Florida’s death toll now exceeds 14,000 as state reports 2,795 new COVID-19 cases

David J. Neal

Saturday morning, the day after Gov. Ron DeSantis declared Florida in Phase 3 of the Plan for Florida’s Recovery, the state’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 2,795 new cases and 107 more deaths.

The latter number pushes Florida past 14,000 resident deaths for the novel coronavirus pandemic. Since the state began counting, Florida has had 698,682 total cases, 14,090 total deaths, 14,022 of which were residents.

Two days this week, the Florida reported days of over 5% positive test rate and the average daily positive test rate rose for the first time in weeks, 4.25% to 4.68%.

The Florida Department of Health’s report of the day-by-day positive test rate for the state.
The Florida Department of Health’s report of the day-by-day positive test rate for the state.

Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center says Florida’s positive test rate over the last week has been 10.87%.

South Florida counties

Miami-Dade added 369 cases and 29 deaths, bringing its pandemic totals to 169,144 cases and 3,231 deaths, both by far the most of any Florida county.

After DeSantis’ executive order, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez issued a statement that, though all business can open again, they’ll still be subject to county guidelines. Miami-Dade’s new guidelines came down late Saturday night.

The average daily positive test rate rose from 4.13% to 4.65%.

Another 180 cases and 15 deaths puts Broward’s numbers for the pandemic at 76,700 and 1,379, respectively. As in Miami-Dade, the average daily positive test rate edged up, 2.9% to 3.25%.

Palm Beach’s numbers, 160 cases and 15 deaths, were similar to Broward’s Saturday. Florida’s third hardest hit county by the pandemic has had 46,183 cases and 1,342 deaths. Positive test rates stayed virtually the same, 3.78% on average to 3.71%.

Monroe’s six new cases moves their total case count to 1,834. Their death toll remains at 22.

Current Hospitalizations

Government officials use current hospitalizations to decide the next action in dealing with the pandemic. On the state level, this has been steadily falling over the last month.

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 10:46 a.m. Saturday, the AHCA’s count was 2,107, down 14 from Friday night. Among South Florida counties, only Monroe had an increase and that the smallest of increases, from two to three hospitalizations. Otherwise, Miami-Dade was down seven to 268; Broward, down two to 213; and Palm Beach down 17 to 111.

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.

Miami-Dade’s daily hospitalization count says it’s down to 337 with 112 of those being in intensive care unit beds, both numbers sliding downward over the past several weeks.

Miami-Dade’s chart of current hospitalizations and ICU bed usage from COVID-19
Miami-Dade’s chart of current hospitalizations and ICU bed usage from COVID-19

Testing

As of Saturday morning, 5,242,163 people had been tested in Florida, an increase of 29,021 from Friday morning. The rate of positive test returns moved by a miniscule margin, 13.35% down to 13.33%.

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