Rebekah Jones, the data official behind Florida's Covid-19 dashboard who launched her own dashboard after she said she was removed from the state's project, said that she doesn’t see an end in sight to the state’s coronavirus surge.
“Especially if schools are opening next month, then we're on a third wave of this first wave of catastrophe,” Jones told CNN’s John Berman.
Florida doesn’t track probable coronavirus cases, Jones explained. When people are tested as they arrive at the ER, “that doesn't count as an active hospitalization until their positive test result is received by [the Florida Department of Health].”
“If they started reporting probable cases, we might see a huge spike in not only cases, but also deaths,” she said.
Some background: Jones was removed from the dashboard after the Florida DOH said she had "exhibited a repeated course of insubordination" during her tenure there.
“I was flat-out told repeatedly that we were not adding hospitalization data, even though all of our epidemiologists said it was one of the most important indicators of how our health care system is handling the influx of cases,” she said.
She said she has contacts at the Department of Health who occasionally give her documentation, and many counties are at 70-80% capacity.
“The data out there is available. They just don't make it public themselves,” Jones said.
Jones added that her data shows that the highest percent increase of coronavirus cases has been under 18, whereas the lowest percent increase in the last week compared to previous weeks was in the 18 to 35 age group.