In one of its grimmest reports since the pandemic began nearly a year ago, Florida’s Department of Health on Friday confirmed 13,719 additional cases of COVID-19 to bring the state’s known total to 1,627,603. Also, 272 resident deaths were announced, bringing the resident death toll to 25,011.
The number of deaths is the most reported by Florida in a single day since Aug. 11 when the state announced 276 deaths. Positivity percentages also soared across the state and in all of South Florida’s counties from the Keys to Palm Beach.
Five new non-resident deaths were also announced, bringing the non-resident toll to 394. The total death count for the state is 25,405, the fourth highest in the country after New York, California and Texas, according to the New York Times database of U.S. cases.
According to the state’s Friday COVID-19 vaccine report, 1,249,804 people have been vaccinated in Florida — with 139,345 of those people having completed the series of two doses.
Of those who completed the two-dose vaccination, 19,893 were Miami-Dade residents, 15,838 were Broward residents, 279 were Monroe residents and 5,012 were Palm Beach County residents.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Florida
▪ Miami-Dade County reported 2,299 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 34 new deaths, according to Florida’s Department of Health. The county now has 354,704 confirmed cases and 4,678 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases increased from 7.62% to 10.83%, from Wednesday to Thursday.
▪ Broward County reported 1,176 additional confirmed cases of the disease and seven new deaths. The county has a known total of 163,896 cases and 2,011 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases increased from 7.14% to 13.52%, from Wednesday to Thursday.
▪ Palm Beach County saw 811 additional confirmed cases and 17 new deaths. The county now has 101,019 confirmed cases and 2,083 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases increased from 7.29% to 10.92%, from Wednesday to Thursday.
▪ Monroe County confirmed 48 additional cases, no new deaths and reduced its reported number of deaths by one without explanation. The county has a known total of 5,105 cases and 39 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases increased from 7.39% to 14.29%, from Wednesday to Thursday.
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida
One of the tools that officials rely on to determine whether the coronavirus situation is improving in the state is hospitalization data. Unlike testing, which might be limited or takes days to report results, hospitalizations can help give officials a real-time snapshot of how many people are severely ill with COVID-19.
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration reports the number of patients hospitalized statewide with a “primary diagnosis of COVID.” The data, which is updated at least every hour, does not distinguish between the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital intensive care units and those in acute-care beds, which require less attention from nurses.
As of 3 p.m. Friday, there were 6,904 COVID-19 patients admitted into hospitals throughout the state, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration dashboard. This is at mid-August levels, when more than 7,000 COVID-19 patients were admitted into hospitals throughout the state.
Of Friday’s hospitalizations, 984 were in Miami-Dade, 631 in Broward, 448 in Palm Beach and nine in Monroe, according to the agency.
Florida’s current hospitalization data does not always match the hospitalization data reported in Miami-Dade’s “New Normal” dashboard. Officials say this could be for a number of reasons, including the frequency of daily updates.
On Friday, Miami-Dade hospitalizations for COVID-19 complications decreased from 1,090 to 1,069, according to Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” dashboard. According to Friday’s data, 167 people were discharged and 109 people were admitted.
The state has had a total of 69,735 Florida residents hospitalized for COVID-19-related complications, according to Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard.
COVID-19 Testing in Florida
Testing in Florida has seen steady growth since the COVID-19 crisis began.
Testing, like hospitalizations, helps officials determine the virus’ progress and plays a role in deciding whether it is safe to lift stay-at-home orders and loosen restrictions.
Epidemiologists use the testing data to create a positivity rate. The rate helps them determine if a rise in cases is because of an increase in testing or whether there’s increased transmission of the virus in the community.
On Friday, Florida’s Department of Health reported the results of 108,592 people tested on Thursday. The positivity rate of new cases (people who tested positive for the first time) increased from 8.54% to 12.37%.