COVID-19 death toll on the rise in Central Florida

For the second day in a row, Central Florida shattered death toll records.

Thirty-five new deaths from COVID-19 were reported across the six Central Florida  counties Thursday, the second consecutive day the region saw the most ever reported by the Florida Department of Health.

A record-worst 18 new COVID-19 deaths were reported Thursday in Orange County, the day after Orange tied a previous-worst 14 death one-day toll and the Central Florida region recorded a then-worst 27 deaths in Wednesday’s state reports.

The greater-Orlando area’s rising death toll continues a pattern of virus fatality rates rising 10-12 days after the numbers of new COVID-19 admissions to hospitals show up in state reports, and about 20-25 days after caseloads climb. If those patterns continue, the worst is yet to come, as Central Florida’s and Orange County’s rolling seven-day averages for caseloads, while declining the past few days, peaked last Saturday, and the rolling seven-day average for new hospital admissions has not yet begun any consistent decline.

Since mid-March, when the coronavirus outbreak emerged, 156 people have died with the virus in Orange County hospitals, and 450 across the Central Florida region, including Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Volusia, Brevard, and Lake counties, according to state authorities.

Half of all of those COVID-19 deaths in Orange and across all of Central Florida have been reported in the past 15 days, the other half across the previous four months.

Across Central Florida, 32 deaths have been reported in the past two days in Orange County, bringing the county’s COVID-19 death toll to 156. In Seminole County, 10 new deaths reported Wednesday and Thursday brought its total to 56. In Brevard County, seven new deaths in two days brought its total to 60. In Volusia County six new deaths over two days brought its total to 92. In Osceola County, six new deaths in two days brought the county’s total to 49. In Lake, only one new death was reported since Tuesday, bringing the county’s COVID-19 death toll to 37.

Over the past seven days, Central Florida has been averaging 1,322 new COVID-19 cases per day with Thursday’s report. That rolling average has fallen from 1,507 on Wednesday, and from 1,647 a week earlier.

The number of hospitalizations reported across the region averaged 48 over the past seven days with Thursday’s report, down from 50 the day before, but up from 47 a week earlier.

The number of deaths reported reached a seven-day rolling average of 17.6 with Thursday’s report, up from 15.6 reported Wednesday, and up from 12.4 a week earlier.


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.

Scott Powers

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 [email protected].


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