Florida COVID-19 death toll surpasses 50K; Gov. DeSantis says it has been ‘really tough’ 18 months
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COVID death
And new vaccinations are at an all-time low.

Florida may have finally passed the peak of a surge caused by the delta variant, but new numbers show that COVID-19’s deadly toll has now claimed the lives of more than 50,000 Floridians.

Adding to the grim statistics is data from by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showing the number of people getting vaccinated in the state has dipped to an all-time low.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was asked about surpassing the 50,000 mark, acknowledged Thursday he thinks “it’s been a really tough year and a half.”

The latest data shows 50,811 Florida residents died from COVID-19 as of Sept. 15. The state accounts for about 7.6% of the 666,440 deaths nationwide. The numbers of people receiving at least one dose of the vaccine in the last seven days, meanwhile, dropped to 17,120, a new low.

The good news is, the percentage of patients treated in emergency room departments diagnosed with COVID-19 has dropped to 7.2%, the level the state was at in early July before the summer surge fully took hold. When DeSantis announced the first state-supported monoclonal antibody treatment centers in mid-August, COVID-19 patients accounted for more than 14% of emergency room visits.

Florida isn’t the only state to pass the 50,000 death toll. California and Texas reported 67,000-plus and almost 60,000 deaths, respectively. New York state has also surpassed the 50,000 mark for the numbers of resident deaths.

With 229 deaths per 100,000 people, though, Florida has a higher death rate than California and Texas. Only New York City has a higher death rate per 100,000 population, at 405.

Christine Jordan Sexton

Tallahassee-based health care reporter who focuses on health care policy and the politics behind it. Medicaid, health insurance, workers’ compensation, and business and professional regulation are just a few of the things that keep me busy.


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