State health officials have now reported more than 50,000 COVID-19 cases throughout the pandemic following officials’ latest update.
The Department of Health (DOH) reported 676 newly confirmed cases in a Saturday morning report, raising the total number of confirmed cases to 50,127. That count includes 48,814 Florida residents.
Another 44 people were confirmed dead in the last 24 hours, including one non-resident. Now 2,312 people have died with the novel coronavirus, including 79 non-residents who died in the state.
Another 195 people, including two non-residents, were hospitalized with the disease. Since the start of the pandemic, 9,310 residents and 257 non-residents have been hospitalized with COVID-19.
Since Friday’s report, 172 people in Miami-Dade County tested positive, raising the overall COVID-19 caseload there to 16,694 people. Fifteen people were confirmed dead since that report, raising the county’s death toll to 639.
Broward County registered 69 new cases, raising its total to 6,649 and the death toll rose to 314 after six new people were confirmed dead. Palm Beach County now has 5,140 cases after DOH showed 68 new cases along with four deaths, bringing total deaths to 326.
Six other counties have more than 1,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases including Hillsborough with 1,823, Orange with 1,768, Lee with 1,677, Duval with 1,406, Collier with 1,195 and Pinellas with 1,153.
Gov. Ron DeSantis says week saw an “explosion” in diagnostic testing with 77,940 tests received Tuesday and 53,428 the day after, up from a previous single-day high of 33,663, set Monday. On Thursday, DOH received 27,261 test results.
As of Saturday, 858,112 people have been tested for the disease.
The Governor on Friday lifted restrictions on youth activities, including youth sports and summer camps, effective immediately. Local governments may still make decisions based on their communities but are no longer required to restrict youth activities.
Earlier this week, one of the people entering data on Florida’s coronavirus dashboard was fired in a dispute over what information should be made public. Rebekah Jones, who says she helped design the site, said she was fired because she would not manually change data to support the Governor’s decision to begin the reopening of the state.
Later, DeSantis blasted Jones at a press availability, reinforcing the narrative that she was let go for good reason.
“What she was doing was putting data on the portal which the scientists didn’t believe was valid data,” DeSantis said. “So she didn’t listen to the people who were her superiors. She had many people above her in the chain of command.”
During the interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Friday, Jones gave her side of the story regarding the data. She said she was asked to alter presentation because higher-ups “did not like the results.”
“The results didn’t match the report for reopening that had already been written,” she said. “Basically a lot of rural counties for a wide range of reasons, didn’t meet the criteria that the state had outlined in order to qualify for reopening. Whereas some more populated counties did meet that criteria, and I was told that specifically, and this is a quote, ‘We can’t tell Jackson and Franklin counties that they can’t reopen, but Broward and Miami-Dade can’.”