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Seventeen more Floridians have died as the state has added 714 known cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, according to state data.
A week ago, the state had just over 500 cases, and 11 deaths. As of Friday evening, the state is tracking 3,198 cases in all, though it is certain that many more remain untested and unconfirmed. The death count is now 46.
One of the deaths added in the last day is a Tampa Bay case, a 71-year-old Hillsborough County woman. The state reported no relevant travel or contact with other confirmed cases. It did not release further information about her health history. She died Thursday.
At least 503 Floridians have been hospitalized as COVID-19, the disease caused by complications from the virus, continues to spread through this especially vulnerable state.
That makes for a roughly 16 percent hospitalization rate for people with confirmed cases, though experts say the numbers fluctuate every day. Here in the Tampa Bay region, that rate is a little higher, at about 18 percent.
Two major factors in the disease’s rapid uptick: Testing is slowly expanding, and the disease is still spreading, prompting communities here and across the nation to adopt lockdown measures to slow transmission.
Public health experts say the worst is still ahead.
Hillsborough County holds the fourth-largest caseload in the state, tied with Orange County, with 174 each. Tampa alone accounts for 120 cases.
Pinellas County is tracking 82 cases, Pasco 25 and Manatee 29. Each have had one death. Hernando County has 12 cases.
The state — population more than 21 million, with a quarter of residents elderly — has now processed some 34,000 tests.
The average age of the deceased in Florida so far is 76.
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