It’s January 2022, how is Orange County Florida doing with Covid-19?

Over the last three weeks the Omicron variant has proven to be highly contagious. The number of cases and speed of their growth has far surpassed the delta surge. In the last week, almost 1 out of every 50 individuals in Orange County has tested positive for COVID-19.  According to the latest FDOH report, Orange County Florida has had 27,941 new cases in the last week, with a test positivity rate of 36.2%.

This number would be completely terrifying except for the fact that many of the infections are breakthrough infections of vaccinated individuals, who for the most part are protected from serious disease.  However, many vaccinated individuals are also having asymptomatic infections, so the number of infected is certainly higher than the number of positive tests, and the virus is endemic to the population.

The case numbers and test positivity rate tell you that it will be very difficult to avoid exposure to the virus, but the case numbers may not directly correlate to deaths. Currently data from the CDC for the state of Florida indicates that with the omicron surge, so far deaths have not been directly related to cases. This may be due to delays in reporting (or delays in deaths, as the omicron surge really only started a month ago), but it does appear that the omicron variant is less deadly than earlier variants of the virus.

Hospitalization and ICU bed usage numbers are likely to be more directly correlated to future deaths than straight case numbers. According to the Florida Hospital Association, as of Jan 7th, COVID-19 patients made up 16.2% of ICU bed usage.  This is almost double the number (8.7%) a week ago. Adult hospitalizations with covid-19 has gone up from 4,484 on Dec 31st to 7,305 today, again, an almost doubling over the last week.  At the peak of the delta surge, Florida COVID-19 hospitalizations were at 17,121, so it is possible the omicron surge will kill fewer individuals than the delta surge.

 

 

It’s December 2021, how is Orange County Florida doing with Covid-19?

The number of detected COVID-19 cases has been flat or going up for the last five weeks. The latest week had a 50% increase (from 1002 cases to 1503 cases), up from a low of 673 cases in the second week of November.
Orange County FL’s new case positivity rate is 4.5% (below the Florida State average of 5.4% in the same time period), but is almost certainly going to go above 5% next week.   This increase can be attributed partially to the new Omicron variant, and partially to the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

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It’s November 2021, how is Orange County Florida doing with COVID-19?

We have reached the end of the Delta Surge. The October 29th 2021 weekly DOH report shows that Orange County only had 834 infections in the last week, and the case positivity rate has dropped to 2.9%.  The OC Mayor has dropped the state of emergency, and the OC Public School District has removed the mask mandate in schools. (Faculty, Staff & adult Volunteers are still required to wear masks, as are students, but now a parent note is enough to excuse students from the mask requirement.)

In the last month the OCPS dashboard has reported only 690 new cases.

We have had nine weeks of decreasing case numbers and are now back to a level similar to that of the June/July timeframe before the Delta variant surged.  Orange County currently has 75% of the 12+ population vaccinated, and the Pfizer vaccine has just been approved for use by children aged 5-11 years old.

 

Deaths

In the last month, Orange County has only had 140 deaths from COVID-19. Overall, Orange County FL  had 2,185 COVID-19 deaths out of a population of 1,457,445 (149 deaths per 100,000 residents). This is better than the state of Florida average of 285 deaths per 100,000 residents. However, 149 deaths per 100,000 residents is a per-capita death rate higher than the countries of South Korea (5), Australia (6), Iceland (9), Japan (14), Norway (16), Egypt (17), India (33) and the Philippines (36) combined.

Android 12 notifications & Internet Tile are a downgrade

Android version 12 has a lot of under the hood improvements, and I especially appreciate the privacy preserving features (green dot visual notifications when the camera or mic turn on, and finer grained permissions controls).

 

However, the new notifications system has traded visual appeal for utility. Specifically, the total screen area (width) used to display notifications is significantly narrower than in Android 11. The notifications are displayed with a white space frame around them, and even within that area, each notification is inside a rounded corner “bubble”, so that the actual content is only using 70% of the phone screen width. This is especially noticeable to me on notifications from the Ring app, which show a photo preview of what caused the motion alert to fire.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

Also, they combined the “wifi” and “cellular data” quick action tiles into a single “Internet” one. So instead of two actions to enable or disable wifi (swipe down / click) I now must make four. (swipe down, click internet, click wifi, click ‘Done’).  Also, I don’t appreciate the design of the two line clock on the lock screen, but whatever (no am/pm indicator, really?).

