Weekend COVID-19 reporting lull brings 1,838 cases, 22 deaths

Flag of the state of Florida on the wall with covid-19 quarantine symbol on it. 2019 - 2020 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) concept, for an outbreak occurs in Florida, US.
As of Labor Day, 648,269 have tested positive and 12,023 have died.

State health officials on Monday reported 1,838 total COVID-19 diagnoses and 22 fatalities tied to the virus, a continuation of favorable trends for Florida.

The Department of Health now shows that 648,269 people, including 639,166 Floridians, have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in the Sunshine State. With the newly confirmed deaths, 12,023 people have died in Florida, including 11,871 residents.

Those updates come in the 24 hours since DOH and the Division of Emergency Management released their previous report Sunday morning.

Over the last seven days, the death toll has grown by an average of 98 residents, down from a peak average of 185 a month ago. Monday also marks the first time since deaths surged in Florida that the average daily death toll fell below 100.

The new cases cover results returned between Sunday morning and Monday morning. For all-day Monday, DOH received 1,888 positive cases with a median age of 40, a drop from a recent high of 46 as schools and universities reopen but up from a median of 35 the day before.

Florida typically records fewer cases and fatalities on Sundays and Mondays. Those reports mostly cover data reported to the state over the weekend.

The fastest-growing age cohort for the virus is Floridians aged 15 to 24. Of those positive cases from Sunday, 451 — or 24% — of all positives came from that age group.

Seven days prior, 219 of the 1,916 positive cases — or 11% — came from that age group. That day, 263 people between 45 and 54 tested positive.

Sunday’s cases continued a trend that began this month. In the past week, other age cohorts have remained mostly stable with no one group rising above 17% of the share of new cases.

The summer Sunbelt COVID-19 resurgence was precipitated by a surge in COVID-19 cases among younger Floridians. In June, Gov. Ron DeSantis pointed to a dramatic drop in the median age of positive cases from the 50s to the mid and low 30s.

Before the recent uptick, the share of new cases was roughly evenly distributed across those aged 15 to 64, spanning five age cohorts. The number of new cases aged 15 to 24 is now more than double that of the next-closest age cohort.

Because of inconsistent reporting and the lag times for confirming cases, DeSantis has shifted his focus to emergency department visits. But the Governor’s Communications Director, Fred Piccolo, told Florida Politics that people between 15 and 24 are “by far the best equipped to handle and not pass on COVID-19.”

“It is a statistic we are monitoring but as Dr. (Scott) Atlas said, cases are not the metric to gauge success,” Piccolo said in an email. “Symptomatic infection and mortality rates are where we should keep our focus.”

Outbreaks in schools will happen, but spread among low-risk children would do little to spread it to adults, Atlas — a recent appointee to the White House Coronavirus Task Force — told reporters during a three-stop tour of Florida 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. Last week, those visits dropped to 1,841 and 3,290, respectively, for an eighth consecutive week of decline.

Overall, 40,083 Floridians have been hospitalized, an increase of 59 since Sunday’s report. But the Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 3,160 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, down three from 24 hours earlier, and the lowest since the agency began reporting that metric.

In total, 4.8 million Floridians have been tested for COVID-19, as have 19,975 nonresidents in the state. On Sunday, DOH received 46,390 test results.

The positivity rate Sunday fell from 5% to 4.6%. Over the last seven days, each day’s positivity rate has averaged 5.4%.

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.

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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 nonresidents 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.

Staff Reports



#FlaPol

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