South Florida’s tri-county area added another 92 COVID-19 deaths in Wednesday’s Department of Health report.
The virus has now claimed the lives of 5,162 residents across Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties. The death toll was accelerated by an uptick in the virus’s spread in June and July.
Current trends for the region do show officials now have a better control of the virus. Many of Wednesday’s newly-reported deaths occurred days or weeks prior. When sorted by the actual date of death, state data continues to show the death toll trending downward since early August.
South Florida is seeing a similar downward trend in new infections, with the infection rate dropping in all three major counties for weeks. From Sept. 2-8, Broward and Palm Beach counties saw just 3.9% of COVID-19 tests come back positive. That number was 6.1% in Miami-Dade County.
Those numbers represent a monumental drop from months prior, when those numbers reached triple or quadruple the rate in early September. The reduction has led Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie to float a potential October reopening for in-person schooling in the county.
“If the current trends continue and we can maintain that and continue on the path to improvement, we will be able to open schools in a phased approach as early as sometime in October,” Runcie said Tuesday.
Officials will need to tread lightly with flu season fast approaching. The region’s numbers skyrocketed after a May reopening attempt. That reopening was reverted after infections surged and many hospitals were at or near capacity. With flu cases added to the mix, that dire hospital situation could repeat itself even if COVID-19 cases do not rise as quickly as the did in June or July.
Here are some of the weekly numbers for the previous three weeks throughout the South Florida tri-county area:
— Aug. 19-25: 34 new hospitalizations per day, 22 deaths per day, 864 new confirmed cases per day, 8.7% positivity rate.
— Aug. 26-Sept. 1: 33 new hospitalizations per day, 34 deaths per day, 747 new confirmed cases per day, 7.8% positivity rate.
— Sept. 2-8: 20 new hospitalizations per day, 27 deaths per day, 440 new confirmed cases per day, 6.1% positivity rate.
— Aug. 19-25: 59 new hospitalizations per day, 16 deaths per day, 340 new confirmed cases per day, 5.6% positivity rate.
— Aug. 26-Sept. 1: 28 new hospitalizations per day, 5 deaths per day, 359 new confirmed cases per day, 5.2% positivity rate.
— Sept. 2-8: 20 new hospitalizations per day, 7 deaths per day, 197 new confirmed cases per day, 3.9% positivity rate.
— Aug. 19-25: 21 new hospitalizations per day, 8 deaths per day, 198 new confirmed cases per day, 4.6% positivity rate.
— Aug. 26-Sept. 1: 20 new hospitalizations per day, 8 deaths per day, 216 new confirmed cases per day, 4.3% positivity rate.
— Sept. 2-8: 10 new hospitalizations per day, 6 deaths per day, 141 new confirmed cases per day, 3.9% 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.