Showing no deference for holiday breaks or the state’s balky efforts to roll out vaccinations, the COVID-19 pandemic slammed Florida with a new record total of 17,192 new confirmed cases Thursday.
The total also follows the 13,871 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday, which now is the state’s fourth-highest one-day total, and the 12,075 seen on Tuesday. The trio of steep rises to high totals marks the worst three-day stretch Florida has suffered in new cases since the pandemic emerged in early March.
There was little good news in Thursday’s report. The state’s positive-test rate also spiked, to 11.6% for 127,274 tests. Aside from the fluke high of 22.8% rate reported Tuesday on a small and apparently skewed sample of test results returned, the latest results were the highest Florida has seen in months.
There also were 360 people newly-admitted to hospitals across the state with COVID-19.
And an additional 127 people were determined to have died of COVID-19, according to the latest report.
None of those tolls were close to records. But all three were high numbers relative to recent days and weeks.
Through Wednesday, Florida now has confirmed 1,323,315 cases of the new coronavirus since the outbreak began. A total of 62,868 people have been hospitalized, and 21,673 deaths have been attributed to the virus.
Earlier this month, Florida became the third state to record more than 1 million cases.
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 nine consecutive weeks until last week, the state has recorded week-over increases in hospitalizations, topping out at 11,289.