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Florida health officials reported early Friday they are now tracking 520 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by coronavirus, and 10 deaths.
The uptick added nearly 90 cases from the state’s last update Thursday evening. It includes 30 cases in Hillsborough County, 10 more than the night before. That’s the most for any county outside Southeast Florida, and fourth-most in the state.
Officials report another 21 cases in Pinellas; seven in Pasco; and four in Hernando. To the south, Manatee County had another nine cases. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced a veteran connected to the Bay Pines VA has coronavirus and is under “home quarantine.” The person is one of 130 patients identified as veterans nationwide.
Meanwhile, Broward is up to 124 cases and Miami-Dade to 113.
The state’s case tracking includes residents and visitors diagnosed in Florida as well as a small number of Floridians who were tested and isolated elsewhere.
The latest death of a Floridian involves a 92-year-old man from Broward. This week, state officials also reported a woman who was taken from Georgia to Tallahassee Memorial Hosptial, where she died, later tested positive for COVID-19. She was not a Florida resident.
Private labs and hospitals are now testing for coronavirus in addition to state health facilities. America’s testing capacity was initially so limited that doctors say it’s hard now to know whether increases are evidence of expanded capacity or the disease’s true spread.
The newest figures show that Florida officials added 88 known cases on Thursday, a slight decrease from Wednesday. The number of cases added per day is key, as it helps doctors and scientists chart the curve that the public is attempting to lower by practicing social distancing. When people are told to work from home and avoid crowds, the goal is to reduce contact and potential transmission of the disease.
If effective, the curve will go down — meaning that day by day, Florida is adding fewer cases of coronavirus to its overall total. Despite the slight decrease Thursday, the latest data from the Department of Health show that officials had already logged 85 new cases on Friday as of the 9:55 a.m. update, with many hours to go. The state has said the numbers are provisional and subject to change, and updates are dependent on when the Department of Health receives batches of results from public health labs, hospitals and private providers.
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