State health officials reported 3,286 new COVID-19 cases Tuesday as the trend of heightened positives and positivity rates continues.
At least 103,503 people have tested positive, including 101,306 Florida residents. The state crossed 100,000 cases Monday after the surge in novel coronavirus cases became undeniable last week. Cases confirmed last week account for more than a fifth of all cases in the state since officials first confirmed the virus’ presence in early March.
Another 65 residents died between Monday’s report and Tuesday’s update, a spike from the weekend. However, the state usually reports fewer fatalities over the weekend, often appearing in bulk on Tuesdays. The death toll for residents is now 3,238 with at least another 93 non-Floridians who have died in the state.
The Tuesday report included new 199 hospitalizations among residents, raising the overall count to 13,318. Another 288 non-Floridians have been hospitalized in the state.
A provisional report from 8:25 a.m. shows three additional cases and one fewer fatality. At the time of publication, that report had not been updated with the latest information.
But the provisional report is tracking a new metric — the median age of new cases. Beginning Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis began highlighting the median age to demonstrate that most new cases are effecting younger patients while the uptick hasn’t effected the elderly, considered an at-risk population.
“Not huge clinical consequences, but in terms of spread and in terms of some of the vulnerable populations eventually seeping in there, certainly a cause for concern,” he told reporters in Tallahassee Saturday.
The percent positivity rate of people who weren’t previously known positives was back above 10% Monday after a slight dip Sunday. At low points in May, that rate was below 1%, but often below 3%.
Although he still maintained that increased cases migrant farmers and inmates were contributing to the rise in cases, the Governor shifted his focus to the positivity rate, particularly among young adults.
“At the same time, we have to be honest and say it’s skewing younger, but it’s also escalating in terms of the positivity, especially in that community,” he added.
Emergency department visits for COVID- and flu-like illnesses are also on the rise in recent days, particularly among those aged 19 to 54. Still, 23.4% of ICU beds across the state are free.
Hospital capacity, hospital visits and positivity rates are some of the state’s main criteria for whether the reopening process should move forward. But DeSantis has said the state will not be “rolling back” its reopening plan.
Since June 5, Florida has been in Phase Two of three, which includes allowing 100% capacity at retailers and mass gatherings of 50 or less. It also will enable bars and movie theaters to reopen, but some chains like AMC are still not opening locations.
DeSantis will hold a press conference at 12:30 p.m. on Tuesday in Orlando, a growing hot spot for the virus.
The preliminary report for Tuesday shows 26,822 cases for Miami-Dade County, 583 more than on Monday, and Broward County added 417 cases to reach 11,744. In recent days, Palm Beach County has approached Broward with 11,180 overall, including 237 on Tuesday.
Hillsborough County crossed 6,000 cases Tuesday, now with 6,176 after recording 3203 new positives. Orange County has 5,502 total cases, with 345 new reports.