The state of Florida’s COVID-19 dashboard reported 1,868 new cases Sunday and 42 more deaths from the novel coronavirus.
Throughout the pandemic, less data collection and entry led to the daily reports on Sundays having lower case and fatality numbers than the rest of the week. Sunday’s case count remains in the range of the last several Sundays, but the 42 deaths is the most reported on a Sunday since the 51 reported on Aug. 23.
For the pandemic, the state of Florida reports 716,459 COVID-19 total cases and 14,845 total deaths.
South Florida counties
▪ Miami-Dade reported 329 new cases and four new deaths for pandemic totals of 172,205 total cases and 3,334 deaths, respectively. According to the state’s county-by-county breakdown, Miami-Dade’s daily positive test rate has been over 5% four of the last seven days and averages 5.00% for those seven days. The previous seven days, the average daily positive rate was 4.61%.
▪ Broward County’s 172 new cases leave it at 77,934 total cases. The dashboard reported 1,420 deaths, an increase of six. As for positive test rates, Broward has been under 4% on 10 of the last 11 days in the county-by-county breakdown. The exception was 4.02% reported for Wednesday.
▪ Palm Beach had 115 new cases, a pandemic total of 47,079, and three deaths, moving the death toll to 1,394. Nine of the last 11 days, Palm Beach’s positive test rate has been under 4%.
▪ Monroe County added eight new cases and no deaths. The Keys have had 1,869 cases and 22 deaths.
Gelber asks for mask mandate
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber asked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to rethink his refusal to mandate masks statewide in light of President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump contracting the virus. Gelber also told the governor in a letter that local governments should be able to enforce mask requirements.
“The notion that we are still debating this seems incomprehensible given the recent infections of the First Family, and the horrific impact the virus has had on our own residents,” Gelber wrote.
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 10:45 a.m. Sunday, the AHCA’s said there were 2,044 people currently hospitalized, a rise of six from Saturday afternoon. Miami-Dade was up nine to 273; Broward down eight to 199; and Monroe was down two to two. Palm Beach was up two to 101.
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.
Sunday, Miami-Dade reported 334 people current hospitalized from COVID-19, up 12 from Saturday, and 96 COVID-19 patients in Intensive Care Unit beds, a decrease of five.
The state reported another 20,434 people have been tested, a total of 5,404,082 during the pandemic. The positive test rate for the pandemic is 13.27%.
By the state’s numbers, it’s average daily positive test rate for the last seven days is 4.43%, a tiny drop from 4.61% for the previous seven days.
Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center agrees with the state on the overall pandemic positive test rate percentages, but differs with the state on the daily, weekly and monthly percentages. It’s latest update puts Florida’s positive test rate over the week before Saturday was 11.25%, trending up.
Johns Hopkins’ site explains how it calculates positive testing rate for each state: “Our calculation...looks at number of cases divided by number of negative tests plus number of cases.
We feel that the ideal way to calculate positivity would be number of people who test positive divided by number of people who are tested. We feel this is currently the best way to track positivity because some states include in their testing totals duplicative tests obtained in succession on the same individual, as well as unrelated antibody tests.
“However, many states are unable to track number of people tested, so they only track number of tests. Because states do not all publish number of positive and number of negative tests per day, we have no choice but to calculate positivity via our approach.”
Florida says it figures positive test rate by calculating “the number of people who test positive for the first time divided by all the people tested that day, excluding people who have previously tested positive.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.