Alonso: County Is Turning The Corner On Virus Positivity Rate

The local COVID-19 positivity rate is slowly going down, showing Palm Beach County’s success at bringing the pandemic under control, Florida Department of Health-Palm Beach County Director Dr. Alina Alonso said this week.

At the Tuesday, Aug. 25 meeting of the Palm Beach County Commission, Alonso said that Palm Beach County has had 40,746 total cases of COVID-19, with 176 new cases and five new hospitalizations over the past week.

“Our deaths are up to 1,061, that’s two new deaths that will be put into the date that they actually died,” Alonso said.

By comparison to two other counties that have high rates of COVID-19, Miami-Dade had 152,000 cases and Broward had 69,000.

“We have a new chart that shows the rate,” Alonso said.

The new chart shows the number of deaths per 100,000 population, she said, explaining that this rate reveals a more accurate way to show the contagion.

“The state is at 2.9 percent, and we are at 3 percent,” she said, adding that Martin County to the north is at 2.6 percent. “That gives us a more accurate picture of our positivity and how we’re doing in terms of COVID-19 in relationship with our population.”

In this new metric, Broward County is at 3.6 percent and Glades County west of Lake Okeechobee is at 3.8 percent, while Miami-Dade and Hendry counties are at 4.8 percent.

“You can see that a very large population county like Miami, versus Hendry, which has a small population, has much more of a burden to Hendry than it is to Miami,” Alonso said. “Miami has a lot more resources, Hendry is a smaller county with less people, but the rates are the same.”

Lafayette County north of Tampa is at 13.3 percent, which puts a big burden on that largely rural area, she said.

The lab positivity rate for Florida is currently at 5.15 percent, while the total positivity for the number of people tested is at 13.35 percent, she said.

“You remember me talking about that number 5 that we wanted to get to?” Alonso asked. “I’m very pleased with our numbers. I want to thank the people of Palm Beach County for the great job that they are doing in stopping the spread of COVID-19. We couldn’t be there without their cooperation and seriousness in this pandemic.”

She also thanked Palm Beach County Mayor Dave Kerner for creating the COVID-19 Education & Enforcement Team, which has been going out nightly checking restaurants to make sure that social distancing and masking is enforced.

Some recent daily positivity numbers have been lower at 4.08 and 3.54 percent.

“We are definitely in a downward trajectory We have met not only the state goal for the past 14 days, but we also met our local objective of getting down below 5, and I am sure that this is going to continue to go down as we continue all the efforts that we’re doing here in Palm Beach County,” Alonso said.

She added that Palm Beach County’s numbers are lower than all the surrounding counties.

“As we continue to see these numbers going in the right direction, we have to always keep looking around at our nearby counties and see what they look like,” Alonso said.

To learn more about the county’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, visit