The grim toll of Florida’s summer surge of COVID-19 continues to mount as state officials on Friday reported another 1,719 deaths attributed to the virus.
The Florida Department of Health released its latest COVID-19 Weekly Situation Report showing the state’s pandemic death toll reaching 55,299 since the pandemic began in March 2020. That total indicates another 1,719 deaths registered in the past seven days.
Before this summer, Florida had never reported as many as 1,300 new COIVID-19 deaths in a single week. With Friday’s announcement, Florida exceeded that level for seven consecutive weekly reports.
The latest release shows that Florida reached16,220 deaths since the end of July. That means for that stretch, there was an average of more than 250 fatalities per day. That chronicles Florida’s most dire news of the 2021 summer surge’s worst period, driven by the emergence of the more infectious delta variant.
Almost 30% of all official COVID-19 deaths in Florida during the 19-month pandemic have been counted just in the past nine weeks.
Florida’s more immediate trends are hopeful, however, according to Friday’s report. The update showed a sharp drop from the 2,000-plus COVID-19 fatalities recorded in each of the previous four weeks.
More dramatically, the same report showed the number of newly confirmed COVID0-19 cases fell again — dramatically — with just 37,299 tallied since the state’s previous report was issued on Sept. 24. There had been 54,109 the week before.
The statement claims the lowest weekly total of new COVID-19 cases since mid-July, confirming that the worst of the latest outbreak is long past, except for dealing with the record numbers of deaths that resulted.
Florida was posting more than 150,000 new cases per week through the last three weeks in August. September is nowhere near that number.
Friday’s report was the fifth consecutive weekly report showing significant declines in new cases.