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Another 90 dead as South Florida records third-highest daily death toll of COVID-19 pandemic

The region’s top six highest daily death tolls have all been recorded in the past eight days.

Another 90 lives were lost to COVID-19 across South Florida’s tri-county area according to Florida Department of Health data released Wednesday.

Miami-Dade County recorded 51 new deaths. Another 21 died in Palm beach County, while Broward County saw 18 additional deaths.

The combined 90 deaths across the region is the third-highest daily death toll since the outbreak began. Even more troubling: the region’s top six highest daily death tolls have all been recorded in the past eight days.

There are no signs the trend will cease in the coming days. Weekend reports appeared to show the death toll declining after spiking late last week, but the trend has turned upward once again.

Hospitals in the region are still mostly overwhelmed. More than 91% of adult intensive care unit (ICU) beds in Miami-Dade and Broward counties are occupied. Palm Beach County is faring better, with 77% of those ICU beds occupied. The state average is nearly 85%. Capacity includes all ICU patients, not just those diagnosed with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, the region recorded fewer than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases for the second straight day. That’s less than half the regular daily total the tri-county area has recorded for weeks.

That dip, however, is largely due to testing sites being closed through the weekend due to Hurricane Isaias.

All three counties have seen the share of positive tests trending downward, which can be a sign the virus is spreading more slowly. However, that positive note alone does not account for the sharp decrease in new daily cases.

Regardless, deaths and hospitalizations are lagging indicators. Though new cases and the positivity rate has declined over the last two weeks in Broward and Miami-Dade, hospitalizations and deaths are still climbing.

Palm Beach has seen more stable numbers, with hospitalizations slightly declining and the daily death toll holding steady. In all, South Florida has now seen 220,586 confirmed positive cases.

Here are some of the weekly numbers for the previous three weeks throughout the South Florida tri-county area:

Miami-Dade

— July 15-21: 50 new hospitalizations per day, 20 deaths per day, 2,847 new confirmed cases per day, 19.1% positivity rate

— July 22-28: 65 new hospitalizations per day, 16 deaths per day, 2,961 new confirmed cases per day, 18.4% positivity rate

— July 29-Aug. 4: 83 new hospitalizations per day, 46 deaths per day, 1,833 new confirmed cases per day, 15.5% positivity rate

Broward

— July 15-21: 38 new hospitalizations per day, 9 deaths per day, 1,373 new confirmed cases per day, 14.7% positivity rate

— July 22-28: 43 new hospitalizations per day, 16 deaths per day, 1,320 new confirmed cases per day, 13.2% positivity rate

— July 29-Aug. 4: 45 new hospitalizations per day, 21 deaths per day, 924 new confirmed cases per day, 11.4% positivity rate

Palm Beach

— July 15-21: 31 new hospitalizations per day, 11 deaths per day, 671 new confirmed cases per day, 11% positivity rate

— July 22-28: 26 new hospitalizations per day, 12 deaths per day, 662 new confirmed cases per day, 10.2% positivity rate

— July 29-Aug. 4: 24 new hospitalizations per day, 12 deaths per day, 435 new confirmed cases per day, 9.3% positivity rate

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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, 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.

Written By

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.

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