More than 8,000 Floridians have died with COVID-19 throughout the pandemic as the death toll continues its march upward.
Since Friday’s report, state health officials have confirmed the deaths of 187 people, including five non-Floridians. In total, 8,109 Florida residents and 129 residents have died in the state.
For the second week in a row, officials confirmed the deaths of more than 1,000 residents. However, the week’s death toll is down from last week, when 1,245 Floridians were reported dead.
That week, officials also distributed the state’s deadliest report, tallying 257 dead residents on July 31.
The seven-day death toll average reached as high as 185 Wednesday, but has sine decreased to 155, suggesting the state may be at the peak of daily fatalities.
There are other positive signs for the state. The percent positivity rate of tests is declining, emergency department visits are down, and hospitals have been recording a decreasing hospital census.
For the fourth time in a week, officials counted single-digit positivity rates in Florida. Friday’s positivity rate, the most recent available, was 9.9%, dragging the seven-day average of that metric down to 9.8%.
Emergency department 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. Gov. Ron DeSantis now says that is his preferred metric for tracking the pandemic.
And while the Department of Health counted another relative high 521 hospitalizations for more than 30,000 hospitalized residents total, the Agency for Health Care Administration shows people leaving hospitals faster than they are entering. According to AHCA, 6,910 people are currently hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, down 272 from 24 hours earlier.
But with testing rebounding after Hurricane Isaias forced drive-thru sites to close, DOH reported 8,502 new diagnoses Saturday. Overall, 520,846Floridians and 5,731 non-residents have tested positive in the state.
The new diagnoses reported Saturday comprised residents and non-residents whose diagnoses DOH confirmed between Friday morning and Saturday morning. For all day Friday, the state confirmed cases in 8,541 residents.
Nearly 4 million people have been tested for COVID-19. On Friday, the state received 99,725 results.
In nursing homes and other long-term care facilities, officials counted 84 resident and staff deaths for a total of 3,462.
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.
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.