Nearly 2,000 new cases of COVID-19 were confirmed among residents of the six counties of greater Orlando Thursday, a level seen only twice previously, both times during the hot summer surge of mid-July.
The latest pandemic tracking report from the Florida Department of Health increased the case count by 1,999 cases across Central Florida, including 811 new cases in Orange County.
Five of the six counties in the region saw single-day counts higher than in Wednesday’s report, when 1,684 cases were recorded across Central Florida. Osceola County marked 296 new cases Thursday; Volusia County, 262; Lake County, 239; Brevard County, 210, and Seminole County, 181. Only Brevard’s number went down.
Thursday’s regional total was the highest seen since 2,295 cases were reported across Central Florida on July 16, the peak of the summer surge. The region also topped 2,000 cases on July 12.
Florida also saw the largest number of new cases statewide since July 16 in Thursday’s new pandemic report, 13,128.
Central Florida also was shown to have 58 new hospital admissions and 18 additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 in Thursday’s report, with the bulk of those occurring in Orange.
Orange saw 25 new hospital admissions Thursday and Brevard, 17. Another eight people were admitted to hospitals in Volusia, according to Thursday’s report.
Thirteen people died in Orange County from COVID-19. Another four virus-related deaths were reported in Brevard, and one in Lake.
The numbers of confirmed cases were fueled by a large batch of new COVID-19 tests returned Wednesday. The 20,088 new test results tallied by the state across Central Florida was the largest batch received since the days around Thanksgiving. Unlike at Thanksgiving, though, a relatively high percentage of them came back positive Wednesday: 9.1%. In the days around Thanksgiving, the rate of people testing positive for COVID-19 was running just over 6%.
In the latest batch, in Lake, 12% of the test results returned Wednesday were positive for COVID-19; in Osceola, 10%; in Orange, 9.7%; in Seminole, 8.6%; in Volusia, 8.2% and in Brevard, 6.5%.
Statewide, the positive test rate for Wednesday’s batch was 8.8%. That means Central Florida’s positive-test rate was higher than the state’s for the eighth time in nine days, after previously being consistently lower than the state average for several weeks running.