State health officials reported 1,204 new COVID-19 diagnoses in the past 24 hours, a spike in the number of positive results compared to recent weeks.
The Thursday spike can be attributed, at least in part, to a return to average in the share of positive results and continued new testing.
On Tuesday, the Department of Health (DOH) received 77,940 test results, more than doubling the previous record number of tests set the day before. The state followed that up on Wednesday with 53,428 results, pushing the total number of people tested in Florida to 815,584 by the Thursday report.
The department also confirmed 49 deaths associated with COVID-19, including one non-resident. Now 2,222 people, including 2,144 residents, have died. A total of 9,200 people have been hospitalized after DOH confirmed 266 new hospitalizations, including one non-resident.
Now 1,001 residents and staff of long-term care facilities have tested positive for the novel coronavirus. That comes after DOH confirmed 33 new deaths involving nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
In the last 24 hours, 333 people in Miami-Dade County tested positive, raising the overall COVID-19 caseload there to 16,367 people. Thirteen people have died since Wednesday’s report, raising the county’s death toll to 611.
Broward County registered 107 new cases, raising its total to 6,514, and one person died, lifting the death toll there to 308. Palm Beach County now has 4,968 cases after DOH showed 192 new cases along with 17 deaths, bringing total deaths to 319.
Six other counties have more than 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases including Hillsborough with 1,767, Orange with 1,726, Lee with 1,585, Duval with 1,355, Collier with 1,112 and Pinellas with 1,109. Hillsborough overtook Orange and Collier overtook Pinellas Thursday.
Surgeon General Scott Rivkees acknowledged a syndrome that attacks children and is associated with COVID-19 has surfaced in Florida. During a call this week with hospital representatives, he encouraged physicians and hospitals to make sure they report any suspected cases of what is known as a “multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children” to DOH officials.
Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ administration is facing scrutiny from scientists after FLORIDA TODAY reported DOH’s GIS manager, Rebekah Jones, was removed from her role designing, managing and updating the dashboard.
But the Governor’s head spokeswoman, Helen Aguirre Ferré, bashed Jones Tuesday for a “repeated course of insubordination” during her time with the Department. And on Wednesday, DeSantis chimed in, noting that she had a history of bucking superiors in her recent duties.