The rate of COVID-19 infection in Florida and in Monroe County is falling, no one disputes that. But … why?

One possible explanation is that fewer people are being tested, and so there are fewer positive cases. That’s true, but not at a scale to explain what’s happened. 

According to state data, on Jan. 3, about 726,000 tested negative and 110,000 tested positive — representing 836,000 tests. On Feb. 7, the data counts 672,000 tests, of which only 49,000 were positive. 

So, the number of people testing has fallen by about 20% in the state of florida, but the number of people testing positive has fallen by about 55%. The positivity rates are falling — on Jan. 13, statewide the rate at which citizens were testing positive was 13%. By Feb. 7, the positivity rate was 7%. 

The most puzzling aspect of why the rate of coronavirus infection rate is decreasing: no one knows why. 

California and Florida have pursued wildly different pandemic strategies, but the outcome — even when adjusted for population — is very similar. California has been shut down almost continuously, while Florida reopened for business as (almost) usual in October. Florida has had 8,306 cases and 117 deaths per 100,000 residents. California has had about 8,499 cases per 100,000 and 130 deaths. California has a population of 40 million, while Florida’s population is 22 million.  

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