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Central Florida’s COVID-19 hospitalizations, deaths trend upward

Positive test results for coronavirus, however, trend downward.

While positive-test result rates for the coronavirus continued a slight downward trend across much of Central Florida, trends for new COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continued upward with the latest reports from state officials.

Orange County had 17 people newly-admitted to hospitals for COVID-19 and nine die from the diseases according to Florida Department of Health data released Wednesday, compared with similar data released the day before. The 17 new admissions are the most Orange County hospitals have received in more than a month, and the nine deaths was the worst news Orange has received in any daily report.

In the same reports, six new COVID-19 deaths were recorded for Brevard County, three for Seminole County and one each for Lake and Volusia counties. The region experienced 20 recently-confirmed COVID-19 deaths that showed up in Wednesday’s reports, equalling the region’s record, reported last Thursday. In the past seven days, more than 12 deaths per day have been reported on average, up from a seven-day rolling average of just three deaths per day seen a week earlier.

At the same time 54 new hospitalized COVID-19 patients were reported across the six counties of Central Florida, Orange, Brevard, Seminole Lake, Volusia, and Osceola counties. That pushed the region’s seven day rolling average to 45 new admissions recorded per day, up from 27 a week earlier.

Overall, Orange received news of 532 newly-confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Wednesday’s report compared with data in Tuesday’s report, far less than the 1,371 seen in Sunday’s report, but still higher than normal for mid-week reports. Volusia received news of 192 newly-confirmed cases; Osceola, 176; Seminole, 129; Lake, 99; and Brevard 90. That high mid-week total pushed the region’s seven-day rolling average to 1,452 daily counts of newly-confirmed COVID-19 cases, a new worst point for the region, and up from 1,258 a week ago.

The good news for the region came in the test results returned Tuesday, which continued a gradual trend downward in the percentage of coronavirus tests coming back positive. The seven-day rolling average for the positive test results across the six counties dropped to 10.3% with the test results returned Tuesday, compared with 12.8% a week earlier and 13.3% for the week before that.

In Orange County, 9.2% of 5,174 test results returned Tuesday were positive, the second consecutive day that Orange’s rate was below 10%, the mark public health officials have repeatedly said is the threshold for concern. In Volusia, 12.6% of 1,327 test results were positive in Tuesday’s batch; Osceola, 15.5% of 943 results; Seminole 10.6% of 1,014 results; Brevard, 6.8% of 1,260 results; and Lake, 8.6% of 1,078 results.

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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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