The COVID-19 pandemic continued to batter Central Florida this week with more than 2,000 newly-confirmed cases and 58 deaths attributed to the virus on Friday.
The death toll represents the highest single-day total ever reported by the state for the six counties of greater Orlando.
However, various delays built into the state’s process for confirming that deaths were caused by COVID-19 makes it difficult to determine if the dramatic number announced Friday represents a horrible recent rise in fatalities, or just a stack of cases that could have been reported earlier.
The previous one-day high for newly-confirmed COVID-19 deaths across the region’s six counties — Orange, Osceola, Lake, Volusia, Seminole, and Brevard — was 48, recorded on Aug. 15, at the peak of the summer surge.
On Thursday Central Florida also saw an alarming death toll in the Florida Department of Health’s daily COVID-19 report: 36 deaths attributed to the disease.
The latest deaths reported Friday included 36 people in Orange County, eight in Brevard County, and seven each in Volusia and Seminole counties.
There was no indication in Friday’s report that things might be getting better.
The 2,096 total for newly-confirmed cases in Central Florida marked the third consecutive day over 2,000, and the 16th in 22 days of 2021. On Friday, 678 cases were newly-confirmed in Orange, 561 in Volusia, 270 in Brevard, 236 in Osceola, 183 in Seminole, and 168 in Brevard.
The test results returned Thursday and reported Friday showed 12.9% of the 14,046 results came back positive for the virus. That is the highest region-wide positive test rate seen in more than two weeks. Thursday’s positive test rate was highest in Osceola, at 17.1%. In Orange, 13.4% of tests came back positive; in Lake, 13.2%; in Seminole, 13.2%; in Volusia, 11.6%; and in Brevard, 11.5%.
There also was no good news about hospital admissions. Across Central Florida, 71 COVID-19 patients were newly-reported to have been admitted to hospitals Friday. There were 50 new hospitalizations reported Thursday, and 79 Wednesday. Prior to Wednesday, the six-county region had not combined for 70 new COVID-19 hospitalizations in one day since August.