Florida coronavirus deaths surpass 800; more than 27,000 confirmed cases

Two new deaths reported in Manatee County and another two in Polk County.
Two Sunstar Paramedics' supervisor vehicles are seen outside of St. Mark Village nursing home Monday in Palm Harbor. Several residents were transported from St. Mark Village Monday to local hospitals.
Two Sunstar Paramedics' supervisor vehicles are seen outside of St. Mark Village nursing home Monday in Palm Harbor. Several residents were transported from St. Mark Village Monday to local hospitals. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published April 20, 2020|Updated April 20, 2020

The easily transmittable coronavirus continues to make its way through the at-risk populations at long-term care facilities throughout Florida, adding to the state’s growing death toll Monday.

Florida has surpassed 800 deaths related to the novel coronavirus, reporting 49 new deaths Monday to bring the state’s total to 840. Two new deaths were reported in both Polk and Manatee counties.

More than 200 of the state’s deaths have been among residents or staff of long-term care facilities like nursing homes, the state said, including 25 new deaths reported Monday that were linked to those facilities.

To date, 27,058 people have tested positive for the virus. That puts the death rate among known coronavirus cases at more than 3 percent.

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.

Related: Second nursing home in Pinellas reports flare-up of coronavirus, county says

The number of known cases of the coronavirus in Hillsborough County inched toward 1,000, with 973 people testing positive as of Monday. The county has reported 21 deaths to date.

The state reported 607 confirmed coronavirus cases in Pinellas County, 84 in Hernando County and 209 in Pasco County.

Nearby, Manatee County has 433 reported cases, while Polk has 335 and Citrus County has 86.

There have been more than 100 deaths among those seven greater Tampa Bay region counties. Manatee County has reported the most deaths, at 34, despite having a smaller county population than Hillsborough, Pinellas, Polk or Pasco.

The state reported new deaths Monday of an 80-year-old man and 90-year-old man in Manatee County, as well as the deaths of an 85-year-old woman and 87-year-old man in Polk County.

How fast is the number of Florida COVID-19 cases growing?

Morning updates typically show low numbers for the current day.

Long-term care facilities such as nursing homes and assisted-living facilities are of particular concern during this pandemic not only because of the close quarters in which the residents live but because older people and people with underlying health issues are at greater risk for being severely impacted by the disease.

To date, more than 10 percent of the 1,928 known cases of the coronavirus in long-term care facilities have ended in death, the state said. Deaths in those facilities account for nearly a quarter of the state’s known COVID-19 deaths.

More than 300 facilities across the state have reported cases of the coronavirus.

Related: COVID-19 cases in Florida elder care facilities: here's a breakdown

Manatee County has the fourth-most cases of the coronavirus in long-term care facilities, behind only the much-larger South Florida counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. The state has said eight facilities in Manatee County have reported cases of the coronavirus.

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What are the latest numbers on coronavirus in Tampa Bay?

The number of cases of the coronavirus reported by the state is likely an undercount, given limited testing, testing delays and the likelihood that some people who may have the coronavirus will never be tested.

The state’s tally of cases, deaths and testing is closely watched as residents, officials and others try to gauge how deeply the virus has infiltrated the Sunshine State and how likely it is for hospitals and other systems to be overwhelmed.

To date, more than 4,100 people have been hospitalized at some point due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. That total could include people who are no longer hospitalized, or who have died.

The state reported nearly 200 more hospitalizations than it had on Sunday.

In Pinellas County, St. Mark Village in Palm Harbor transported several of its adult care residents to hospitals Monday after it reported an outbreak of the coronavirus at its facility. The news of the outbreak there follows one last week at Freedom Square of Seminole, where three nursing home residents died.

Related: Second nursing home in Pinellas reports flare up of coronavirus

The state’s prison system, with its captive and often at-risk population, is also being closely watched for outbreaks. On Monday, the Florida Department of Corrections said 119 inmates have tested positive for the coronavirus and another 99 tests are pending. It has previously said that four inmates have died after contracting the virus.

Statewide, 272,390 people have been tested for the virus, meaning the overall positive rate for tests dipped just below 10 percent Monday for the first time in weeks.

Florida coronavirus cases by age group

Doctors say older people are at a greater risk to developing severe symptoms from COVID-19, which makes Florida especially vulnerable.

Times staff writer Langston Taylor contributed to this report.

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