Florida’s Department of Health on Friday confirmed 2,660 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s known total to 711,804. Also, 110 resident deaths were announced, bringing the resident death toll to 14,554.
It is still unclear if there were any new non-resident deaths. On Thursday, the cumulative non-resident toll was at 175.
Confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Florida
▪ Miami-Dade County reported 509 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 30 new deaths, according to Florida’s Department of Health. The county now has 171,391 confirmed cases and 3,314 deaths. The county’s percent positivity is 5.11%. The 14-day positivity average is 4.70%, according to Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” Dashboard.
▪ Broward County reported 198 additional confirmed cases of the disease and nine new deaths. The county has a known total of 77,631 cases and 1,415 deaths. The county’s percent positivity is 2.93%.
▪ Palm Beach County saw 135 additional confirmed cases and six new deaths. The county now has 46,833 confirmed cases and 1,389 deaths. The county’s percent positivity is 2.40%.
▪ Monroe County confirmed one additional case and no new deaths. The county has a known total of 1,856 cases and 22 deaths. The county’s percent positivity is 1.76%.
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 take 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.
Previously, the state was providing only the total number of hospitalizations in its statewide and county-level data. Miami-Dade was an exception, with hospitals self-reporting a number of key metrics, including hospitalizations, to the county, which has made this data public for several months.
As of 4:31 p.m. Friday, there were 2,056 COVID-19 patients admitted into hospitals throughout the state, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration dashboard. This is a significant decrease from early August, when more than 5,000 COVID-19 patients were admitted into hospitals throughout the state.
Of Thursday’s hospitalizations, 277 were in Miami-Dade, 204 in Broward, 105 in Palm Beach and four in Monroe counties, 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 356 to 341, according to Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” dashboard. According to Friday’s data, 42 people were discharged and 34 people were admitted.
The state has had 44,489 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 then 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 if it means there’s increased transmission of the virus in the community.
On Friday, Florida’s Department of Health reported the results of 77,615 people tested on Thursday. The positivity rate of new cases (people who tested positive for the first time) was 3.77%.
If retests are included — people who have tested positive once and are being tested for a second time — the positivity rate was 4.92% of the total, the report said.
This breaking news article will be updated.