Florida’s Department of Health on Thursday confirmed 12,873 additional cases of COVID-19 to bring the state’s known total to 1,613,884. Also, 161 resident deaths were announced, bringing the resident death toll to 24,739.
Two new non-resident deaths were also announced, bringing the non-resident toll to 389. The total death count for the state is 25,128, the fourth highest in the country after New York, California and Texas, according to the New York Times database of U.S. cases.
Palm Beach County hit a new milestone, topping 100,000 cases. Broward topped 2,000 deaths and the Florida Keys saw three new deaths.
According to the state’s Thursday COVID-19 vaccine report, 1,183,012 people have been vaccinated in Florida — with 123,971 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 2,153 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 14 new deaths, according to Florida’s Department of Health. The county now has 352,405 confirmed cases and 4,644 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases decreased from 10.71% to 7.62%, from Tuesday to Wednesday.
▪ Broward County reported 1,096 additional confirmed cases of the disease and six new deaths. The county has a known total of 162,720 cases and 2,004 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases decreased from 7.99% to 7.14%, from Tuesday to Wednesday.
▪ Palm Beach County saw 829 additional confirmed cases and five new deaths. The county now has 100,208 confirmed cases and 2,066 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases decreased from 10.39% to 7.29%, from Tuesday to Wednesday.
▪ Monroe County confirmed 33 additional cases and three new deaths. The county has a known total of 5,057 cases and 40 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases decreased from 11.69% to 7.39%, from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Listen to today's top stories from the Miami Herald:
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 9:15 a.m. Thursday, there were 7,083 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 Thursday’s hospitalizations, 1,016 were in Miami-Dade, 632 in Broward, 450 in Palm Beach and eight 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 Thursday, Miami-Dade hospitalizations for COVID-19 complications decreased from 1,095 to 1,090, according to Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” dashboard. According to Thursday’s data, 173 people were discharged and 115 people were admitted.
The state has had a total of 68,478 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 Thursday, Florida’s Department of Health reported the results of 148,507 people tested on Wednesday. The positivity rate of new cases (people who tested positive for the first time) decreased from 10.73% to 8.54%.