State health officials reported Friday an additional 7,686 COVID-19 diagnoses as hopeful trends continue for the state.
At the peak of the pandemic’s resurgence in July, sometimes more than 10,000 people tested positive daily. But while recent positive confirmations may be artificially depressed because testing sites closed as Hurricane Isaias loomed over the state, the percent positivity rate has trended down.
Daily fatalities, while still high, have started turning down, too. Since Thursday’s report, officials confirmed the deaths of 180 Floridians.
Last week, officials confirmed 1,245 deaths, the most of any week since outbreaks were confirmed in Florida in March. And a week ago, the state tallied a record 257 deaths in 24 hours. But this week, deaths appeared to slow down.
Overall, 7,927 Floridians and 124 non-residents have died in the state.
However, confirmed hospitalizations are trending upward, with another 599 residents hospitalized as of Friday. In total, 29,730 Floridians have been hospitalized with COVID-19 throughout the pandemic.
The Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 7,182 individuals are currently hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, 167 fewer than about 24 hours earlier.
Emergency department visits, which Gov. Ron DeSantis now says is his preferred metric for tracking the pandemic, are also showing positive signs. Visits for cough and fever have been in decline since early July, and visits for shortness of breath have been in decline since mid-July.
The new diagnoses reported Friday comprised residents and non-residents whose diagnoses DOH confirmed between Thursday morning and Friday morning. For all day Thursday, the state confirmed cases in 7,719 residents.
For Thursday, the percent positivity rate was back in the double digits at 10.1%. But for the first time since June, the seven-day average for the daily positivity rate barely fell to single digits at 9.95%.
On Thursday, Florida received test results from 87,725 individuals. The state has tested more than 3.9 million people for COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
In total, 518,075 people, including 5,654 non-Floridians, have tested positive in the state.
Twenty-four of Florida’s 67 counties were included on the federal government’s list of hot spots.
In nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, officials counted 77 resident and staff deaths for a total of 3,378.
For months, DeSantis has said he hopes to allow visitation again in long-term care facilities. He announced a task force Thursday evening to find a way to reopen those facilities to family members.
“The last four and a half months have been difficult for all Floridians, especially our residents in long-term care facilities and their families,” he said in a statement.
Nearly 70% of the state’s nursing homes will receive rapid test kits from the federal government in the coming weeks after being identified by regulators as having increased risks for COVID-19 infections.
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.