Florida recorded 1,071 additional deaths attributed to COVID-19 in the COVID-19 Weekly Situation Report released Friday afternoon by the Florida Department of Health.
That total — similar to what the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed for Florida in that agency’s most recent seven-day total — represents the worst week for COVID-19 deaths since January and February, when the winter surge was at its deadliest.
On Friday, Florida reported that 40,766 people have now died of COVID-19 in Florida, through Thursday.
That “Cumulative Deaths” total is 1,071 deaths higher than what Florida showed in its weekly report released on the previous Friday, tallying deaths through Aug. 5.
Florida’s cumulative death total has been rising fast in the past three or four weeks, suggesting the surge in COVID-19 hospitalizations that started hitting Florida hospitals in mid-July might now be turning fatal.
For the previous week, from July 29 to Aug 5, Florida’s cumulative death toll went up 616, according to the state’s weekly reports. The week before that the total went up 409. The week before that, Florida recorded an additional 282 people had died of COVID-19. And in the week from July 9 to July 15, the cumulative deaths went up by 231.
In its COVID-19 Weekly Situation Reports, the Florida Department of Health also reports a “Previous Week Deaths” total. But that number bears no resemblance to the rising cumulative deaths in each week’s report.
Still, that number, too, is going up rapidly.
In Friday’s report, the department reported 286 deaths in the previous week, by far the highest number of the summer. The previous week the department reported 175. The week before that 108 deaths were reported for the week. The week before that, 78. And the week of July 9 to July 15, Florida reported 59 deaths.
The difference between the “Previous Week Deaths” and the state’s rising “Cumulative Deaths” exists largely because many COVID-19 deaths take many days or even weeks to be reported to the state. When reports come in on people who died in a previous week, those get recorded in the “Cumulative Deaths” total, but not in the “Previous Week Deaths” total. The cumulative total also is sometimes adjusted as local medical examiners might change cause of death rulings, or take weeks to determine if suspected COVID-19 deaths were actually deaths caused by the virus.
Nonetheless, the cumulative death total is the clearest indication of how many people are dying in Florida from COVID-19 over time.
Currently, that total is rising by an average of more than 150 per day in Florida.
Florida’s latest one-week increase of 1,071 COVID-19 deaths is consistent with the running totals the federal government maintains. The HHS numbers are compiled from reports submitted to the federal government from the Florida Department of Health, though the the data federal authorities post never quite matches exactly with the numbers found in Florida’s weekly reports.
The most recent numbers from the HHS are a day behind Florida’s numbers, showing deaths reported through Wednesday instead of through Thursday. The latest HHS total shows Florida’s COVID-19 cumulative death toll increased by 1,125 over the most recent previous seven days.
The federal numbers allow for comparisons to other states.
Florida is suffering far more COVID-19 deaths this summer than any other state.
Last week, Texas’ cumulative death total went up by 446 deaths, according to the HHS data. Louisiana was next with 279 additional COVID-19 deaths added to its total over the previous seven days.
According to the HHS data, Florida’s greatest one-week increase in COVID-19 deaths came between Jan. 29 and Feb. 4, when 1,255 additional deaths were recorded. That was an average of 179 deaths per day.