State health officials reported 3,573 diagnoses and 65 deaths in Florida Saturday as Florida continues receiving a high volume of test results.
For there straight days, the Department of Health has received results for more than 80,000 individuals, including 86,403 Friday, the most in a single day this month. It was also the largest collection of data since Aug. 21, barring Aug. 31, which included a dump of months-old data.
In total, 5 million Floridians have been tested for COVID-19, as have 20,678 non-residents in the state.
Overall, 681,233 people, including 673,194 Floridians, have tested positive. The 65 resident deaths, on top of 139 reported Friday push the state’s toll to 13,287 confirmed fatalities among residents and an additional 163 non-resident deaths.
The new cases cover results returned between Friday morning and Saturday morning. For all-day Friday, DOH received 3,603 positive cases with a median age of 37, 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 Wednesday, 894— or 25% — 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.
An increase in flu-like illnesses are typical during this part of the year, DOH spokesman Alberto Moscoso assured.
“We are below the numbers that we see typically at this time of year,” he said in a statement. “We typically see an ILI (influenza-like illness) increase this year. Normally, this yearly increase is attributable to cold viruses that circulate at the start of the school year. These visits will be captured by the ILI syndrome, even though most are not influenza.”
Overall, 42,374 Floridians have been hospitalized, an increase of 140 since Friday’s report. But the Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 2,266 people are currently hospitalized than 24 hours earlier, continuing weeks of decline.
The percent positivity rate has been below 5% for eight consecutive days, coming in at 4.5% Friday. Some experts say the positivity rate should be below 5% for two weeks before reopening services like schools.
The seven-day average of deaths dropped below 100 again Saturday to 98. 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 Wednesday’s report, only 108 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.