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Florida’s rising death toll shows no signs of relenting Thursday as state health officials reported a record 173 new COVID-19 deaths Thursday.
The previous high of 156 fatalities came a week ago, but the weekly average of deaths has continued to rise, hitting 120 with the latest update. In total, 5,518 Floridians and 114 non-residents have died with the disease.
After Tuesday and Wednesday’s reports showed fewer than 10,000 new infections, the count was back above that mark with 10,249 new diagnoses. In total, 389,868 people, including 385,091 residents, have died in the state.
At the current rate of growth, Florida will cross 400,000 infections by the week’s end.
But while the death toll has trended upward, the rate of new infections is slowing. For Wednesday, the most recent complete day available, 12.3% of possible new cases tested positive, continuing the downward trend.
More than 3.2 million individuals have been tested in Florida, including 93,644 Wednesday. That’s down from the record 142,964 individuals set on July 11.
The new diagnoses cover residents and non-residents confirmed positive Wednesday morning to Thursday morning. For all day Wednesday, the state diagnosed 10,239 positive residents.
After the median age of new diagnoses hit a 42 Tuesday, the high mark since the median age plummeted from the 50s to the 30s in June, the median age was again 41 Wednesday.
Gov. Ron DeSantis has highlighted the downward rate of infections, as have health experts that have appeared at his press conferences, but the rising death toll, and a rising number of hospitalizations, will continue as hospitals battle a surge in medical demand.
As of Thursday, the Department of Health reports 22,644 Floridians have been hospitalized, including 401 since Wednesday. The Agency for Health Care Administration shows 9,553 people currently hospitalized for COVID-19 at the time of publication, 35 more than about 24 hours 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, 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.