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State health officials reported more than 5,000 COVID-19 cases for a second time Thursday, following up on the record 5,511 cases listed Wednesday.
The 5,004 new cases put the state’s overall case count at 114,018, including 111,724 Florida residents. Despite the decrease in daily cases, Thursday’s new cases are five times what the state was seeing in late May, before confirmed cases began surging again.
Since Wednesday, 46 residents have died, raising the death toll to 3,327. Not included in the state’s death toll are 96 non-residents who have died in the state.
Another 201 Floridians were hospitalized, lifting the hospitalization count to 13,775. The Department of Health (DOH) also reported another two hospitalized non-residents, pushing that total count to 293.
On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis began highlighting the median age of new cases to demonstrate that most new cases are effecting younger patients while the uptick hasn’t effected the elderly, considered an at-risk population. On Wednesday, that age was 34.
Wednesday’s complete picture showed 59,202 tests issued, the largest single-day batch in the last two weeks possibly caused by a testing facility clearing a backlog. The percent positivity rate among people who weren’t previously known positives dropped below 10%, where it’s hovered the last 10 days, to reach 8.7%.
Emergency department visits for illnesses like the flu and COVID-19 are on the rise in recent days, particularly among those aged 19 to 54. After dropping to 19.3% 24 hours ago, 22.2% of adult ICU beds are available statewide. There are 4,755 adults in ICUs.
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 enables bars and movie theaters to reopen, but some chains like AMC are still not opening locations.
DeSantis will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. on Thursday in Tampa. The Bay Area has been one of the state’s resurgent hot spots this month.
Hillsborough County crossed 7,000 cases Thursday, precisely 7,329, after recording 437 new positives. Cases in Pinellas County are also on the rise with 4,669 total, an increase of 636.
Orange County, another resurgent county, added 730 new cases to push the total to 6,786.
New cases never fully subsided in South Florida, but have also increased there in recent weeks, DOH reported 885 new cases in Miami-Dade County, where now 28,664 have tested positive.
Broward County added 367 cases to reach 12,584 and Palm Beach County has 11,840 overall, including 304 on Thursday.