More than 800,000 people have tested positive for COVID-19 cases in Florida as of Friday’s update from state health officials.
The Department of Health now shows 800,216 cases in the state, an increase of 5,592 since Thursday morning. And the death toll among Floridians increased by 72 up to 16,720.
The latest data update includes cases detailed between Thursday morning and Friday morning. For all day Thursday, officials counted 5,444 cases among residents from 100,318 individuals tested. Among the new positives, the median age was 39.
Eight of the previous 14 days have seen percent positivity rates above 5%, with three days topping 6%. The positivity rate was 5.9% Thursday, up from 4.9% Wednesday.
In recent weeks, the Governor’s Office has acknowledged 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.
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.
Three 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 5,051 that week to 4,900 the following week.
Last week, visits fell again to 4,467.
Overall, 49,185 Floridians have been hospitalized, an increase of 174 since Thursday’s report. The Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 2,351 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, an increase in recent 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.