COVID-19 appears to be raging across Central Florida

Thursday was 2nd consecutive day with 2,000 new cases in greater Orlando.

The coronavirus pandemic is showing signs of exploding across Central Florida, as the region tallied a worst-ever one-day total of 2,618 new COVID-19 cases confirmed Thursday.

That followed a near-record 2,243 new cases reported Wednesday, marking the first time the six counties of greater Orlando have combined for more than 2,000 new cases on consecutive days. The threshold had been surpassed only twice previously, both times in mid-July, but not on consecutive days.

At the heart of the latest surge is Orange County, where 1,141 new cases were confirmed in the latest daily COVID-19 report from the Florida Department of Health. Orange County had 1,044 new cases confirmed in the previous day’s report.

However, rising numbers also were seen in the other counties. In Lake County, state officials confirmed 358 new cases Thursday, cup from 203 the day before. In Osceola County, 348 new cases showed up Thursday, up from 312 the day before. In Volusia County 320 new cases were tallied, up from 256 on Wednesday. In Seminole County, 269 new cases were confirmed, cup from 172. Only Brevard County saw no increase: the 256 new cases tallied Thursday was the same total as seen the day before.

The same surge is being seen statewide. Florida authorities reported a new record total of 17,192 new confirmed cases Thursday.

The percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive for the virus also climbed both statewide and in Central Florida. The six counties of greater Orlando combined for a positive-test rate of 11.6% in the latest batch of results, returned Wednesday.  The day before that rate was 10%. Floria also saw its rate rise to 11.6% Thursday, up from 8.7% the day before.

The highest positive test rate in the Central Florida again was seen in Lake County, which has been shouldering that distinction for much of the past week. In Lake, 17% of the newest batch of test results were positive, according to Thursday’s state report. In Osceola, the rate was 12.9%; in Seminole, 12.3%; in Orange, 11.2%; in Volusia, 11%; and in Brevard, 8.4%.

The region saw 28 patients newly admitted to hospitals with the virus, and 23 people whose deaths were newly attributed to COVID-19.

The fatalities included six people in Orange County, four each in Brevard, Osceola, and Volusia counties, three in Lake County, and two in Seminole County.

Osceola County saw the most new hospital admissions, eight, followed by five new patients in Lake and Volusia counties, four in Brevard County, and three each in Orange and Seminole counties.

Scott Powers

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 [email protected].

One comment

  • Sonja Fitch

    December 31, 2020 at 4:51 pm

    Shut it down! Disney lied and the Brits came and other tourist in and the holidays etc! Shut it down til January 15. Bring back the schools February bring back business. Slowly and get ready for a damn good spring break!!!!!

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