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Coronavirus in Florida

Nearly 500 Floridians dead from coronavirus as new cases ‘at a plateau’

A plateau of new cases suggest the state’s curve is approaching its peak.

Even as the state’s COVID-19 death toll approaches 499 and total cases at 21,019 Monday, Florida appears to be flattening the curve of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Surgeon General Scott Rivkees, who leads the state’s Department of Health (DOH), told reporters Monday that the number of new cases in the state is “essentially at a plateau” with only a slight increase in the number of daily new cases this week.

Since April 4, the number of daily new cases has sat between 1,000 and 1,200 except for two days of lower than normal testing that returned 838 and 773 new positives.

Thursday’s new report indicated 38 new deaths in the state and 1,124 new cases since Sunday evening. And 169 new hospitalizations put the total amount of Floridians hospitalized throughout the pandemic at 2,841.

South Florida continues to be the state’s leading hot spot of COVID-19 as 109 people have died there, an increase of 12 since Monday morning’s report. Miami-Dade County also has 7,459 cases, an increase of 401 over Sunday, Broward County has 3,177, up 232, and Palm Beach County has 1,704, up 58.

Together, the three counties’ positives make up 59% of the state’s coronavirus caseload and 56% of the deceased.

Orange County is the only other county with more than 1,000 cases after 75 new cases Monday put that county at 1,024 total.

And because the disease disproportionately targets the elderly and those with underlying health conditions — the death rate for people 65 and older is 8% while it’s 2% statewide — the state is continuing its campaign to protect nursing homes. On Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced the Florida National Guard would have at least 10 teams of four guardsmen spot checking long-term care facilities, mostly in South Florida.

More than 1,000 residents and staff of those facilities have tested positive as outbreaks hit facilities not only the most populous counties but also Clay, Leon and Suwannee counties. Asymptomatic staffers who pass health screenings often cause the outbreaks that circulate among staff but can reach patients, even as staffers wear protective equipment.

However, the state has been under fire for not publishing the list facilities with infected residents and workers even as the Governor continues to tout the state’s data transparency.

The state now has the results of 199,767 who have been tested for the coronavirus. And 1,238 people await their results from DOH-coordinated labs, though thousands more likely await tests from private labs the state is not aware of.

Suwannee County became the latest county to record its first fatality.

Below are the list of 29 deaths since the state reported nine Monday morning and the death toll in the county to date:

Brevard: 6 total

— 94-year-old male

Broward: 77 total

— 77-year-old female

Citrus: 7 total

— 75-year-old male

Clay: 9 total

— 91-year-old female

Collier: 5 total

— 85-year-old male

Lee: 18 total

— 93-year-old person

Manatee: 15 total

— 82-year-old male

— 52-year-old male

Miami-Dade: 109 total

— 74-year-old male who had contact with a known case

— 71-year-old male

— 76-year-old female

— 89-year-old male

— 61-year-old female

— 76-year-old male

— 49-year-old male

— 56-year-old male

— 71-year-old male

— 91-year-old male

— 81-year-old male

— 72-year-old male

Palm Beach: 92 total

— 78-year-old male

— 78-year-old male

— 75-year-old male

— 89-year-old female

Polk: 9 total

— 91-year-old male who had contact with a known case

Sarasota: 14 total

— 69-year-old male

— 83-year-old male

St. Lucie: 7 total

— 76-year-old male

Suwannee: 1 total

— 77-year-old female who had contact with a known case

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