State health officials confirmed 48 deaths tied to COVID-19 and 1,533 diagnoses issued in Monday’s pandemic report from the Department of Health.
Overall, 736,024 people have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in Florida, including 9,090 non-residents, and 15,412 Floridians have died. Another 187 non-residents have also died in the state throughout the pandemic.
The Department of Health’s updates followed 178 deaths and 5,570 diagnoses announced Sunday in a report that spanned two days.
An “unforeseen technical issue” in data submitted by Helix, a commercial partner in state testing, meant approximately 400,000 previously-reported positive results were duplicated in the state’s data for Saturday. That was remedied in Sunday’s report.
“State epidemiologists quickly noticed the error and took immediate action, reviewing and deduplicating all 400,000 individual results within 24 hours and eliminating any potential impact to the Department’s statewide efforts in contact tracing,” according to a memo from the department. “The swift response by Department staff and ready support from Helix ensured a complete and speedy resolution; none of the replicated test results have been included in subsequent daily reports.”
The latest data update includes confirmations made between Sunday morning and Monday morning. For all day Sunday, officials counted 1,592 new cases among residents, the median age of whom was 38. Over the last seven days, the average increase in new cases was 2,570.
Accepting DOH’s assertion that Friday and Saturday’s percent positivity should be averaged, 12 of the previous 14 days have seen percent positivity rates below 5%. Some experts say a community should maintain rates below 5% for 14 days before reopening services like schools.
On Sunday, the percent positivity rate was 4.3%, and the seven-day average was 4.8%.
But Gov. Ron DeSantis has instead shifted the state’s focus on hospital visits with symptoms related to COVID-19. The week of Sept. 27, medical professionals reported 4,137 visits, a 12th consecutive week of decline.
But for the first time since the week of July 5, when visits peaked at 15,999, DOH reported an increase in emergency department visits. Last week, the state saw 4,219 visits.
On Sept. 25, the Sunshine State entered Phase Three of the state’s pandemic recovery plan, lifting all state-level restrictions and gatherings. The Governor’s order also prevents local governments from closing businesses outright and guarantees workers a right to work.
Critics argue the complete removal of state-level restrictions and a provision in the order that restricts local governments’ abilities to enforce COVID-19 precautions will lead to increased infections.
Overall, 46,015 Floridians have been hospitalized, an increase of 91 since Sunday’s report. But the Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 2,203 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, an increase over recent days.
In total, 5.5 million Floridians have been tested for COVID-19, as have 21,790 nonresidents in the state.
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.