Another 153 Florida residents have died with COVID-19 as the state’s death toll continues its upward march.
State health officials have confirmed the deaths of 12,939 residents through Wednesday’s update from the Department of Health. Another 161 non-residents have died in the state, an increase of two since the department’s previous report Tuesday.
According to DOH, 671,201 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Florida, including 7,967 non-residents. Of those cases, the department reported at least 2,355 new cases Wednesday.
The new cases cover results returned between Tuesday morning and Wednesday morning. For all-day Tuesday, DOH received 2,340 positive cases with a median age of 39, up from a recent low of 35 as schools and universities reopen.
The fastest-growing age cohort for the virus is Floridians aged 15 to 24. Of those positive cases from Tuesday, 552 — or 24% — of all positives came from that age group. Throughout August, 14% of cases were aged 15 to 24.
Gov. Ron DeSantis began underscoring emergency department visits over testing positivity rates in early August after raising questions about the reliability of complete and timely reporting from private laboratories.
Both hospital visits for illnesses related to influenza and COVID-19 have declined each week since July 5. However, DOH reported 2,101 visits for flu-like illnesses last week, the most since mid-August. Meanwhile, visits for illnesses like COVID-19 dropped a ninth consecutive week to 4,058.
Overall, 41,851 Floridians have been hospitalized, an increase of 197 since Tuesday’s report. But the Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 2,480 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, a drop of 96 in the last 24 hours.
In total, nearly 5 million Floridians have been tested for COVID-19, as have 20,598 nonresidents in the state. On Tuesday, DOH received 57,161 test results.
The percent positivity rate ticked up slightly Tuesday a second day after recording a recent low of 3.9% on Sunday. Of the results the department received, 4.5% returned positive. But over he last seven days, the positivity rate has been trending down and has fallen below 5% on average.
Some experts say the positivity rate should be below 5% for two weeks before reopening services like schools.
The seven-day average of deaths, which for a time dropped below 100 a week ago, is back up to 118.
The most deaths confirmed in a single daily report was 276 on Aug. 11.
Fatalities don’t necessarily occur the day they are reported. Of the 153 deaths confirmed since Tuesday’s report, only 103 of them occurred in the last 30 days.
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.