Orange County tops 100,000 mark for COVID-19 cases

Orange County joins Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties in the grim six-figure club.

Orange County became the fourth county in Florida to surpass 100,000 cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, with reports of 722 people newly-confirmed with the virus.

That puts Orange in the unhappy company of Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm-Beach counties, the South Florida region that has, since the beginning in March, looked like the epicenter of Florida’s pandemic.

Orange, with 1.3 million people according to the most recent U.S. Census reports, reached the 100,000 mark by compiling about 75 confirmed cases per 1,000 residents to date.

That’s not as severe an outbreak as Miami-Dade’s 135 cases per 1,000 residents, or Broward’s 88 cases per 1,000. But it’s a worse rate than what has been experienced in Palm Beach, and worse than Hillsborough County, which has more residents than Orange, but has not yet complied a caseload six figures in size.

Overall, the six counties of the greater Orlando area tallied 1,589 new COVID-19 cases in the latest daily COVID-19 report from the Florida Department of Health. Brevard County had 237 new cases reported, Volusia County, 166; Osceola County, 161; Lake County, 159; and Seminole County, 144.

Volusia County also received troubling news of 30 deaths newly-attributed to the virus in the latest state report. Overall, there were 48 deaths across Central Florida, including 11 people who died in Orange, four in Seminole, two in Brevard, and one in Osceola. Wednesday’s regional total compared to 28 COVID-19 deaths confirmed the day before.

The winter surge pushed Orange County toward the 100,000 mark swiftly.

Orange did not record its 10,000th COVID-19 case until June 30, nearly four months into the coronavirus outbreak in Florida.

It took until Nov. 12 for Orange to log its 50,000th COVID-19 case, more than eight months into the pandemic.

Orange County’s next 50,000 cases took a little more than two months to appear.

Wednesday’s daily report showed the region saw a small batch of COVID-19 test results returned Tuesday, just 11,672. Consequently, positive-test findings rose, which usually happens with smaller batches.

Across Central Florida, 11.8% of the latest tests coming back positive for the virus. The positive test rate was highest in Lake, at, 13.9%. In Volusia, 13.2% of tests came back positive; in Brevard, 12.4%; in Orange, 11.7%; in Seminole, 10.5%; and in Osceola, 10.3%.

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].


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