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High testing effort yields high virus confirmations in Central Florida

936 new cases in Orange County 275 in Osceola County

Another large batch of COVID-19 test results returned Sunday yielded another large number of newly-confirmed COVID-19 cases throughout Central Florida Monday.

Orange County logged another 936 COVID-19 cases in the latest report from the Florida Department of Health compared with the report issued 24 hours earlier. Osceola County tallied 275 new case; Seminole County, 237 new cases; and Volusia County, 167.

For each of those, and for Brevard and Lake Counties, which logged 141 and 128 new cases respectively, the Monday report represented the highest totals of new coronavirus cases reported on any Monday, a day which normally provides results from a light return of tests, and, consequently, usually the lowest totals of new virus cases recorded on any weekday.

The 1,884 new cases logged Monday was the third-most Central Florida has suffered, behind the record 2,249 reported Sunday, and the report from the Fourth of July.

However, on Sunday the six-county greater Orlando area received results from 18,049 tests, about triple what usually comes back on Sundays, and the second biggest batch of fresh test results ever seen in Central Florida, behind only the 21,237 that came in on Saturday.

Consequently, the caseload grew dramatically while at the same time the positive test rate fell, to 9.3% positive across Central Florida. Mixed signals.

Statewide the same pattern showed up Monday. After Florida reported 15,300 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, a national record for the largest one-day update from a single state, state health officials tallied 12,614 new diagnoses Monday morning.

With the new diagnoses, 282,435 people, including 278,667 Florida residents, have tested positive in the Sunshine State. Had the state not reported 15,300 cases the day prior, Monday’s update would have constituted a new state record for new cases.

According to the latest state reports, Orange County reported a 10.7% positive test rate on 7,689 new results that came in Monday. Osceola County reported a 13.4% positive test rate on 1,740 test results. Seminole County reported a 10.5% positive test rate on 1,984 new results. Volusia reported a 6.6% positive test rate, the lowest Volusia officials have seen in more than two weeks, on 2,244 new results. Brevard’s 5.0% positive test rate also was a new low for the month of July, recorded against 2,575 new results that came in Sunday. Lake County had a 6.7% positive test rate on 1,817 results, a slight uptick from the rate seen the previous couple of days.

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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, consider 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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