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South Florida adds record 4,695 new COVID-19 cases, nearing the 100K mark overall

ICU beds in more than a dozen hospitals in the region are now filled to capacity.

South Florida’s tri-county area added a daily record of 4,695 new COVID-19 cases, according to Wednesday’s report released by the Department of Health.

More than 2,900 of those cases came from Miami-Dade County alone.

The report covers data from Tuesday morning to Wednesday morning. Nearly 96,000 individuals throughout Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties have now tested positive since the outbreak began, positioning the region to cross 100,000 total cases in either Thursday’s or Friday’s report.

The record for daily coronavirus cases is in part due to testing capacity in the region being near its all-time daily peak. The share of positive tests remains near its levels in previous days, though those levels are still dangerously high.

Palm Beach County’s positivity rate among Florida residents dipped day-to-day from 15.5% in Tuesday’s report in 13.2% Wednesday.

Broward and Miami-Dade both saw increases, however. Broward’s positivity rate rose from 13% to 14.1%. Miami-Dade went from a 20.9% positivity rate to a 21.9% positivity rate in Wednesday’s report. The county has now seen more than one in five tests come back positive over the previous eight days.

One good sign is that Tuesday’s slight uptick in the Palm Beach County death rate appears to be a one-day blip. That number dropped again in Wednesday’s report, returning to a weekslong trend. The same was true in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.

That drop has been driven by younger Floridians contracting the virus in recent cases. Younger individuals are less likely to experience the virus’s worst effects. The median age of new cases has hovered in the high 30s and low 40s in the region for weeks.

Still, hospital capacity is a concern. Multiple hospitals in the region have no intensive care unit (ICU) beds remaining, according to data tracked by the state. It should be noted that not all of those beds are occupied by COVID-19 patients.

Still, in Broward County, Westside Regional Medical Center, Memorial Hospital Miramar, University Hospital and Medical Center, Plantation General Hospital, Broward Health Coral Springs and Broward Health Imperial Point all have 0% ICU bed capacity, according to the latest data.

In Miami-Dade, North Shore Medical Center, Coral Gables Hospital, Homestead Hospital, West Kendall Baptist Hospital and Westchester General Hospital are without ICU bed space. The same is true for JFK Medical Center’s North Campus and Lakeside Medical Center in Palm Beach County.

Several other big-name hospitals in the region have less than 10% of ICU bed space remaining, including Cleveland Clinic Hospital in Broward, Baptist Hospital of Miami and Boca Raton Regional Hospital.

The concern has led to some hospitals cutting back on elective surgeries and making other changes to preserve capacity as the virus continues to spread. The state has also agreed to send 100 emergency health care workers — including around 75 ICU-ready nurses — to assist the Jackson Health System.

The week-to-week trends continue to show the extent of that spread among Florida residents in the region. Here are the numbers for Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade Counties:

Miami-Dade

— June 17-23: 664 new cases per day, 13.2% positivity rate

— June 24-30: 1,448 new cases per day, 15.8% positivity rate

— July 1-7: 2,288 new cases per day, 20.3% positivity rate

Broward

— June 17-23: 346 new cases per day, 9.2% positivity rate

— June 24-30: 560 new cases per day, 10.9% positivity rate

— July 1-7: 1,088 new cases per day, 14.7% positivity rate

Palm Beach

— June 17-23: 297 new cases per day, 11% positivity rate

— June 24-30: 415 new cases per day, 10.7% positivity rate

— July 1-7: 535 new cases per day, 13.4% positivity rate

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Editor’s note on methodology: The Florida Department of Health releases new data every morning around 10:45 a.m. The total number reported in those daily reports include the previous day’s totals as well as the most up to date data as of about 9:30 a.m.

Florida Politics uses the report-over-report increase to document the number of new cases each day because it represents the most up-to-date data available. Some of the more specific data, including positivity rates and demographics, considers a different data set that includes only cases reported the previous day.

This is important to note because the DOH report lists different daily totals than our methodology to show day-over-day trends. Their numbers do not include nonresidents who tested positive in the state and they only include single-day data, therefore some data in the DOH report may appear lower than what we report.

Our methodology was established based on careful consideration among our editorial staff to capture both the most recent and accurate trends.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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