It’s October 2021, how is Orange County doing with COVID-19?

We are nearing the tail end of the Delta surge. The October 1st 2021 DOH report shows that orange county had “only” 2,365 cases in the last week, and our 7 day test positivity rate has dropped down to 5% (for the first time in 3 months…).

The number of cases per day are still as bad as in January/Feb, April/May, so COVID is definitely spreading in the community, but “74% of those 12 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine” according to Mayor Jerry Demings.  Although breakthrough infections are possible, being vaccinated gives strong protection against infection, and extremely strong protection against getting sick enough to need hospitalization or dying.

Orange county schools have reported 5909 student cases (and 1,114 employee cases) since August 2nd, and are still enforcing a mask mandate through the end of October.

Deaths

So far, Orange County FL has had 2,045 COVID-19 deaths out of a population of 1,457,445, or (140 deaths per 100,000 residents), which is a per-capita death rate higher than the countries of South Korea (5), Australia (6), Iceland (9), Japan (14), Norway (16), Egypt (17), India (33) and the Philippines (36) combined.

 

It’s September 2021, how is Orange County doing with COVID-19?

For the week ending August 27th, 2021, Orange County Florida had an average of 1,292 new cases per day. This is worse than the highest previous peak in January.  The exponential growth can be blamed on the Delta Variant and the relaxing of masking and social distancing.

However, the number of new cases each week appears to have plateaued, and the test positivity rate, at 14.9%, while still very high, has gone down from a peak of 20%, so it appears that we may have reached the peak of this delta variant surge.

Historically, Orange County has had a case fatality rate of near 1%, so that would indicate we are due to see about 12-13 deaths per day in the near future, but as death numbers are no longer part of the FDOH weekly reports for counties I have no way of knowing if the case fatality rate has started to drop due to vaccinations of high-risk groups or has increased due to the Delta variant.

We have vaccinated (at least a first dose) 858,281 people (out of a population of 1,457,445), or 59% of the total. If you discount children 12 and under who are not yet eligible for vaccination, Orange County has vaccinated 69% of the eligible population.  We vaccinated 77,829 people in August (Compared to 62,349 people in July, 65,206 in June, 88,482 in May and 151,176 in April.)

Hospitalizations

Although the FDOH is not reporting county level hospitalization numbers, we can assume that the admissions curves for Orange County are similar to the entire state of Florida. We currently have more people hospitalized with confirmed covid-19 cases than ever before. Elective surgeries are postponed,  hospital morgues are full  and portable morgue units are being deployed.

Deaths

The FDOH is not reporting death numbers directly for Orange County, but judging from the graphs for the entire state of Florida, deaths are also at an all time high.

The “actual date of death” data lags behind the “reported date of death” data, but as you can see from historical trends, the reported death data is indicating that the actual date of death data will set new records in Florida.

Orange County Public Schools

In the entire 2020-2021 school year (when around half of the students were remote) OCPS reported a total of 5,072 student cases of Covid-19.  (and 2,216 employee cases).

So far, in the first three weeks of the 2021-2022 school year (with the majority of students in-person) the OCPS dashboard has reported 2,599 student cases of Covid-19. (And 624 employee cases.)

Have we reached the peak?
In other countries surges driven by the Delta Variant have peaked hard and then receded quickly (after natural immunity is reached in the un-vaccinated population via infections) so we we may see a sharp decline in cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in September.

Ego 7.5AH Battery capacity over time (Battery Degradation over time) – 4 year update

I own three 7.5AH Ego batteries. My earliest had a manufacture date of 2014 (although I purchased it in 2017 with a mower manufactured in 2016). I now have four years of operation on this battery.

As shown in the graph, the capacity dropped off over time (down to a low of 260 watt hours in year 3, which is 63% of the original 410 watt hour capacity), but in year 4 it has actually increased a bit to 290 watt hours (70% of the original capacity).

My 2nd 7.5AH battery was purchased in July of 2018 (manufactured in May of 2018).

