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Coronavirus in Florida

Record 133 deaths as Florida nears 300K COVID-19 case mark

State health officials confirmed at least 133 deaths in the last 24 hours, a record daily report for the state.

The Department of Health and Division of Emergency Management’s Tuesday morning report shows a net increase of 132 resident deaths and one non-resident death, bringing death tolls to 4,409 and 105, respectively. The previous record mortality in a single report was 120, reached Thursday.

The jump comes after two days of weekend data that interrupted a rash of more than 90 deaths per day. Before last week, the record for daily deaths among Floridians was 72, reached on May 5.

Despite the uptick in deaths, Gov. Ron DeSantis says the mortality rate for Florida’s COVID-19 cases is on the decline, which he attributes to the outbreak reaching a younger population and a better medical understanding of the virus.

But deaths are a lagging indicator of the virus, coming at least three weeks behind upticks in cases. About four weeks ago, Florida began seeing multiple thousands of new cases daily.

Tuesday’s report included 9,194 new cases, raising the total tally to 291,629, including 3,840 non-residents who have tested positive in the state. With those new cases, Florida is in range to cross 300,000 Wednesday morning.

The recent update also brought 383 new hospitalizations, lifting the total of those hospitalized to 18,881. At the time of publication, the Agency for Health Care Administration shows 8,189 individuals hospitalized with COVID-19, an increase of 104 from roughly a day earlier.

And 5,100, or 92 more, of the state’s 6,141 adult ICU beds are occupied, leaving 17% available. Some hospitals are starting to feel the crunch, with 53 showing full adult ICU wings. But Carlos Migoya, president and CEO of Jackson Health System, says the current stress on his hospital system is more about personnel than capacity.

The 9,194 new cases cover residents and non-residents confirmed positive Monday morning to Tuesday morning. For Monday only, the state diagnosed 9,261 positive residents.

Nearly 2.7 million individuals have been tested in Florida as federal officials provide temporary testing assistance in Jacksonville, providing about 34,000 samples daily until they pack up the operation Wednesday. On Monday, the state received results from 67,160 individuals, down from the record 142,970 individuals set Saturday.

As new cases have continued to rise in recent days, DeSantis has touted a decreasing positivity rate that has been on the decline to 11% after spiking to 18% on Wednesday. But on Monday, that rate was again up to 15%.

The median age of Monday’s new positive residents was again 41, the oldest median age since state health officials began reporting the metric last month. Officials began including it after DeSantis said the age had plummeted from the 50s to the early 30s in the second wave, or resurgent first, as he argued the new spread was mostly affecting low-risk Floridians.

Last week alone, the state counted 69,497 new positive residents.

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.

The state is deploying 1,000 medical professionals to hospitals statewide with 2,000 more in the can. Florida is also waiting for the Federal Emergency Management Agency to deploy 1,500 nurses to the state.

Florida’s county health departments told state officials they need 997 additional nurses to help in the COVID-19 response. The health departments in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties asked for an additional 400, 90 and 76 nurses, respectively.

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

The Department of Health reported 2,090 new cases in Miami-Dade County, where now 69,803 have tested positive. Broward County added 1,330 cases to reach 32,814 and Palm Beach County has 22,279 overall, including 473 more in Tuesday’s report.

Hillsborough County has 20,508 after receiving 680 new positives. Pinellas County has seen 11,754 cases total, an increase of 312.

Orange County, another resurgent area, now has 19,377 cases after counting 440 new positives.

Duval County reports 13,724 total cases, an increase of 354.

Lee County on Sunday became the latest county with more than 10,000 cases, now 10,631 after a rise of 287 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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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

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