Florida’s COVID-19 deaths declining, case numbers falling fast

Florida state flag and N95 face mask. Concept of state and local government face covering mandate, order, requirement and social distancing during Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic
Florida's total of 2,340 newly-reported deaths was still the worst in the nation.

The long-awaited turn in COVID-19 fatalities from the summer surge finally has appeared in Florida, as the state recorded its first weekly decline in newly-recorded deaths since early July.

Late Friday, the Florida Department of Health released its COVID-19 Weekly Situation Report recording 2,340 additional deaths statewide in the past week, a slight dip from the all-time worst deaths tally of 2,468 that was revealed with the state’s Sept. 17 weekly report.

This week’s COVID-19 report also showed there were just 54,109 new coronavirus infection cases recorded statewide, the lowest weekly total Florida has seen since the July 16 report.

The new report marks the fourth consecutive week that saw Florida’s COVID-19 case numbers falling. That total had peaked at more than 150,000 cases per week for three weeks running in mid-August, and has been falling sharply ever since.

Still during the previous few weeks, as Florida’s case totals began falling from record highs seen through much of August, Florida’s death totals climbed. But that was to be expected, as COVID-19 death tallies have tended to trail two to four weeks behind the trends shown by case totals.

That anticipated decline in COVID-19 fatality reports finally showed Friday.

Still, Florida’s death toll for the week — which records all COVID-19 fatality reports received during the seven days, regardless of when the people actually died — is a total far in excess of any single week seen prior to this summer.

Until September, a total of 2,000 COVID-19 death reports over seven days was unheard of in Florida. Friday’s report was the fourth in a row that recorded at least 2,000 new deaths.

Over the past two months — since July 23 when Florida’s death tallies began to climb rapidly — the deaths of 14,910 Floridians from COVID-19 have been recorded in Florida. That works out to an average of 236 fatalities per day, for two months running.

That very likely would make COVID-19 Florida’s leading cause of death through the final two months of summer.

Annual numbers posted over the past several years show Florida averages about 180-190 heart disease deaths per day and about 120-130 cancer deaths per day, according to the Florida Department of Health’s Division of Public Health Statistics. Heart disease and cancer normally are Florida’s two leading killers.

Based on national data compiled and released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Florida’s latest one-week total of newly-reported COVID-19 fatalities also was the most of any state in the nation.

The CDC data is posted a day behind Florida’s, so it tallies COVID-19 deaths reported to the federal government from Sept. 17 to Wednesday, while Florida’s weekly report shows totals from Sept. 18 through Thursday.

During the period covered by the federal data, the CDC tallied 2,294 additional deaths for Florida, compared with 1,962 for Texas, which also saw its seven-day tally decline. Alabama reported a dramatic increase in COVID-19 fatalities giving it the third-highest total, reporting 942 additional deaths. Georgia followed with 870, and then California, with 773.

Alabama, with fewer than 5 million total people, saw its per capita death rate soar past Florida’s. For the week, Alabama recorded 19.2 deaths per 100,000 people, while Florida reported 10.7 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 residents. Georgia had the nation’s third-worst death rate, at 8.2 deaths per 100,000. Texas’s rate was 6.8 deaths reported per 100,000 for the week.

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]


12 comments

  • Professor Emeritus

    September 24, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Deaths are not declining yet in any way shape or form Peak infection was late august
    Death reports are totally up to DiSantis

  • Professor Emeritus

    September 24, 2021 at 7:55 pm

    Just remember there is the actual date of death
    Date of death report to the state and
    Date of death as assigned by the state

    The actual date of death should be a relaitively smooth curve.
    But the date of death from Florida is all over the map
    During the week actual date of death
    Monday 23 309
    Tuesday 24 369
    Wed 25 348
    Thursday 26 327
    Friday 27 382
    Following week
    Monday 30 338
    Tuesday 31 352
    Wed Sept 1 340
    Thurs Sept 2 337
    Fri Sept 3 324

    One way or another the data is being “massaged”
    Up to august 19 the curve is much smoother
    It just bears watching as the deaths are in filled

    • Alex

      September 24, 2021 at 8:26 pm

      Whats the old saying?

      Figures don’t lie, but liars can figure.

      • Tom

        September 24, 2021 at 10:30 pm

        Yeah Alex, you and all your Manchurian tom a tons can’t lie enough. Disgraceful!

    • Jessie Carver

      September 25, 2021 at 5:34 pm

      Nope. Denmark actually has one of the highest vaccination rates in the world. Over 75% FULLY vaccinated , Florida and the US is way lower, the article itself states that the ONLY reason Denmark can lower it caution is BECAUSE it has such a high vaccination rate. It will never be like the flu in the US when so many people refuse to get vaccinated and states like Florida support them

      • Alex

        September 27, 2021 at 1:15 pm

        Zombie only reads headlines.

      • zhombre

        September 27, 2021 at 6:40 pm

        I remain confident that vaccination rates will increase and that, in combination with an increase in natural immunity and effective treatment protocols, will ameliorate this pandemic in the future. Granted, Denmark is a small, homogenous country with greater social cohesion and conformity than the populous, fractious, diverse US of A; the 75 percent vax figure isn’t surprising (and they don’t have open borders).

  • Jim Rimes

    September 25, 2021 at 12:16 pm

    Your headline is factually accurate but distorts the true and complete story. I think it would be more appropriate and less misleading to say something like this:
    Florida’s weekly COVID deaths still worst in country, but declining. Weekly new cases also declining.
    Seems more journalistically responsible than what you used.

  • JPer

    October 1, 2021 at 7:31 am

    Since death rates are two weeks behinds, that % will fall drastically over the next two weeks as well.

  • Rodrigo

    October 5, 2021 at 10:40 pm

    Wow…..so happy that I lived in Florida under this Covid thing….i would have killed myself living in a claustrophobic pmace like Michigan, California…..or Canada or Australia, New Zealand anybody????……I love you DeSantis!!!….you have the GUTS to confront all the worms that creep around here!!!!…..you have my VOTE man

  • Rodrigo

    October 5, 2021 at 10:47 pm

    And by the way….I am a Covid “SURVIVOR”……Lol…..I love that phrase….it was super mild abd my wife was asymptomatic…..even my 94 year old dad got it and nothing….
    Since I got fully vaccinated after the Covid infection……now it appears I have “hybrid” immunity…super human immunity????…..lol..I dont have to worry about the booster shots and all that ………wow so happy to live in Florida!!!!

Comments are closed.


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