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While some candidates didn’t have had the evening they hoped for during Tuesday’s Election Night, Florida saw the COVID-19 pandemic continue to improve.
Wednesday morning, state health officials reported 4,115 new diagnoses as Tuesday’s testing positivity rate again dropped to its recent low of 7.1% — the lowest mark since mid-June.
At the height of the pandemic, one report charted an 18.4% positivity rate and another one tallied 15,300 new cases in Florida.
Tuesday was also the eighth consecutive day with the positivity rate in the single digits. The seven-day testing rate average fell to 8% following the Wednesday update.
With the newly reported cases, 584,047 people have tested positive in Florida, including 6,156 non-residents.
The new cases cover residents and non-residents confirmed positive Tuesday morning to Wednesday morning. For all-day Tuesday, the state diagnosed 4,201 positive residents, with a median age of 42.
Together with the depressed positivity rate, officials received 67,822 test results. Through Wednesday morning, 4.3 million Floridians have been tested, as have 19,000 non-residents in the state.
After officials confirmed 176 new resident deaths since Tuesday’s report, 9932 Floridians have died, a net increase of 174. Additionally, 135 non-residents have died.
But deaths are also a lagging indicator of the pandemic. Deaths can occur weeks after someone tests positive, and people testing positive were likely infected a week or more prior.
Of those newly-confirmed deaths, 13 occurred outside the last 30 days and beyond the scope of the report’s timeline. Of those visible new fatalities, 21 occurred on Monday and 19 occurred on Tuesday.
Within the last 30 days, July 20 was the deadliest day when 184 Floridians died.
And while newly confirmed hospitalizations remain high — 505 in Wednesday’s report — hospitals are showing improving trends.
Overall, 35,200 people have been hospitalized. But the Agency for Health Care Administration reports 5,325 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, down 158 from 24 hours earlier.
Emergency department visits, Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ preferred metric for tracking the pandemic, declined last week. The week of July 5 saw 6,255 emergency department visits with flu-like illnesses and 15,999 for illnesses like COVID-19. For the week of Aug. 9, those visits dropped to 2,187 and 4,835 respectively.
“Those are all good trends,” DeSantis told reporters about declining visits and positivity rates. “Those are all positive signs.”
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, consider 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.