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Orange County confirms 25 new COVID-19 deaths

Deaths are lagging indicators, reflecting new cases spikes in July.

Even with new caseloads and test results showing hope for the future, Orange County and much of Central Florida continue through the darkest days of the coronavirus crisis thus far, with deaths mounting.

On Thursday Orange County recorded its highest total of new COVID-19 fatalities yet, with 25 in 24 hours, while the six-county region suffered a total of 37 COVID-19 deaths, according to the latest Florida Department of Health COVID-19 status report released Thursday.

That comes the day after Seminole County recorded its deadliest day yet, with 16 COVID-19 related deaths reported there Wednesday, a day when the region received news of its worst overall day, with 50 deaths.

The two days broke what had been a three-day lull for new deaths reported across Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Volusia, and Lake counties.

At the same time, new hospital admissions, a leading indicator for deaths projected to occur 10 or 12 days later, also spiked upward again, after a couple of days that saw far fewer people hospitalized.

All of this comes as Central Florida’s numbers of new cases reported each day, and the positive test rates for the virus, continued a steady decline that has been underway for a couple of weeks. Those two factors are leading indicators for hospital admission to be expected 10-12 days later, and bode for better times in mid- to late-August.

In Orange County, 25 deaths were reported Thursday, and 21 people, the most in a week, were reported admitted to hospitals. The county recorded 351 new COVID-19 cases, one of the lowest daily totals seen since June. Just 6.4% of test results returned on Wednesday came back positive for the virus, well below the 10-18% range the county suffered throughout late June and the first half of July.

In Osceola County, two deaths and eight new hospital admissions were reported Thursday. Osceola saw 130 new cases reported Thursday, and still is receiving the region’s highest positive test rates, 12.5% for the results returned Wednesday and reported Thursday.

Volusia County saw three new COVID-19 fatalities and nine new hospital admissions reported Thursday. Volusia saw 116 new cases reported Thursday. Yet the county’s positive test rate of 5.5% for Wednesday’s batch of results was the lowest recorded there since June.

In Seminole County, four new COVID-19 deaths and 11 new hospitalizations were reported Thursday, a day after the county’s deadliest report. Seminole officials received news of 106 new cases, but also saw its positive test rate fall to 4.6%, the lowest recorded there since June.

In Brevard County, two deaths and two new hospital admissions were recorded, significant drop-offs from what county officials had seen in Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s reports, which combined to list 15 new deaths and 31 new hospital admissions. In Brevard, 82 new cases were reported Thursday, and the county continued to see positive test rates in the mid-single digits, the latest at 6.1%.

Lake County suffered one new COVID-19 death and saw eight people admitted to hospitals, according to Thursday’s report. Lake officials received news on just 46 new cases, and saw a positive-test rate of just 3.4%.

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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 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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