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Central Florida COVID-19 infections continue steady pace

Central Florida’s COVID-19 outbreak continues on a high plateau.

The numbers of new cases and COVID-19 positive test rates continued at a steady, flat pace through Tuesday, generally lower than the statewide averages but on a plateau that’s higher than anything the area was experiencing prior to late June.

The six-county greater Orlando region saw 1,112 new COVID-19 cases show up in the latest COVID-19 report issued Wednesday by the Florida Department of Health, which covered caseloads, hospitalizations and deaths through Tuesday, and test results through Monday.

While Brevard County saw a bit of a jump in new cases reported, Orange County saw a significant decrease, and Lake, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties saw about the same as in the previous day’s report. Orange had 356 new cases, Osceola 219, Brevard 209, Volusia 140, Seminole 122, and Lake, 66.

Brevard’s positive test rate topped 10%, coming in at 10.1% for Monday’s batch of test results. Otherwise, the region’s counties remained relatively steady and below the 9.1% positive-test rate seen statewide. Osceola had the region’s second-highest positive-test rate, at 8.4%. Lake County’s was just 5.4%.

One indicator to keep an eye on: hospital admissions, which generally are a lagging indicator, rising a week or two after case numbers rise. The six-county Central Florida region saw 49 people freshly admitted to hospitals for COVID-19 Tuesday, the second day in a row with a high admission. On Monday, 52 were admitted. That’s an increase from a running seven-day average that was in the low 20s before Monday.

The rise in hospital admissions is coming outside the core of the metro-Orlando area. In the past two days, 27 people in Lake County have been admitted to hospitals, 24 in Brevard, and 19 in Volusia. By comparison, 13 were admitted in Orange, and nine each in Osceola and Seminole.

Thus far, Central Florida experienced the worst outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in a period that started around June 27 and continued through the end of July. The outbreak seemed to peak with a running seven-day average of more than 1,600 new cases each day through mid-July. Hospitalizations peaked at a rate averaging more than 60 per day in late July. Deaths attributed to COVID-19, which typically lag another week or two after hospital admissions, peaked with an average in the high 20s of fatalities for several days in the first and second weeks of August.

The region has averaged 8-10 deaths attributed to COVID-19 per day for the past week through Tuesday. There were eight fatalities reported Tuesday, including three people who died in Lake County and three in Seminole County.

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at

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