Florida posted its lowest number of new COVID-19 cases since late July, but the state’s death count continued to surge, to another new worst, in the latest weekly report released late Friday.
That seven-day increase in the state’s death toll surpassed the previous worst of 2,345 Floridian deaths reported Sept. 3 report.
Friday’s report marked the fourth straight week Florida set a new grim record for reporting COVID-19 deaths.
Prior to August, Florida’s worst seven-day period was in late January, when state officials reported 1,296 additional Florida deaths from COVID-19.
Friday’s report also offered hope, however.
Reports of COVID-19 deaths normally trail the rises and declines of coronavirus cases by two to four weeks.
With Friday’s report, Florida’s coronavirus case numbers dropped significantly for the second consecutive week.
In the latest seven-day period, through Thursday, Florida recorded 100,249 new COVID-19 cases, down from 129,202 the week before, and 151,760 the week before that.
The 100,249 new cases reported Friday represented the lowest seven-day increase in the state’s ongoing caseload since July 23, when Florida’s case count grew by 73,166 over seven days.
Those declining caseload numbers are consistent with what is being reported by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
CDC data runs a day behind Florida’s — covering reports compiled from Thursday through Wednesday instead of Friday through Thursday. So federal numbers tend to not line up exactly with what Florida reports on a weekly basis. But the trends do.
The federal reports also show steadily declining numbers of people being admitted to Florida hospitals with COVID-19, now down nearly 40% from two weeks ago.
Still, the number of Florida COVID-19 patients in intensive care — those at greatest risk of dying — has declined much more slowly. Two weeks ago, 45% of all of Florida’s ICU beds were occupied by COVID-19 patients. That has declined to just 43% in the latest CDC data.
Through Thursday, 48,772 Floridians have died of COVID-19. Florida reported 9,077 of those deaths just in the past five weeks, an average of 259 newly-reported deaths per day.