For the second day in a row, state health officials confirmed 9,085 new COVID-19 diagnoses and 79 deaths tied to the coronavirus in Florida.
On Wednesday, the Sunshine State crossed 900,000 total COVID-19 cases. With Friday’s update, 923,418 people have tested positive in Florida, including 13,353 nonresidents.
Friday’s update increased the death toll to 17,810 dead Floridians. Another nonresident also died for a total of 221 nonresidents who have died with COVID-19 in the state.
The latest data includes cases detailed between Thursday morning and Friday morning. For all day Thursday, officials counted 8,884 cases from 128,930 residents tested. Among the new positives, the median age was 40.
On Wednesday, 8,961 tested positive from 131,713 residents tested, also with a median age of 40.
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, topping 10% a week ago following a revision Friday. Thursday’s positivity rate was 7.6%.
For 22 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, Gov. Ron 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 Friday, 53,091 Floridians have been hospitalized after DOH recorded 226 new hospitalizations. The Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 3,435 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, an increase of 52 in about 24 hours.
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott tested positive Friday, becoming one of the latest Republicans to test positive. He was in Cumming, Georgia last Friday afternoon for a rally on behalf of Senate colleagues David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler.
“After several negative tests, I learned I was positive for COVID-19 this AM. I’m feeling good & experiencing very mild symptoms. I’ll be working from home until it’s safe for me to return to DC. I remind everyone to be careful & do the right things to protect yourselves & others,” Scott tweeted Friday morning.
Bloomberg is reporting that Donald Trump Jr. tested positive for the coronavirus, with the New York Times adding that a spokesman says he tested positive at the start of the week and has been quarantining at his cabin since the result. So far, he has been asymptomatic.
A cohort of South Florida Mayors on Wednesday urged 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.