The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida continues to shoot upward, with nearly 1,280 cases added in the past 24 hours.
The state said two more people in Manatee County have died from the quickly spreading disease, bringing the known COVID-19 related deaths in that county to five. Neither of those cases — a 75-year-old woman and a 69-year-old man — were linked to travel, according to the state.
Overall, the state said 33 Floridians have died since its Sunday evening update, bringing the total number of confirmed coronavirus-related deaths to 254.
There were nearly 70 new cases reported in the Tampa Bay area in the past day, including nearly 40 more cases in Hillsborough County, according to the state data released Monday evening.
There are now 575 known cases in Hillsborough County, 372 in Pinellas County, 114 in Pasco County and 48 in Hernando County.
Manatee County saw an increase of nine cases since the Sunday evening update, to 145 confirmed cases. There are also now 180 known cases in Polk County and 46 in Citrus County.
The total number of known novel coronavirus cases in the Sunshine State is now 13,629. A week ago, it was well less than half that number.
Since testing is still limited, the number infected is likely higher than the official totals.
The state said 1,720 people have been hospitalized at some point due to the coronavirus, an increase of 165 hospitalizations from a day earlier.
The state has not released data on the number of people who have recovered, noting that the “very definition of recovery is a contested issue.”
For instance, it said in an overview of its data, “Are you recovered once you’re no longer symptomatic, or contagious, once you get a negative test result, or no longer require hospitalization? Are you ever ‘recovered’ if you suffer long-term effects from having the virus?”
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.
So far, 124,726 people have been tested statewide.
On Monday, Publix confirmed that a third Pinellas employee, this one a worker at the 1491 Main St. store in Dunedin, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Two other employees, working at different stores, had previously been diagnosed.
Employees at the Dunedin store were told the affected employee was quarantined at home, as were those who worked closely with that person.
Meanwhile, the Tampa Police Department announced a second officer has tested positive for the disease. It said there was no “immediate concern” that either officer exposed anyone to the virus while on duty. Both officers are now improving and “doing well,” the department said in a statement.
The department said that, to date, 98 of its employees have been monitored and 30 remain under active medical monitoring, while the others have been cleared to return to full duty.
The Florida Department of Corrections said four inmates and five employees at the privately operated Blackwater River Correctional Facility near Pensacola now have confirmed cases of the coronavirus, raising more concerns about how quickly the disease could spread through those populations.
And U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Monday that two employees that work at the Krome detention center, which houses immigration detainees in Miami-Dade, have tested positive for the coronavirus. The employees are self-isolated at home, the agency said.
Times staff writers Claire McNeill, Langston Taylor, Jamal Thalji and Sara DiNatale contributed to this report, which includes information from the Miami Herald and News Service of Florida.
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