For the first time since late July, state health officials confirmed more than 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day’s report Sunday as the pandemic continues to resurge in Florida.
Since the Department of Health released its Saturday coronavirus report, officials confirmed 10,105 new diagnoses in the Sunshine State. Overall, 885,201 people have tested positive in Florida, including 12,391 nonresidents.
The last time officials increased the state’s caseload by 10,000 was July 25, when 12,199 individuals were confirmed positive. At that point, 414,511 people had contracted the virus in Florida.
Officials Sunday also confirmed 29 deaths, raising the state’s death toll to 17,518 Floridians. One nonresident also died, for a total of 216 deaths from out of state.
The latest data includes cases detailed between Saturday morning and Sunday morning. For the entire day Saturday, DOH counted 9,928 cases from 146,093 residents tested, a high mark in daily testing. Among the new positives, the median age was 38.
For 17 days straight, the positivity rate has topped 5%, marking an increase in infection rates. After Friday’s 9.9% rate, revised from 9.95%, Saturday saw a 7.6% positivity rate.
Some experts say a community should maintain rates below 5% for 14 days before reopening services like schools.
For weeks, the Governor’s Office has acknowledged an uptick in the number of new positives, but Gov. Ron DeSantis has emphasized that Florida will keep its reopening course. Before the uptick in positivity rates, the Governor’s 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.
Notably, COVID-19 cases and deaths reported by state health officials can sometimes be reported days or weeks later.
New cases have increased across the country, particularly in the Midwest, and the nation has seen record-setting days for new infections.
Meanwhile, the White House and President Donald Trump‘s inner circle faces a second COVID-19 outbreak that some speculate is tied to his Election Night celebration from Tuesday. Chief of Staff Mark Meadows was the first prominent official to test positive, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson has also tested positive, according to reports Monday.
On Saturday, Sen. Rick Scott tweeted that after arriving in Florida Friday, he came in contact with a person who tested positive. The former Governor says he has no symptoms but will be immediately quarantining.
For months, in Florida, DeSantis has shifted the state’s data focus away from the raw count and percent positivity rates, pointing instead to hospital visits with symptoms related to COVID-19 as his preferred metric.
After peaking at 15,999 coronavirus-related hospitalizations the week of July 5, DOH reported that hospitalizations declined. But three of the last five weeks have seen week-over increases in the number of cases, the first since the first half of July.
The department has not yet updated week-over hospitalization metrics for last week as of publication time.
As of Sunday, 51,813 Floridians have been hospitalized after DOH recorded 271 new hospitalizations. The Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 3,118 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, 33 fewer than about 24 hours earlier. On Tuesday, active hospitalizations crossed 3,000 for the first time since September.
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 includes the previous day’s totals and 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 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.