Another 58 South Floridians die from COVID-19 as cases spike
Image via AP.

COVID-19 coronavirus hospital
Broward County recorded its second-highest case positivity rate since the height of the summer surge.

South Florida recorded another 58 deaths in Friday’s Florida Department of Health (DOH) report, as the case positivity rate spiked across the tri-county area.

Those 58 deaths in a single day are among the highest the region has seen since the deadly summer surge. In total, 8,772 people have now died in the tri-county area after contracting COVID-19.

The death toll spiked statewide as well Friday. It’s unclear whether that was a one-day increase or a sign of a larger trend. Deaths and hospitalizations are lagging indicators, meaning those deaths are likely from individuals sickened due to the holiday surge.

The case positivity rate, which measures the share of tests coming back positive, also shot up Friday across South Florida.

On Thursday, all three major counties sat below an 8% positivity rate. That’s still not ideal, as experts say officials should aim for a number under 5%. But the numbers in Thursday’s report represented a downward trend.

That changed Friday, as the DOH numbers showed the positivity rate above 10.8% in all three counties. Broward’s positivity rate sat at a sky-high 13.5%. That’s the second-highest daily number since the end of July, only falling short of a 25% positivity rate seen shortly after Christmas due to a slowdown in test processing.

Earlier in the week, parts of South Florida had shown worrying signs that cases may be rising again, as they did immediately following the winter holidays. Those signs reversed themselves as the week went on. But Friday’s DOH report was another stark warning that the region may not be totally through this wave just yet.

Here are some of the weekly numbers for the previous three weeks throughout the South Florida tri-county area*:

Miami-Dade

— Jan. 1-7: 35 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 16 newly-reported deaths per day, 2,701 new confirmed cases per day, 10.8% positivity rate

— Jan. 8-14: 49 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 28 newly-reported deaths per day, 2,543 new confirmed cases per day, 9.2% positivity rate

— Jan. 15-21: 39 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 21 newly-reported deaths per day, 2,164 new confirmed cases per day, 9.1% positivity rate

Broward

— Jan. 1-7: 27 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 7 newly-reported deaths per day, 1,190 new confirmed cases per day, 10.1% positivity rate

— Jan. 8-14: 25 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 7 newly-reported deaths per day, 1,203 new confirmed cases per day, 8.7% positivity rate

— Jan. 15-21: 22 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 8 newly-reported deaths per day, 1,053 new confirmed cases per day, 8.6% positivity rate

Palm Beach

— Jan. 1-7: 18 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 6 newly-reported deaths per day, 826 new confirmed cases per day, 10.1% positivity rate

— Jan. 8-14: 13 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 11 newly-reported deaths per day, 844 new confirmed cases per day, 9% positivity rate

— Jan. 15-21: 21 newly-reported hospitalizations per day, 9 newly-reported deaths per day, 687 new confirmed cases per day, 8.7% positivity rate

*Data on deaths and hospitalizations for Jan. 1 is not included, as the state did not provide timely daily data due to the New Year’s holiday.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to ryan.t.nicol@gmail.com.



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