WHO IS LYING? PALM BEACH COUNTY OR FLORIDA HEALTH OFFICIALS?

Florida News

PALM BEACH COUNTY IS RELEASING A “POSITIVITY RATE” THAT IS MUCH DIFFERENT THAN FLORIDA’S REPORT FOR THE SAME AREA.

FLORIDA: PALM BEACH COUNTY POSITIVITY IS 8.2 PERCENT.

PALM BEACH COUNTY OFFICIALS: IT’S 13.01 PERCENT.

Boca Raton News

UPDATE (August 3, 2020 8:51 a.m.): Palm Beach County Responds, See End Of Story

BOCA RATON, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) — The positivity rate is perhaps the single most important metric in determining whether COVID-19 is on the rise, remaining stable or decreasing in a specific area, which is why so much attention is given to the number.

But over the past several days, Palm Beach County officials have been releasing a “positivity rate” that is completely different — as in: not even close — to the number released by the Florida Department of Health. Emails to Palm Beach County in an effort to determine who is right and why there is a difference have not been answered.



But over the past several days, Palm Beach County officials have been releasing a “positivity rate” that is completely different — as in: not even close — to the number released by the Florida Department of Health.


By the numbers: the State of Florida today is reporting a positivity rate of 8.2 percent. But the Palm Beach County Operations Center is reporting a positivity rate of 13.01 percent. The difference in counting may be a few hours, but certainly nothing to generate a 6 point spread.


Here’s the official language from today’s update from the Palm Beach County Operations Center:

As of 3:00 p.m. Sunday, the positivity rate in Palm Beach County is 13.01%. To find the latest information about your specific zip code and other COVID-19 data, check out the Florida Department of Health COVID-19 Dashboard . 

We note that the sudden drop in the Palm Beach County number reported by the State of Florida came at roughly the same time the Palm Beach County School Board voted to start the year with distance learning. A lower positivity rate — in theory — would put kids back in the classroom faster.

So what’s correct? We have no idea. No one is answering our questions. But we encourage our readers to consider both numbers when you try to understand what’s happening with COVID-19 in our county.

UPDATE: Palm Beach County explained the difference at 8:51 a.m. Monday, August 3, 2020:

From Spokesperson Nicole Ferris: “The positivity rate that is published in daily update  is the cumulative number from the very beginning of testing.  The 8.2% is the daily rate from testing in the county and how many positives there are that day.”


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