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- Rebekah Jones
State health officials reported 70 new deaths tied to the novel coronavirus Tuesday.
At least 2,613 people have died with COVID-19 in Florida since the pandemic began, including 83 non-residents. The 70 people confirmed death were all residents.
However, that daily count does not reflect the number of people that died that day or in the 24 hours between reports. Rather, that count shows when COVID-19 when the Department of Health (DOH) first knew the death was tied to the disease, and it can take days to confirm a case.
The Department also confirmed 617 new cases, for 57,447 total, and 184 hospitalizations, for 10,678 total.
On Monday, DOH reported nine deaths, and on Sunday, it reported four deaths. The state confirms fewer deaths over weekends.
The most deaths in a single day, rather than when the death was reported, was 59 on May 4.
South Florida’s Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties still remain the state’s largest hot spots of the virus since Department of Health (DOH) officials confirmed the first two Florida cases three months ago.
Since Monday’s report, 85 people in Miami-Dade County have tested positive, raising the overall COVID-19 caseload there to 18,224 people. Twenty of the 70 people who died were tied to county, raising the death toll there to 733.
Broward County registered 52 new cases, raising its total to 7,248, and three people, now 338 total, died there. Palm Beach County now has 6,219 cases after DOH showed 84 new reports and 14 fatalities, now 364 total.
Eight other counties have more than 1,000 COVID-19 cases: Hillsborough with 2,285, Orange with 2,048, Lee with 1,967, Duval with 1,660, Collier with 1,605, Pinellas with 1,335, Manatee with 1,074 and Polk with 1,053. Escambia County is the next closest to crossing that threshold, now with 844 cases.
Florida has received as many as 77,934 individuals’ results in a single day, but Gov. Ron DeSantis and Division of Emergency Management Director Jared Moskowitz say the demand for tests falls short of the state’s expanding testing apparatus.
The state has tested 1,050,671 people for COVID-19, according to DOH’s dashboard. That’s up from the 1,041,318 shown tested in Monday’s report.
However, Rebekah Jones, the data manager fired from DOH amid questions she raised over the department’s handling of data, says that the count of total people tested is larger than what the department’s data details, now 878,162 as of Tuesday morning.
Jones emailed reporters late Monday to reiterate her concerns and to defend herself against allegations of misconduct, some criminal. She decried tabloids and a “targeted campaign” diminishing her role at the department.
“As a private American citizen, they called me an adulterer, predator, sexual deviant, temptress, seductress, stalker, harasser, sex-obsessed whore and just about every misogynistic thing a man could write about any woman without a grain of truth to it, but get away with if the woman they’re defaming is the slightest bit attractive,” Jones wrote, adding that “false stories” about her private life and children were “sickening.”