State health officials reported 3,449 new COVID-19 cases in Florida in an update Thursday from the Department of Health.
Overall, 748,437 people have been diagnosed with the disease in the state. That includes 9,387 non-residents.
Officials also confirmed 94 more resident deaths Thursday, raising the death toll to 15,830 Floridians. Two hundred non-Floridians have died in the state.
The latest data update includes cases detailed between Thursday morning and Friday morning. For all day Thursday, officials counted 3,423 new cases among residents, the median age of whom was 38.
Four of the previous 14 days have seen percent positivity rates above 5%, including one day with an error that caused duplicate data. Some experts say a community should maintain rates below 5% for 14 days before reopening services like schools.
On Thursday, the percent positivity rate was just below 4.4%, 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, the Department of Health 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, 46,862 Floridians have been hospitalized, an increase of 169 since Thursday’s report. But the Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 2,083 people are currently hospitalized with the disease.
In total, 5.7 million Floridians have been tested for COVID-19, as have 22,137 nonresidents in the state. DOH received 84,507 test results Thursday.
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.