Florida is once again seeing a record-setting day in terms of COVID-19 cases, and South Florida continues to be a major driver of that trend.
Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties added another 2,549 cases in Saturday’s report, which covers state data through Friday. Those three counties account for more than a quarter of the state’s nearly 9,600 new cases recorded.
That statewide number is another record, after Friday’s report showed nearly 9,000 new cases.
Thursday’s report showed a drop in the South Florida numbers after cases had climbed earlier in the week. The hope that things were stabilizing was short-lived, however, as those numbers shot back up in Friday’s report.
Saturday’s data largely shows a repeat of those Friday numbers, keeping steady a surge in cases. That climb has prompted local officials to begin ramping up social distancing enforcement and even partially pulling back on reopening measures.
Broward County recorded another 742 cases in Saturday’s report, with a 10.6% positivity rate. In Friday’s report, the county recorded 732 new cases with a positivity rate of 11.4%.
The positivity rate shows the share of cases which came back positive, and can help determine whether a rise in overall new cases is driven by an increase in testing or an increase in spread.
Experts say a consistent rate above 10% is reason for alarm.
Palm Beach County had 434 new cases in Saturday’s report. That’s down from Friday’s numbers, which showed 647 new cases.
That dip, however, is largely due to a reduction in testing. The positivity rate barely changed day-to-day, going from 10.7% Friday to 10.5% Saturday.
Miami-Dade County is again showing the highest numbers of the bunch. New cases dropped from 1,514 Friday to 1,373 Saturday.
Just like Palm Beach, however, the county also conducted fewer tests, leading to fewer cases being found. The positivity rate moved from a whopping 14.2% Friday to 14.1% Saturday.
While day-to-day trends can be volatile, the weekly trends are clear: the region is both seeing an increase in overall cases and a rise in the share of residents testing positive.
Younger Floridians have largely been the cause of the surge in cases. That prompted Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Giménez to close beaches during the July 4 weekend, where large crowds typically gather to celebrate the holiday.