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Coronavirus in Florida

Florida adds 3,689 COVID-19 cases, 73 deaths in Friday update

Thursday saw the most new cases in a single day since mid-August.

State health officials confirmed 3,689 new COVID-19 diagnoses and 73 resident deaths in the 24 hours since Thursday’s update.

As of Friday morning, 771,780 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in Florida, including 9,856 nonresidents. Overall, 16,340 Floridians have died with the disease, as have 204 nonresidents.

The latest data update includes cases detailed between Thursday morning and Friday morning. For all day Thursday, officials counted 3,720 cases among residents, the median age of whom was 37.

Friday’s report from the Department of Health includes fewer new cases than Thursdays. That day saw 5,557 newly reported positives, the most in the state since mid-August. Florida also became the state with the fourth-most resident deaths behind New York, Texas and California, surpassing New Jersey.

Seven of the previous 14 days have seen percent positivity rates above 5%, including one day with an error that caused duplicate data. After three consecutive days with positivity rates above 5%, the rate dropped to 4% Thursday.

The Governor’s Office has noticed a recent uptick in the number of new positives. Before the uptick in positivity rates, Gov. Ron DeSantis‘ communications director, Fred Piccolo, told Florida Politics that newly available rapid tests could be inspiring interest in testing. But he also acknowledged Phase Three and the full reopening of restaurants as probable factors driving an increase in cases.

The recent increase also comes after the state began initial talks on how low cases would need to go to drop the daily report’s frequency to weekly. Piccolo says there is no consensus yet and a decision is not imminent. DeSantis chimed in Thursday, indicating he had no preference on whether reports remained daily or were scaled back.

Some experts say a community should maintain rates below 5% for 14 days before reopening services like schools.

But DeSantis in past months has instead shifted the state’s focus away from the raw count and percent positivity rates. Instead, he has pointed to hospital visits with symptoms related to COVID-19 as his preferred metric.

Two weeks ago, the Department of Health reported its first week-over increase in hospital visits since the week of July 5, when visits peaked at 15,999. But hospital visits dropped from 4,912 that week to 4,181 last week.

Overall, 47,953 Floridians have been hospitalized, an increase of 188 since Thursday’s report. The Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 2,116 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, a slight increase in active hospitalizations since Thursday morning.

In total, 5.9 million Floridians have been tested for COVID-19, as have 22,651 non-residents in the state.

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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.

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Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

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Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.
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