Florida’s Department of Health on Tuesday confirmed 4,298 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s known total to 786,311. Also, 56 resident deaths were announced, bringing the resident death toll to 16,505.
One new non-resident death was also announced, bringing the non-resident toll to 204.
Florida has seen some increase in newly confirmed cases this month. The state’s percent positivity for new cases — people who tested positive for the first time —increased from 5.91% to 6.31%, according to the Florida Department of Health. Testing also saw some increase.
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Confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Florida
Note: The Florida Department of Health says that each county’s percent positivity for new cases (people who tested positive for the first time) does not include retests (people who have tested positive once and are being tested for a second time).
▪ Miami-Dade County reported 727 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nine new deaths, according to Florida’s Department of Health. The county now has 183,250 confirmed cases and 3,624 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases decreased from 5.83% to 5.59%. The 14-day percent positivity average was 4.51%, according to Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” Dashboard.
▪ Broward County reported 376 additional confirmed cases of the disease, bringing is total to 84,338 cases. The county also reduced its death toll by one, leaving its death count at 1,520. It was not immediately clear what caused the toll reduction. Percent positivity for new cases decreased from 6.90% to 5.80%.
▪ Palm Beach County saw 356 additional confirmed cases and three new deaths. The county now has 51,172 confirmed cases and 1,565 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases increased from 6.05% to 8.27%.
▪ Monroe County confirmed 15 additional cases and no new deaths. The county has a known total of 2,214 cases and 25 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases decreased from 7.07% to 5.73%.
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 3:02 p.m. Tuesday, there were 2,315 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 Tuesday’s hospitalizations, 332 were in Miami-Dade, 210 in Broward, 136 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 Tuesday, Miami-Dade hospitalizations for COVID-19 complications increased from 395 to 420, according to Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” dashboard. According to Tuesday’s data, 43 people were discharged and 52 people were admitted.
The state has had a total of 48,512 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 Tuesday, Florida’s Department of Health reported the results of 73,775 people tested on Monday. The positivity rate of new cases (people who tested positive for the first time) increased from 5.91% to 6.31%.
If retests are included — people who have tested positive once and are being tested for a second time — the positivity rate increased from 7.63% to 7.78%, according to the report.