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Central Florida adds 2,300 new COVID-19 cases, a new worst of the worst norm

Never in the pandemic have numbers been this high for this long.

Another 2,342 people in Central Florida were confirmed Tuesday to have COVID-19, as 2,000-plus new cases identified each day has become the new norm.

During the peak of the mid-summer COVID-19 surge in Florida, greater Orlando had several days with that many new cases confirmed, but never consecutively. Now, with latest daily COVID-19 report issued Tuesday by the Florida Department of Health, the six-county region has seen nine such days in the first 11 days of the new year.

Also a new norm: 1,000 or more cases in Orange County. The 1,009 recorded Tuesday marked the seventh time Orange County had topped the 1,000 mark for daily new case counts in 2021.

Elsewhere, 346 new cases were reported Tuesday in Volusia County, 280 in Brevard County, 280 in Osceola County, 236 in Seminole County, and 191 in Lake County.

In all of 2020, including the mid-summer coronavirus surge that previously marked the area’s worst time, Central Florida saw only six total days of more than 2,000 new cases confirmed across the region. Orange County saw eight days last year with at least 1,000 cases, and half of those came during the last week of December.

Testing continued to show relatively high rates of positive results for the coronavirus, with a combined rate of 11.7% for the 17,000 test results that were returned on Monday. It marked the tenth straight day that positive rates were above the 10% threshold, with only New Year’s day falling below that level so far in 2021. Still, positive-test rates ran a little higher in late June and early- to mid-July in Central Florida.

Statewide, there were 14,896 new COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday. The state’s positive test rate was 10.6% in the latest report.

In Central Florida, 47 people were newly-reported to have been admitted to hospitals with the virus. That included 11 people in Brevard, 10 each in Lake and Volusia, nine in Orange, five in Seminole, and two in Osceola.

There were 12 deaths newly-attributed to the disease across Central Florida Tuesday. That included eight people who died in Orange, two in Seminole, and one each in Brevard and Lake.

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 scott@floridapolitics.com.

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