Saturday’s update on new confirmed COVID-19 cases from the Florida Department of Health reflected the state, Miami-Dade and Broward record new single-day highs, rocketing past previous peaks.
Florida added 11,458 cases, beating the previous record of 10,109 by 13%. Of Florida’s total, Miami-Dade County accounted for 2,418, and 1,348 came from Broward County. Of the state’s 18 deaths reported Saturday, 12 were in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.
Since the novel coronavirus pandemic started, 190,052 people have tested positive in Florida, 3,803 of whom have died.
The state began adding antigen test results to the case totals on Thursday. Antigen tests are a new category of tests that detect fragments of proteins found in the virus by testing samples collected by nose swabs. The FDA authorized the first COVID-19 tests in May.
South Florida counties
▪ Miami-Dade: In addition to the aforementioned, 2,418 cases, Miami-Dade had four new deaths, bringing the death toll to 1,038.
As of Saturday’s Miami-Dade County New Normal Dashboard update, the county was in the red flag zone in three categories: trajectory of daily case counts over a 14-day period, two consecutive weeks of a 14-day rolling positive test rate under 10% (21.13%) and 30% of Intensive Care Unit bed capacity available (26.33%).
Miami-Dade’s total pandemic counts are 44,729 cases and 1,038 deaths.
▪ Broward jumped 1,348 cases and three deaths and have pandemic totals of 19,575 and 409, respectively.
▪ Palm Beach County: There were 845 new COVID-19 cases and five deaths. The county has the state’s third most cases, 16,149, and second most deaths, 541.
▪ Monroe County: With another 15 new cases reported Saturday, there have been 337 COVID-19 cases and five deaths.
On Tuesday, the office of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis confirmed to the Miami Herald that the state would start reporting current hospitalization numbers for all counties some time this week.
The change comes following a surge of cases in recent weeks with public health experts and the nonprofit COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer group that has become the most prolific coronavirus data collector in the country, pressuring the state to start reporting current hospitalizations. That metric, they say, is a clearer way of assessing the pandemic’s severity.
While the state hasn’t started reporting current hospitalization numbers, Miami-Dade has been and that number has risen 20 consecutive days, going from under 600 to 1,466 in that time.
On Saturday, Miami-Dade hospitalizations for COVID-19 complications hit a total of 1,466 patients, according to Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” dashboard data. According to Saturday’s data, 174 people were discharged and 156 people were admitted.
Friday saw, for the first time, Miami-Dade’s ICU availability moving into Red Flag territory in the county’s daily coronavirus report. COVID-19 patients are taking up more than 70 percent of available ICU beds.
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.
The recommended number of daily tests needed varies among experts, but the dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Medicine has told Gov. DeSantis that Florida needs to test about 33,000 people every day.
On Saturday, Florida’s Department of Health reported 85,086 new tests on Friday.
To date, 2,148,327 people have been tested in Florida and 2,595,006 tests have been conducted. Of the total tested, 190,052 (about 8.8%) have tested positive. The positive test rate over the last week has been 14.0%.