Florida adds 10K new coronavirus cases, confirms 76 deaths
Image via AP.

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49,932 people have been vaccinated in the Sunshine State.

State health officials confirmed 10,434 new COVID-19 diagnoses and 76 fatalities as the state’s coronavirus caseload continues ticking upward.

The Department of Health shows a total of 1,223,015 positive cases and 21,052 deaths as of Tuesday. Of those cases, 20,335 are nonresidents, as are 298 of the deaths.

Officials on Saturday began publishing the number of people who have been vaccinated in the Sunshine State. Through Tuesday morning, 49,932 people have been vaccinated, an increase of 6,216 since Monday.

Daily new cases have routinely topped 10,000, and Florida became the third state to record more than 1 million cases this month.

For all-day Monday, the latest complete day available, officials counted 10,271 cases from 133,229 residents tested. Among the new positives, the median age was 42.

An increase in new cases was expected following Thanksgiving, as with the coming holidays, with heightened travel and gatherings. In addition to the rise in new cases, a possible spike was unfolding in the state’s positivity rates, but rates have since been fluctuating.

The positivity rate for new cases began increasing again the day after Thanksgiving, nearly neutralizing two weeks of improvements since positivity rates topped 10% last month. That day, the positivity rate was down to 6.2% but returned to 9.1% Dec. 1 and 9.3% Tuesday, the highest since mid-November. On Monday, the positivity rate had fallen to 8.8%.

However, COVID-19 cases and deaths reported by state health officials can sometimes be reported days or weeks later.

Over the summer, Gov. Ron DeSantis 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 eight consecutive weeks as of two weeks ago, the state has recorded week-over increases in hospitalizations.

Last week showed a downturn in new hospitalizations, from 9,632 two weeks ago to 9,529 last week. Officials may still update last week’s count and instead show an increase, as has happened in recent weeks.

As of Tuesday, 60,471 Floridians have been hospitalized after DOH recorded 319 new hospitalizations, a new normal in the daily increase. The Agency for Health Care Administration reports that 5,633 people are currently hospitalized with the disease, an increase of 119 since Monday afternoon.

Last week, the nation kicked off what could be the beginning of the end of the pandemic. DeSantis was at Tampa General Hospital to sign for Florida’s first vaccine delivery and looked on as the first frontline worker received a vaccine.

On Monday, the state will receive 61,000 Moderna vaccine doses, followed by more than 300,000 on Tuesday. Florida will receive 120,000 doses from a second shipment of Pfizer’s formula expected Monday or Tuesday.

DeSantis also confirmed Monday that he would not take the vaccine ahead of schedule, as some other officials have in Florida and across the country.

“I am not stepping in line with anybody,” the Governor said. “I’m less than 45. I’d imagine it would take me a couple more months. I will do it, but I’m not going to step in front.”

The state’s elderly population will be the next cohort to gain access to the vaccine.

The United States has seen a nationwide surge in coronavirus cases that has disproportionately affected the Upper Midwest.

Florida, the third most populous state, is only behind California and Texas in the total count of new cases. Officials in California have reported 1.89 million cases, including a record high 53,711 in an update Tuesday, while officials in Texas have confirmed 1.4 million cases.

Nine months prior to crossing 1 million infections, after officials confirmed the first COVID-19 cases in Florida on March 1, DeSantis ordered Surgeon General Scott Rivkees to declare a public health emergency in the state. Eight days after the emergency declaration, DeSantis issued a state of emergency, and both orders remain ongoing.

After the initial outbreak of new cases, at a time when access to coronavirus testing was low, officials had identified about 20,000 COVID-19 cases in Florida, recording just over 1,300 cases in a single day. After outbreaks subsided throughout April and May, cases began spiking in June and peaked at more than 15,000 cases in mid-July. In July alone, officials confirmed more than 300,000 new cases and the state’s total reached 470,386 by the end of the month.

Since October, cases have been on the rise again. The latest resurgence in coronavirus outbreaks has been a gradual increase in daily cases as opposed to the spike observed in the summer.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


2 comments

  • Sonja Fitch

    December 22, 2020 at 3:56 pm

    Gobbledygook! Duffus Desantis is willingly slaughtering Floridians! How many folks from Britain have landed and visited Florida since September? Oh hell! I betcha Duffus Desantis has already tested positive! You know when he just faded in and out! Get out Desantis!

  • Karl

    December 23, 2020 at 9:37 am

    SHE IS AWFUL

Comments are closed.


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