Florida added another 8,555 new COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, with 72 confirmed deaths tied to the coronavirus.
The latest report from the Florida Department of Health brings the state’s COVID-19 case tally to 953,300, including 14,470 nonresidents. Florida crossed 900,000 total COVID-19 cases on Wednesday.
The 72 newly-reported deaths increased the death toll, which surpassed 18,000 Monday when officials reported 94 deaths, to 18,157. Another nonresident also died for a total of 226 nonresidents who have died with COVID-19 in the state.
In recent weeks, Florida has seen an increase in cases 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 1 million infections and California surpassed that milestone shortly after. At the current rate, Florida could reach that grim milestone within a few weeks.
The latest data includes cases detailed between Monday morning and Tuesday morning. For all-day Monday, officials counted 8,085 cases from 119,979 residents tested. Among the new positives, the median age was 40.
The positivity rate for new cases has also been increasing, topping 10% earlier this month but dropping below 7% on Friday and Saturday. Tuesday’s report shows that Monday’s positivity rate was 7.5%.
For more than three weeks, 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.
Last week, Florida ended a three-week streak of increasing positivity rates.
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 two weeks ago, the state recorded a week-over increase in hospitalizations. But officials recorded a downturn last week, with 6,787 hospitalizations.
As of Tuesday, 53,827 Floridians have been hospitalized after DOH recorded 328 new hospitalizations, a relatively large increase for the state. The Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 3,780 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, an increase over recent days.
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott tested positive Friday, becoming one of the latest Republicans to test positive. He was in Cumming, Georgia the week before 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.
Donald Trump Jr. tested positive for the coronavirus last week and has been quarantining at his cabin since the result.
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.