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With President Donald Trump calling Florida’s COVID-19 pandemic “flamelike” Sunday, state health officials reported 12,478 new cases and 89 fatalities tied to the virus.
With Sunday morning’s update, 350,047 people, including 345,612 Floridians, have tested positive within the state. The death toll among the residents rose to 4,982, and two of the 89 newly reported deaths came from out-of-state visitors, raising the death toll among non-residents to 109.
The health officials typically reports fewer fatalities on Sundays and Mondays. But while deaths are down from the spike the state experienced over the past 10 days, the count of 89 fatalities is not far from the rash rash of 100 deaths that were unthinkable a month ago.
In an exclusive interview with Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, Trump defended his “embers” comment about the country’s COVID-19 cases, but with a caveat.
“We have embers, and we do have flames,” Trump said. “Florida became — more flamelike, but it’s going to be under control.”
On Friday, Gov. Ron DeSantis was asked if he takes responsibility for the thousands dead in the state. However, he declined to answer the question directly.
“I think every time you have fatalities for any reason, I think it’s a tragedy and we certainly have seen fatalities in Florida, particularly recently,” he said. “We’ve seen fatalities particularly in places down in Miami-Dade, and it’s a terrible, terrible thing.”
But a rising number of the state’s elderly population, an at-risk demographic for severe infects, have tested positive in the weeks since the median age of new cases plummeted from the 50s to the early 30s throughout the end of May and beginning of April.
Again Saturday, the most recent complete day for which the state has data, the median age of people testing positive was 41. That’s been the metric’s ceiling since the state started reporting it when it was still in the low 30s.
Deaths are a lagging indicator of the virus, coming at least three weeks behind upticks in cases. About five weeks ago, Florida began seeing multiple thousands of new cases daily.
The Department of Health has also counted an elevated number of hospitalizations, including 339 since Saturday’s report to raise the state’s total to 20,971. That includes the 9,318 the Agency for Health Care Administration currently shows hospitalized with the disease, about 167 more than about 24 hours earlier.
The 12,478 new cases cover residents and non-residents confirmed positive Saturday morning to Sunday morning. For all day Saturday, the state diagnosed 12,523 positive residents.
The percent positivity rate for prospective new cases has been declining over the last two weeks from above 15% to 11.9% Saturday. That trend has played out in parts of the state like Central Florida, leading the Governor to speculate that the region could soon be through the worst of the storm.
The positivity rate statewide was below 3% in the second half of May.
On Wednesday, Florida crossed 300,000 COVID-19 cases. It took Florida 114 days to record its first 100,000 COVID-19 cases between March 1 and June 22. It took 13 days to record the second 100,000 and 10 days to reach the third.
Four days later, the state is halfway to the fourth 100,000.
More than 3 million individuals have been tested in Florida, including 115,149 Saturday. That is rising again but down from the record 142,966 individuals set just over a week ago.
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.