State health officials confirmed the deaths of only 15 residents with COVID-19 in the last day, smallest death toll increase since late June.
Pandemic updated issued on Sundays typically include fewer new fatalities than reports issued Tuesday through Saturday. And outlying reports do occur, but the new recent low death toll is more evidence that the Sunshine State has rounded the corner past the worst of the pandemic.
Last Sunday, the state reported 51 deaths.
The largest increase to Florida’s death toll came Aug. 11 when it grew by 276. Over the last seven days, the death toll has grown by an average of 114 residents each day.
Overall, 11,119 Florida residents have died with COVID-19. That’s only 14 more than Saturday’s total because the Department of Health removed one death from its records. Another 144 non-Floridians have died, no change from Saturday.
Fifteen deaths is the fewest since June 22, when 12 residents died. That was also the day Florida passed 100,000 COVID-19 cases.
With 2,583 cases confirmed since Saturday’s report, now 621,586 people have tested positive for the virus, including 614,753 residents. For all-day Saturday, 2,735 residents with a median age of 43 tested positive.
Florida’s testing positivity rate continued trending down Saturday after 5.2% of those tested returned positive, up from 4.9% the day before. But the seven-day daily testing positivity average dropped from 5.9% to 5.8%.
Ten percent is the state’s self-imposed target threshold, but some medical experts have pointed to 5% as when services like schools could start reopening.
But despite the positivity rate falling below 10% and flirting with a 5% average, Gov. Ron DeSantis has stopped emphasizing the rate and is instead pointing to emergency department metrics. Emergency department visits and the statewide hospital census, DeSantis says, offer realtime data and aren’t contingent on reporting from private testing labs.
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. 16, those visits dropped to 1,889 and 3,559 respectively for a seventh consecutive week of decline.
Overall, 38,410 Floridians have been hospitalized, an increase of 96 since Saturday’s report. But the Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 3,791 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, down 19 from 24 hours earlier and the lowest since the agency began reporting that metric.
DOH has received results from 4.6 million Floridians and 19,000 non-residents tested for the virus. Among those tested were 60,074 individuals tested Saturday.
As schools reopen, DOH is tracking cases in the state’s youth. But the department hasn’t updated the report since Wednesday.
That followed the department removing a separate report on schools and higher education institutions Tuesday, according to the Florida Times-Union, after leaving it began publishing versions of it daily over the weekend prior.
The last of those reports, published Monday, showed 206 cases associated with daycares, included 121 people 18 years old or older. For primary and secondary schools, that count was 559, including 370 older than 18. In post-secondary schools, DOH had identified 155 cases.
As of Wednesday, 48,928 Floridians 17 or younger have tested positive, 611 have been hospitalized and eight have died. The youngest person to die in Florida was a 6-year-old Hillsborough County girl whose death the state reported on Friday.
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.