By Joan Murray

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After weeks of dismal COVID news, there were encouraging signs of a possible turnaround in South Florida Wednesday. The hospitalization rate of coronavirus patients is dropping.

Broward Health is treating just 136 COVID patients.

“We substantially decreased our number of admissions and increased discharges,” said Dr. Aldo Calvo, director of ambulatory services for Broward Health.

The news was even better in Miami-Dade County.

“The actual number in hospitalizations has dramatically been reduced over the last week” said Jackson Health System CEO Carlos Migoya.

He points to three factors contributing to the drop: mask compliance, the curfew and restaurant restrictions.

“This is not about government control. It’s about health and behavior,” he said.

Migoya said if we stay on track, the news will be even better next month.

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He said it’s possible Miami-Dade could have a two-week period with a 5% infection rate between September 15th and the 30th.

That would allow the county to reduce restrictions.

Dr. Calvo said if Broward stays on track, the infection rate could go below 5% a month from now.