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Florida’s positive COVID-19 tests among highest in nation ahead of UFC 261

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Only seven states have a higher positive test percentage than Florida ahead of Saturday’s UFC 261

Mayor of Jacksonville Lenny Curry shakes hands with UFC President Dana White as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stands on stage during the UFC 261 press conference
Mayor of Jacksonville Lenny Curry shakes hands with UFC President Dana White as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis stands on stage during the UFC 261 press conference
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

If Florida and the UFC hoped the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests would drop ahead of UFC 261, that hope went unrealized. In fact, the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests has increased since late March.

Per Johns Hopkins, the percent positive number is important because:

The percent positive is exactly what it sounds like: the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive, or: (positive tests)/(total tests) x 100%. The percent positive (sometimes called the “percent positive rate” or “positivity rate”) helps public health officials answer questions such as:

What is the current level of SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus) transmission in the community?

Are we doing enough testing for the amount of people who are getting infected?

The percent positive will be high if the number of positive tests is too high, or if the number of total tests is too low. A higher percent positive suggests higher transmission and that there are likely more people with coronavirus in the community who haven’t been tested yet.

The percent positive is a critical measure because it gives us an indication how widespread infection is in the area where the testing is occurring—and whether levels of testing are keeping up with levels of disease transmission.

According to data from Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center, the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in Florida was 8.41 percent. Today that number stands at 9.13 percent. The World Health Organization recommends governments don’t open until positivity rates remain at fiver percent or below for at least 14 days. According to Johns Hopkins, seven states have a higher percentage of positive tests than Florida (Idaho, Iowa, Alabama, Michigan, Kansas, Mississippi and South Dakota.)

A total of 27 states are below the five percent positivity rate. California leads those states with a 1.09 percent positivity rate. Arizona, which UFC president Dana White said is a possible location for UFC 263, is among those states at 3.18 percent.

Texas, which is set to host UFC 262, has a positive percentage rate of 5.90 percent. Nevada, which will host UFC 264, is also above the threshold at 5.23 percent.

Bloody Elbow will track all the states the UFC has booked events for and also states the promotion has mentioned as possible destinations. The tracking will begin before the event and continue after the events to see if a rise in positive tests occurs after the events have been held.

UFC 261 takes place Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida. The main card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+ and early prelims on ESPN+ and UFC Fight Pass.

Below is a table of Florida’s information from late March through Friday, April 23.

Florida COVID-19 information

Reporting Date New Cases New Deaths Test Results % Positive
Reporting Date New Cases New Deaths Test Results % Positive
3/22 3987 29 0
3/23 2862 37 97634 2.93%
3/24 5302 41 0
3/25 5413 30 0
3/26 5773 107 68608 8.41%
3/27 5,750 159 65,334 8.80%
3/28 5883 26 63420 9.28%
3/29 4943 36 55808 8.86%
3/30 3374 69 37,466 9.01%
3/31 5062 91 53456 9.47%
4/1 5294 87 53560 9.88%
4/2 6790 69 69746 9.74%
4/3 6490 72 68189 9.52%
4/4 6017 66 65766 9.15%
4/5 4794 22 53197 9.01%
4/6 3480 36 38718 8.99%
4/7 5556 70 56486 9.84%
4/8 5885 42 58264 10.10%
4/9 7939 84 77085 10.30%
4/10 7121 62 71203 10.00%
4/11 6906 46 69738 9.90%
4/12 5520 7 55971 9.86%
4/13 1613 35 16269 9.91%
4/14 9068 64 81375 11.14%
4/15 6772 44 63865 10.60%
4/16 6762 74 67021 10.09%
4/18 7296 92 72695 10.04%
4/19 6834 35 57699 11.84%
4/20 4237 32 43925 9.65%
4/21 5645 62 58432 9.66%
4/22 5571 83 60880 9.15%
4/23 6684 80 73211 9.13%
180623 1889 1775021 9.46%