Another 9,085 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Florida, the second largest increase in cases state health officials have issued this week.
On Wednesday, the Sunshine State crossed 900,000 total COVID-19 cases. With Thursday’s update, 914,333 people have tested positive in Florida, including 13,099 nonresidents.
Officials also raised the death toll by 79, bringing it up to 17,810 dead Floridians. Another four nonresidents also died for a total of 220 nonresidents who have died with COVID-19 in the state.
Thursday’s jump in new cases was the largest since officials reported 10,000 diagnoses on Sunday, which was the largest spike since July.
The increase in cases come as some parts of the nation experience a surge. Earlier this month, the U.S. surpassed 10 million cases of COVID-19. Texas became the first state to record a million infections and California surpassed that milestone shortly after. At the current rate, Florida could reach that grim milestone within a few weeks.
The positivity rate for new cases has been increasing, but has yet topped 10% during the latest surge of outbreaks. Wednesday’s positivity rate was 7.6%, a decline from 8.1% the day prior and 8.6% before that. On Friday, the positivity rate was 9.99%.
For 21 days straight, the positivity rate has been above 5%. Some experts say a community should maintain rates below 5% for 14 days before reopening services like schools.
Notably, COVID-19 cases and deaths reported by state health officials can sometimes be reported days or weeks later.
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. For four consecutive weeks as of last week, the state recorded a week-over increase in hospitalizations, hitting 6,234 last week.
As of Thursday, 52,865 Floridians have been hospitalized after DOH recorded 228 new hospitalizations. The Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 3,383 people are currently hospitalized with the disease.
A cohort of South Florida Mayors on Wednesday urged Gov. Ron DeSantis to take a more aggressive approach to containing the virus, which has most savagely struck that region of the state.
“It’s unmistakably clear that Florida’s approach to managing this pandemic is failing pretty horribly,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber.
Tampa General Hospital administered its first monoclonal antibody treatment, a monoclonal bamlanivimab from Eli Lilly, to a COVID-19 patient Thursday, marking a new improvement to virus care in this pandemic.
Production is still ramping up on the treatment, meaning there is still a limited supply of the antibodies, and it’s possible, at this point, that not all patients who qualify for the treatment will be able to receive it. Because of that, the treatment is currently being prioritized for high-risk patients.
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.