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Coronavirus in Florida

As U.S. grapples with virus, Florida hits record case increase

The previous record of new cases was

State officials reported a walloping 15,300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday morning overshadowing the previous daily record by nearly 4,000.

With the new diagnoses, 269,811 people, including 266,119 Florida residents, have tested positive in the Sunshine State.

On the Fourth of July, the Department of Health and Division of Emergency Management reported 11,458 new diagnoses, which stood as the daily record until Sunday’s update. Reporting more than 10,000 new cases per morning update became a semi-regular occurrence over the past week, including Saturday, when the state reported 10,360 new positives.

The 15,300 new cases cover Saturday morning to Sunday morning. For Saturday only, the state diagnosed 15,299 positive residents.

The spike in total cases comes the day after Gov. Ron DeSantis said the spread of new cases had “plateaued” over the last two weeks. But while the raw number of cases continues to set new highs, the percent positivity rate is inching downward.

The state counted 142,981 new samples Saturday, 50% higher than the 95,335 individuals counted Thursday, the previous testing record.

Among those people who were prospective new positive cases, 11.3% returned positive. That’s still above the state’s target 10% positivity rate, but below the 15%, 16% and even 18% the state hit over the past two weeks.

“We increased from the end of June into July, but it’s been plateaued for the last two weeks, which is a good sign,” DeSantis told reporters Saturday. “We’d rather be plateaued at 4%, but we didn’t want to see it continue to just go up and up.”

But while he highlighted the bright side of several thousands of new confirmed cases, deaths have started to tick upward. As of Sunday morning, 4,242 residents and 104 non-residents have died in Florida, an increase of 45 residents.

Since Thursday, Florida recorded three straight days of more than 90 confirmed fatalities. Sunday put an end to that streak, but the state typically reports fewer fatalities on Sunday.

Another 248 residents were confirmed with COVID-19 cases in hospitals. Throughout the pandemic, 18,271 Floridians have been hospitalized.

At the time of publication, 7,446 people are hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. And 4,975 of the state’s 6,131 adult ICU beds are occupied, leaving 18.9% available.

Emergency departments are noticing a downward trend in recent days of the number of visits for symptoms tied to COVID-19 and the flu. But DeSantis warned that could be “more noise than signal,” instead bookmarking that metric as something to revisit in the coming days.

While South Florida remains the largest hot spot, cases are also growing in Central Florida, Southwest Florida and the Jacksonville area.

DOH reported 3,576 new cases in Miami-Dade County, where now 64,444 have tested positive. Broward County added 1,772 cases to reach 30,025 and Palm Beach County has 20,018 overall, including 1,171 more in Sunday’s report.

Hillsborough County has 19,150 after receiving 790 new positives. Cases in Pinellas County are also on the rise with 10,844 total, an increase of 248.

Orange County, another resurgent county, now has 18,001 cases after counting 1,371 new positives.

Duval County reports 12,864 total cases, an increase of 577.

Lee County became the latest county with more than 10,000 cases, now 10,123 after a jump of 1,275 cases

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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 non-residents 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.

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