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Central Florida hospital admissions, deaths continue while caseload trends downward

New cases are trending down, but not deaths or admissions.

The coronavirus crisis continued to show longterm hopeful signs of declining new caseloads Thursday, but there was no good news regarding the immediate and near-future outlook for the most seriously sick and dying COVID-19 patients.

According to the latest state reports Thursday morning, 28 more Central Floridians died with COVID-19 since Wednesday’s report, including 13 in Brevard County and nine in Orange County. That was fewer for the region than the 34 deaths reported Tuesday and 46 on Wednesday, but continues a high fatality count that’s been ongoing for most of the past 10 days.

Statewide the picture also was grim Thursday, as state health officials confirmed a new worst day yet for fatalities, with 253 residents confirmed dead with COVID-19.

As a foreboding indicator of times to come, another 85 Central Florida residents with the virus were reported admitted to area hospitals, including 31 in Orange and 23 in Seminole County, on Thursday.

The six counties, Orange, Brevard, Seminole, Osceola, Volusia, and Lake, have been averaging 65 new hospital admissions per day for the past week, the highest average the region has seen since the crisis began in March, and more than double what was seen until about July 10.

Yet the leading indicator, the numbers of new cases, continued a slight but steady downward trend that has been underway for a couple of weeks, according to the new reports. Typically, hospital admissions rise and fall about 10 or so days after the trends for new cases, and COVID-19 fatalities about 10 or so days after hospital admissions.

Thursday’s report from the Florida Department of Health revealed 400 new cases in Orange, 151 in Osceola, 135 in Volusia, 86 in Seminole, 82 in Lake, and 79 in Brevard. The 933 cases total for the region were slightly more than what was reported Wednesday, but otherwise continued a declining trend seen since July 16, when the region saw a worst-ever 2,512 new COVID-19 cases confirmed.

The rate of new coronavirus tests coming back positive also continued showing a positive trend. Across the region, only Osceola County saw a positive test rate over 10% for the batch of results returned Wednesday, and just barely, at 10.5%.

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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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