs officials are looking at one key data point as they make decisions on how people move about the city.
That is: positivity rate - percent of people who get tested for COVID-19 and end up testing positive for the virus.
In a Facebook Live event on Monday, Alex Falcone, the city’s emergency management director, said the city staff used the positivity rate to reduce access to Coral Springs government buildings, starting on Monday.
City Hall, Public Safety Complex, Water Treatment Facility, and Westside Garage/Humane Unit will remain open, but they will now have limited access from the public. Read our full article on limiting access to the buildings here.
The positivity rate in Broward County has averaged at around 15 percent in the past week or so, Falcone said.
It’s been as high as 22.5 percent on July 8. It was 13.8 percent on Monday.
Officials have said the goal is to keep the positivity rate below 10 percent.
Another virus measure Coral Springs officials are watching closely is the shrinking number of available intensive care unit (ICU) beds at hospitals to treat people sick from the virus, said Dr. Peter Antevy, the city’s medical director.
As of Monday afternoon, Broward County had 60 ICU beds available or 12 percent of the ICU beds available for use, according to Florida COVID Action website.
At Broward Health Coral Springs, there were three available adult ICU beds and three available pediatric ICU beds, according to the website.
“The number of ICU beds available to use is dwindling,” Dr. Antevy said.
The number of people getting treated for COVID-19 in Broward County is 1,211, according to the website.
If there’s a scarcity of ICU beds, it will impact the ability to provide treatment for those who need it most, he said.
He noted that even if there are enough ICU beds, there may not be enough nurses to care for patients. Plans are underway to bring in nurses from other states to help fill the shortage, he said.
Dr. Antevy stressed to residents watching the event to take coronavirus safety measures seriously to reduce the inflection rate.
“Do the right thing, so they don’t end up as another statistic,” he said.
Know a story we should share with our readers? Email editor Leon Fooksman (firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell him about it.