Miami-Dade County has changed the way it calculates and reports the rate of positive test results, officials confirmed on Tuesday.
For months, the county was reporting a higher rate than the state, which elected leaders said complicated their decision on whether to order additional restrictions and business closures.
“We have been trying to get to the bottom of that discrepancy for a while now,” Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said.
The county’s “New Normal Dashboard” will report four separate positivity rates each day and an explanation for each.
County officials met with state health officials on Monday to go over the information the state uses to determine the county’s positive rate for new cases. The state’s reporting did not include retests of anyone who had previously tested positive for the virus.
The county, however, was reporting all results, including retests.
“The number of tests and the number of positive tests reflected only when the results were received not when individuals were tested and that needed fixing because it's not the best way to determine what is going on a given day,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University who is advising city and county leaders on the pandemic.
The positive rate for new cases on Monday was 19.2% and 14-day average is 20.46%.
“They are seeing improvement in the rate of percent positive per day and the rate of new cases per day ... whether that trend continues is yet to be determined,” Suarez added.
According to health experts, the positive rate for new cases should be below 10%.
As of Wednesday morning, several hospitals in South Florida were at full capacity of their ICU beds. In Broward County, Westside Regional Hospital is at full capacity while in Miami-Dade County, hospitals at that level include Jackson Memorial, Hialeah Hospital, North Shore Medical Center, Homestead Hospital, Doctors Hospital and Coral Gables Hospital.