COVID-19 cases in Florida continue to dive but deaths continue to pile up
Image via AP.

covid deaths
Florida's summer surge's grim toll continues, adding 1,192 COVID-19 deaths.

Florida is very close to a low point in weekly counts of new COVID-19 cases not seen since before the delta variant emerged but deaths from the summer surge continue to pile up in numbers rarely seen before the summer of 2021.

Florida’s latest COVID-19 Weekly Situation Report, released late Friday, records a seven-day increase of just 18,807 new cases statewide in the week ending Thursday.

That total is in the range Florida was tabulating each week in late May, June, and the first report in July, back when Florida’s coronavirus crisis appeared to be over.

Then came Florida’s summer surge, fueled by the delta variant, which began emerging by July 9. By July 30 Florida was reporting more than 100,000 new cases each week. Those case numbers began falling again in late August.

While the latest report confirms the dramatic downward trend of new cases — now reaching pre-summer surge levels — the lagging wave of death reports remains high, exposing the grim results of the summer surge.

Friday’s weekly report showed 1,192 more deaths were added to the state’s total in the previous week.

That was the 10th consecutive week that reports from the Florida Department of Health newly tallied COVID-19 deaths of more than 1,000 Floridians over seven-day periods.

Still, Friday’s addition of 1,192 deaths was the fifth straight week that’ Florida’s weekly number of new fatalities fell. The latest report also marked the first weekly total of additional COVID-19 fatalities since Aug. 13 that was not worse any week Florida had suffered prior to the summer surge of 2021.

Death reports tend to lag new case reports by two to four weeks.

Florida’s current 10-week run of 1,000 or more deaths added each week to Florida’s total compares with seven weeks of 1,000 newly-counted deaths the Sunshine sSate reported from late January through early March; and the four consecutive weeks of 1,000 or more newly-counted deaths reported during the summer of 2020 surge.

Nationally, according to data compiled from state reports and released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Texas added more deaths in the past week than Florida.

The latest CDC data, appearing in the agency’s COVID-19 Community Profile Report, is a day behind Florida’s reporting period. So the most recent federal reports can only show a week of Thursday through Wednesday. Florida’s weekly state reports show data tabulated Fridays through Thursdays. But the federal reports allow for comparisons of states.

In the CDC’s latest report, through Wednesday, Texas reported 1,579 new COVID-19 deaths during the previous seven days. Florida was next with 1,304 new fatalities in the CDC tabulations, followed by California, 678; Georgia, 607; and Ohio, 531.

That latest CDC data shows that five states — Arkansas, West Virginia, Alabama, Idaho, and Wyoming — had higher per capita rates than Florida of newly-reported COVID-19 deaths for the most recent week. Arkansas’ newly-reported deaths amounted to 12.8 per 100,000 residents. Florida’s amounted to 6.1 deaths per 100,000 residents. Texas’ rate was 5.3; and California’s 1.7.

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]


10 comments

  • Professor Emeritus

    October 16, 2021 at 2:45 am

    Florida reports whatever number of deaths it feels like reporting to make DiSantis look good Reports are often delayed 5 weeks

    • Brandon

      October 17, 2021 at 5:36 pm

      Didn’t know 171 deaths per day was considered good.

  • Professor Emeritus

    October 16, 2021 at 3:03 am

    To understand Florida’s bald faced lies just compare two pairs of dates 7 day average cases on August 12 was 21,366 resulting in 7 day average of 378 21 days later on Sept 2
    BUT 21510 cases on August 29 (7 day average) yield only 245 deaths (7 day average ) 21 days later on Sept 19 Whey are there 133 fewer death reports despite more cases? The answer is politically driven delay . Reports are not 2 weeks behind, they are 5 weeks behind . We only now know there were 409 deaths on a single day August 28

    • Jerry

      October 19, 2021 at 7:53 pm

      You do understand that COVID has a 98.5% overall survival rate, correct? That’s not just Florida….that’s not just Republicans. That’s national and international numbers. Only 1.5% of confirmed cases of COVID-19 lead to death. So lets look at your numbers. If you have 21,510 cases, that would equal around 300 deaths if my math is correct. 245 deaths were reported in that period. So no, the numbers are not far off the averages. Some variance would be expected as one week you may have lower deaths and another week a higher number.

      Please understand that not everyone who gets COVID needs medical care. In fact, the vast majority fight the virus without any problem at home. Most children don’t even get any symptoms at all.

      With this virus, 81% have no, mild, or moderate symptoms that do not require any medical assistance. 12% will require at least a hospital visit. 5% need to be in the ICU or long-term hospitalization. And 1.5% will die. The vast majority of the people who need medical help are people who are elderly or have underlying conditions. Vast majority of those people are already vaccinated which is reducing the death rate further.

      You are claiming that the deaths are a much higher number than what is being reported. When the cases are falling, and more than half the state is vaccinated and over 80% of the high risk population is vaccinated….guess what….the deaths are going to be lower. Even in situations where the cases are spiking, if you have 60% of the population vaccinated, the death rate will be lower compared to other previous periods of the pandemic.

      • nail

        October 20, 2021 at 7:04 pm

        Not enough deaths for you? NYT and the CDC has reported that there are 8,000 missing deaths in Deathsantis Covid shuffle.
        Maybe you should call him and ask him why he changes the numbers every week. While your at it, ask the Florida Heath Dept. if these people feel they need their jobs to be complicit in the deaths of these people.

      • tjb

        October 20, 2021 at 9:57 pm

        We now have 730,000 Covid deaths in the USA. The total number of American soldiers killed in WW1, WW2, the Korean War, and Viet Nam was 715,000.

        Florida has 6.5% of the USA population, but it has 8% of the USA Covid deaths.
        DeSantis’s Florida leads the nation in the highest percentage of Covid death on a per capita basis and we are second in the average deaths per day.

      • Rick C.

        October 21, 2021 at 10:43 am

        And? A death is a pretty absolute and permanent data point, especially if it was avoidable. That’s where the crime sits. Brazil’s citizens are justified in going after Bolsinaro with a charge of crimes against humanity, who’s policies lead to hundreds of thousands of deaths. The same should happen to DeSantis.

    • Tjb

      October 20, 2021 at 9:37 pm

      How many Floridians have died from Covid? Only Texas has a greater average death rate than Florida. DeSantis’s Florida is number 2 of the 50 states and DC in deaths.

    • Rick C.

      October 21, 2021 at 10:39 am

      When most of your at risk population has already needlessly died off, it may be easier to ‘report’ a lowered positive rate confirmation.

Comments are closed.


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