South Florida posts sixth-highest daily COVID-19 death toll, reversing days-long trend

A medical professional applies a breathing device to an elderly woman to relieve symptoms possible caused by the coronavirus.
Tuesday's report shows just how volatile the region's fight against the virus remains.

South Florida’s tri-county area reversed days of positive trends Tuesday, as the region saw 74 new deaths reported as a result of COVID-19.

That’s the sixth-highest daily death toll the region has seen since the pandemic began. It comes the same day the state posted its highest-ever daily death toll at 276.

South Florida had recently begun seeing a respite after recording 90 deaths in last Wednesday’s report. That marked the region’s third-highest daily toll.

Over the next five days, the average daily death toll dropped to just 38. That number had declined for three consecutive days, with 32 deaths recorded Monday.

Tuesday’s report from the Department of Health saw the daily death toll more than double. That report covers data from Monday morning through Tuesday morning. Broward and Miami-Dade counties each recorded 35 new deaths, while four people died in Palm Beach County.

All three counties also saw a day-to-day increase in the share of coronavirus tests coming back positive. That daily number can fluctuate, however, and the weekly trends continue to show downward movement.

Still, Tuesday’s report shows just how volatile the region’s fight against the virus remains. Promising signs continue to emerge here and there, only to be dashed days later with a surge in deaths, hospitalizations or new cases.

The weekly trends only cement that haziness. While the positivity rate and average daily death toll is trending downward the past two weeks, the average number of daily hospitalizations, a lagging indicator from new cases, continues to climb.

That number had been going down day-to-day in Broward and Miami-Dade. Tuesday’s report, however, saw 98 new hospitalizations in Broward and 74 new hospitalizations in Miami-Dade.

Both counties had routinely seen around 90% of adult intensive care unit (ICU) beds occupied in recent weeks. That metric had dropped in recent days and remains below 88% in Broward and around 86% in Miami-Dade. That’s a tick upward from Monday morning’s numbers and remains above the state level of 81.7% capacity.

Adult ICU beds in Palm Beach sit at less than 74% capacity.

Broward and Palm Beach have remained below a 10% positivity rate over the previous week thanks to strict social distancing measures being implemented in those counties. Miami-Dade’s number is trending downward as well but remains at 13.2% for the past week.

Deaths and hospitalizations are lagging indicators, however. Tuesday’s report shows the region may still need more time before those two metrics drop for good.

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


— July 21-27: 64 new hospitalizations per day, 14 deaths per day, 2,952 new confirmed cases per day, 18.5% positivity rate

— July 28-Aug. 3: 75 new hospitalizations per day, 43 deaths per day, 2,058 new confirmed cases per day, 15.7% positivity rate

— Aug. 4-10: 85 new hospitalizations per day, 26 deaths per day, 1,482 new confirmed cases per day, 13.2% positivity rate


— July 21-27: 42 new hospitalizations per day, 13 deaths per day, 1,296 new confirmed cases per day, 13.1% positivity rate

— July 28-Aug. 3: 43 new hospitalizations per day, 23 deaths per day, 1,046 new confirmed cases per day, 11.8% positivity rate

— Aug. 4-10: 82 new hospitalizations per day, 13 deaths per day, 694 new confirmed cases per day, 9.3% positivity rate

Palm Beach

— July 21-27: 25 new hospitalizations per day, 11 deaths per day, 660 new confirmed cases per day, 10.3% positivity rate

— July 28-Aug. 3: 22 new hospitalizations per day, 12 deaths per day, 470 new confirmed cases per day, 9.3% positivity rate

— Aug. 4-10: 29 new hospitalizations per day, 11 deaths per day, 383 new confirmed cases per day, 7.9% positivity rate


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.

Ryan Nicol

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 [email protected].

One comment

  • Paula

    August 11, 2020 at 3:44 pm

    Don’t you think there is a correlation with the hurricane/approaching hurricane and the statistics?

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704