Florida’s COVID-19 death toll climbs to 32K

Skull in a medical mask isolated on black background . The concept of an epidemic. Coronavirus protection equipment.
Health officials reported another 136 deaths overnight.

The COVID-19 death toll in Florida climbed above 32,000, according to the Department of Health.

A Friday report on infections showed 32,093 total deaths in the state, a number that includes 31,522 Florida residents felled by the coronavirus, along with 571 individuals who lived outside the state and died here.

That’s an increase of 138 deaths not in the Thursday report.  Deaths have steadily remained in triple digits daily even as new infections gradually decline.

On that front, health officials report a total of 1,936,207 positive tests in Florida since the virus surfaced here March 1, 2020. That’s an increase of 5,975 reported cases overnight.

That includes 1,900,598 Florida residents who tested positive, and another 35,609 visitors to the state who tested positive while here.

On Thursday, Florida recorded results from another 138,648 tests. Of those, 9,478 came back positive, or 6.84%. Health officials generally consider the spread of the virus under control as long as positivity rates remain below 10%.

A more concerning figure, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday updated its own reporting on variant strains and Florida remains a national hotbed for the mutated virus.

The state has seen 642 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant, first detected in the U.K. That’s 24% of the 2,672 cases nationwide across 48 states.

Florida has still seen just one case of the B.1.351 strain first seen in South Africa, out of 68 cases nationwide. But 5 of the 13 known cases of the P.1. strain, first detected in Brazil, surfaced in the Sunshine State.

But Florida continues to make headway distributing vaccines. As of midday Friday, the state reported 3,362,212 individuals have received at least one dose of vaccine.

The state report for the first time included individuals who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, put in 1,356 arms so far. Another 1,851,110 have completed the two-shot schedule for the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines. There are also 1,509,746 individuals who received the first shot of Pfizer or Moderna and await a second dose.

Editor’s note on methodology: The Florida Department of Health releases new data every morning around 10:45 a.m. The total number reported in those daily reports include the previous day’s totals as well as the most up to date data as of about 9:30 a.m.

Florida Politics uses the report-over-report increase to document the number of new cases each day because it represents the most up-to-date data available. Some of the more specific data, including positivity rates and demographics, considers a different data set that includes only cases reported the previous day.

This is important to note because the DOH report lists different daily totals than our methodology to show day-over-day trends. Their numbers do not include nonresidents who tested positive in the state and they only include single-day data, therefore some data in the DOH report may appear lower than what we report.

Our methodology was established based on careful consideration among our editorial staff to capture both the most recent and accurate trends.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


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