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15 more COVID-19 deaths across Central Florida

For months, death tolls across Central Florida were below 5.

For the second day in a row, the new coronavirus took a heavy death toll across Central Florida, as the six-county region recorded 15 deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the latest report from the Florida Department of Health.

The latest toll included nine more deaths recorded in Orange County and five more in Volusia County, which the previous day had suffered six and five deaths respectively. The other death reported in Central Florida Friday occurred in Brevard County, which the day before had also suffered six deaths.

The day before, the 20 deaths reported by the Florida Department of Health in Thursday’s update on Florida’s COVID-19 outbreak were a startling break from what had been seen in previous weeks, when the daily death toll was always in the single digits, usually fewer than five, across the Central Florida region. The 15 reported Friday suggests more than just a fluke spike in deaths.

Central Florida’s experience is consistent with Florida’s as a whole. On Friday state health officials confirmed another 93 Florida resident deaths tied to COVID-19 over the past 24 hours, putting the state’s death toll at 4,102 as of Friday morning. That followed a record-shattering 120 new deaths included in Thursday’s update.

The tragic news comes as the overall counts for the six counties across greater Orlando continued to show signs of having plateaued after peaking at the end of June and the beginning of July.

Yet data since March have shown that daily totals of deaths from COVID-19 tend to go up and down about 21 to 25 days after the numbers of newly-confirmed cases rise and fall. Central Florida’s COVID-19 case totals began what had become a dramatic rise in numbers around June 18. That was 21 days ago.

Friday’s report showed state officials had logged 553 new COVID-19 cases in Orange County since the Thursday report, up from the 401 the previous day, and 426 the day before that. In Friday’s report, Volusia County logged 220 new cases; Osceola County, 192; Seminole County, 161, Brevard County, 119, and Lake County, 117.

Overall, the region saw 1,362 new cases of COVID-19 recorded, the highest number since last Sunday. Yet the region’s rolling seven-day average of daily totals remain relatively unchanged, at 1,225, which is down by more than 100 new cases per day from a peak seen late last week.

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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

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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