As you can see, its graph has gone down, and so far hasn’t popped back up.  At the three year mark it is also down to a 260 watt hour capacity (63% of it’s new capacity).

My third 7.5AH battery has a 2019 manufacture date, but it’s still in its first year of “use”, so I don’t have a fancy graph for it yet, although I have started to include it in the comparison bar graph below:

So far, all three of my 7.5 AH batteries have followed a very similar capacity vs time curve, and you can expect one of these batteries to retain an average of 90% capacity in year 1, 72-75% capacity in year 2, and 63% capacity in year 3.

[Plus, they MAY bounce back up to 70% capacity in year 4, if the other two follow the path taken by my first battery.]

Capacitive Touch Button Failure on Looking Glass Portrait can be solved with a better USB-C PD power supply

I’ve had re-occuring issues with Looking Glass Portrait displays where the touch sensitive capacitive buttons (Forward, Back and Play/Pause) would not work. (Either straight out of the box, or intermittently.)

After a lot of back and forth with Looking Glass (and them shipping me 4! replacement units) I was finally able to determine that the issue is the provided CHOETECH USB-C 20W PD power supplies. (Which apparently don’t work well on the 110-113 volts AC at my house, even though they are rated at 100-240 volts AC….)

I’m not sure if it is a power issue, or some type of noise/frequency that the power supply generates when running on voltages close to the bottom end of its range, but I can reliably fix the issue by changing over to using my Google Pixel 4A USB-C PD power adapter to power the Looking Glass Portrait.

 

 

It’s August 1st, 2021, how is Orange County doing with COVID-19?

For the week ending July 29th 2021, Orange County Florida had an average of 1,130 new cases per day. The test positivity rate over the last week was 18.2%.
This is worse than the highest previous peak in January.  The exponential growth can be blamed on the Delta Variant and the relaxing of masking and social distancing.

Historically, Orange County has had a case fatality rate of near 1%, so that would indicate we are due to see about 11 deaths per day in the near future, but as death numbers are no longer part of the FDOH weekly reports for counties I have no way of knowing if the case fatality rate has started to drop due to vaccinations of high-risk groups or has increased due to the Delta variant.

We have vaccinated (at least a first dose) 780,452 people (out of a population of 1,457,445, or 54% of the total. If you discount children 12 and under who are not yet eligible for vaccination, Orange County has vaccinated 63% of the eligible population.  We vaccinated 62,349 people in July (Compared to 65,206 in June, 88,482 in May and 151,176 in April.)

Hospitalizations

Although the FDOH is not reporting county level hospitalization numbers, we can assume that the admissions curves for Orange County are similar to the entire state of Florida.

AdventHealth has entered ‘black’ status and postponed all non-emergency surgeries confirming that they have more hospitalizations than in January, which matches the state level graph.

Nursing Homes

We are seeing a small uptick in covid-19 cases in nursing homes. According to the AARP, in Florida’s nursing homes “Roughly 3 in 10 nursing home residents and 3 in 5 health care staffers are not fully vaccinated. The state’s nursing home vaccination rates are well below national averages”.

End in sight?

In the United Kingdom, which was hit by the Delta variant earlier than the US, daily case numbers are starting to drop.  It may be possible that through vaccinations and “naturally obtained immunity” that the UK is reaching the herd immunity threshold. As the delta variant tears through the remaining unvaccinated population in the US we may see a corresponding drop in infections next month.

The Delta Variant, and why case numbers in Florida will continue to go up in July

The Delta variant of the SARS-COV-2 virus is a version/mutation of the virus that causes COVID-19 in humans that happens to be significantly more transmissible than previous variants. This means that when the delta variant is introduced to a region, it will “take over” and become the predominant variety of SARS-COV-2 that is circulating. Because it is easier to transmit/catch, the number of cases also tends to go up in that region.

All of the following graphs are from the great covariants.org website. I encourage you to check it out and look at all of the country and state graphs.

For example, in the country of India, Delta (dark green in the graphs) was at 7% of all sequences in the March 8-22nd timeframe, and grew to 91% in the May 3-17th timeframe.

This pattern of Delta out-performing all other variants repeats in other countries and US states where it is introduced.
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