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State health officials confirmed 5,511 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, overshadowing the previous record for new cases listed in one report.
The new cases in Wednesday’s report put the overall diagnoses in Florida at 109,014, including 106,743 state residents. On Saturday, the Department of Health (DOH) showed 4,049 new cases, making Wednesday’s cases a 25% jump from that prior record and triple the level of just two weeks ago.
Wednesday’s report also shows the complete picture for Tuesday, revealing 5,499 cases over the course of the day. The median age of new cases — a new metric Gov. Ron DeSantis is emphasizing — returned to 33 and the positivity rate of people who hadn’t previously tested positive reached 15.9%, another daily record.
The percent positivity rate of people who weren’t previously known positives returned to 10% Monday after a slight dip Sunday. At low points in May, that rate was below 1%, but often below 3%.
Two weeks ago, Florida’s one-day record for confirmed coronavirus cases was 1,601, set in mid-May. That has been exceeded every day since June 12, and the seven-day average for tests coming back positive has tripled from 3.8% on June 1 to 13%.
Another 43 Floridians died, raising the death toll to 3,281. At least 93 non-residents not included in that count have died in the state.
And 256 Floridians were hospitalized with the disease, a slight uptick in the daily trend. In total, 13,574 residents and at least 288 non-residents have been hospitalized.
On Friday, 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.
Emergency department visits for COVID- and flu-like illnesses are also on the rise in recent days, particularly among those aged 19 to 54. Adult ICU bed availability is also down across the state as the percentage of free beds dropped more than 4 percentage points to 19.3% in the last 24 hours.
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 because of the bulk of cases affect younger, low-risk demographics.
“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.
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 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday in Hialeah. Miami-Dade County has been the single-largest hot spot for the virus and is one of three South Florida counties on a delayed reopening timeline.
DOH reported nearly 1,000 new cases in Miami-Dade County alone, where now 27,779 have tested positive. Broward County added 473 cases to reach 12,217 and Palm Beach County has 11,536 overall, including 356 on Wednesday.
Hillsborough County crossed 6,000 cases Tuesday, now with 6,892 after recording 716 new positives. Orange County reached 6,000 cases Wednesday, with 554 new reports pushing the total to 6,056.