Florida tops 900,000 COVID-19 cases

Mario Ariza, South Florida Sun Sentinel
·5 min read

Florida’s COVID-19 numbers continued to climb on Wednesday, with 7,925 new confirmed coronavirus cases.

The number of new cases follows a monthlong trend of increases across the state, based on health department data. The numbers indicate the possible approach of another pandemic wave.

The state on Wednesday confirmed 87 new deaths associated with COVID-19. The official death toll from the virus in the state stands at 17,949.

It’s the second highest number of cases this month, following 10,105 infections tallied Sunday. The third highest number of cases this month was recorded on Tuesday.

Florida has confirmed 905,248 total cases of COVID-19 throughout the pandemic. Not all of the individuals who tested positive over the entirety of the pandemic are currently infectious.

South Florida is experiencing a serious outbreak, with 2,962 new cases in 24 hours. And COVID-19 testing positivity rates in the region also are more troubling by the day, with Palm Beach County registering a case positivity rate of almost 10%.

Infectious disease specialists warn that a rate over 5% shows the virus is not under control.

South Florida

Broward County: 775 additional cases and 10 more deaths. Broward has a known total of 97,475 cases and 1,608 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The death tally includes 29 non-residents.

Palm Beach County: 502 additional cases and six more deaths. The county now has 59,656 confirmed cases and 1,641 deaths, including 24 non-residents.

Miami-Dade County: 1,680 additional cases and eight new deaths. The county now has 207,221 confirmed cases and 3,731 deaths, including 22 non-residents.

Testing and positivity rates

Public health experts say the virus is considered under control when the COVID-19 test positivity rate is under 5%. Florida exceeds 5% by both of its measures of assessing the rate for testing of residents.

In the first calculation, the state reported a daily positivity rate of 8.16%, down from 8.64% the day before. This method of calculating positivity counts new infections only, but also counts repeat negative tests, which skews the figure downward.

According to the state, Wednesday’s new case numbers reflect the results of 104,996 COVID-19 tests of Florida residents received from labs in the past day, up from 94,730 results reported Tuesday.

In the second calculation, which includes retests of people who were previously diagnosed, the statewide daily positivity rate is 9.71 based on the latest results for 104,996 residents. That’s down from 10.39% the previous day.

Broward County: Daily positivity rate of 7.88% for people with new infections only, down from 7.99%, according to state data.

Palm Beach County: Daily positivity rate of 8.88% for people with new infections only, down from 9.95% the previous day.

Miami Dade County: Daily positivity rate of 9.21% for people with new infections only, up from 8.96% the previous day.

Child infections

COVID-19 infections among children under age 18 are rising by hundreds of cases each day in Florida. Wednesday’s data show 79,439 cases statewide, an increase of 886 from the previous day.

Records show 668,388 kids have been swabbed since the beginning of the pandemic. And 11.9% of them have tested positive.

Overall, the statistics show 16,852 cases among children in Miami-Dade County, the most in the state, followed by 10,480 cases in Broward. There have been 4,833 confirmed infections among kids in Palm Beach County.

The statewide report also shows 903 children have been treated in hospitals for COVID-19 illness since March. Nine have died. The death total has been the same since Sept. 26.

Hospitalizations

As of 6 p.m. Wednesday, 3,352 people were hospitalized in Florida with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19. That’s an decrease of 7 patients in about 24 hours.

In South Florida, Broward County reported 310 patients, down by 10; Palm Beach County had 228, down by nine; and Miami-Dade had the most in the state with 470, up by four.

The online report from the state Agency for Health Care Administration updates frequently throughout the day. Hospitalizations hit a peak in late July of about 9,500 patients.

Since the pandemic began, 52,966 residents have been hospitalized for the disease.

Deaths

The state’s pandemic data report shows a total of 17,731 Floridians have died from COVID-19. In addition, 218 non-residents have died after contracting the virus. Most of the 87 fatalities reported Wednesday happened over several weeks but were just confirmed in the past day.

Florida has the fourth-highest total of COVID-19 deaths among the states, behind New York, Texas and California, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Florida’s death rate since the pandemic began ranks 13th among states, at 82 deaths per 100,000 people, the CDC reports. That’s higher than the national rate of 74 deaths per 100,000.

National and global view

U.S.: Almost 11.5 million people in the country have been infected with the novel coronavirus and 249,935 have died as of 5:26 p.m. Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University’s COVID-19 dashboard.

World: More than 56 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 1.3 million people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins says. The U.S. has had the most COVID-19 cases and deaths of any country. The U.S. has 4.3% of the world’s population, but 20.36% of the world’s cases and 18.59% of the world’s deaths.

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