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Florida coronavirus cases pass 46,000, as state adds 24 deaths

Four new deaths were recorded in the Tampa Bay region, as the statewide death count rose to 2,073.
Iliana Medina, 26, a medical lab technician with Advent Health, holds the devices used to test for a coronavirus (COVID-19) sample at the Microbiology Department on March 18 in Tampa. AdventHealth in Tampa has begun testing for COVID-19, better know as coronavirus.
Iliana Medina, 26, a medical lab technician with Advent Health, holds the devices used to test for a coronavirus (COVID-19) sample at the Microbiology Department on March 18 in Tampa. AdventHealth in Tampa has begun testing for COVID-19, better know as coronavirus. [ CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published May 18, 2020|Updated May 18, 2020

Florida’s death toll from the novel coronavirus rose by 24 on Monday, including the addition of four deaths in the Tampa Bay region.

Monday marked the first day that gyms could resume operation as part of the state’s continued reopening. Restaurants also could increase indoor seating capacity to 50 percent.

Miami-Dade and Broward counties, hot zones during Florida’s epidemic, began reopening Monday. The counties, along with Palm Beach, represent more than half of the state’s coronavirus cases and deaths.

Below are the latest numbers on the virus across the state and Tampa Bay.

The statewide picture

New confirmed infections rose by 854 Monday, bringing the state’s total cases to 46,442.

The two-dozen new recorded deaths increased the state’s total death count to 2,073.

Reports of new deaths generally drop on Sundays and Mondays before rebounding on Tuesdays. The low reported deaths so far this week don’t necessarily indicate an improving trend.

But in recent days, the average rate at which deaths have been growing across the state has slowed. The state on average recorded about 37 new deaths a day over the past week.

A Tampa Bay Times analysis published Sunday found that more than 80 percent of people who have died of the virus were older than 65.

Related: In Florida, 83 percent of coronavirus deaths are people 65 and older

The number of deaths tied to long-term care centers across the state continues to increase. As of Monday, 901 deaths — 43 percent of the state’s overall fatalities — could be attributed to residents and staff of nursing homes and other care centers.

To date, 8,553 people in Florida are known to have been hospitalized at some point due to the virus. That count could include people who have recovered or died.

Statewide, 677,710 people have been tested for the virus, according to the Florida Department of Health. That’s about 3 percent of the state’s overall population.

Just under 7 percent of overall tests have come back positive statewide.

Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?

What’s the picture in Tampa Bay?

The broader Tampa Bay region on Monday recorded new coronavirus deaths in Hillsborough, Polk and Pinellas counties.

The counties that make up the greater Tampa Bay area — Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas and Polk — together have tallied 280 deaths.

About 59 percent, or 164, of the region’s deaths are tied to long-term care centers, according to the Department of Health.

On Monday, the medical examiner’s office serving Pinellas and Pasco counties reported that eight more residents of long-term care facilities have died in the past week. The deaths occurred at St. Mark Village, Gulf Shore Care Center, Royal Oak Nursing Center, Patrick Manor and St. Petersburg Nursing and Rehab, according to the medical examiner records.

The new deaths recorded Monday were: two Hillsborough women aged 66 and 86, a 78-year-old Pinellas man and a 70-year-old Polk woman.

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New deaths don’t necessarily mean the people died Monday. Rather, Monday is the first time the state reported their deaths publicly.

As of Monday, 1,210 people across the seven counties have been hospitalized because of the virus. The area accounts for 4,858 confirmed cases.

As of the latest counts, Hillsborough had 1,653 cases and 58 deaths; Pinellas had 1,051 cases and 69 deaths; Manatee had 867 cases and 82 deaths; Polk had 746 cases and 43 deaths; Pasco had 319 cases and 10 deaths; Citrus had 112 cases and 12 deaths; and Hernando had 110 cases and six deaths.

Times staff writer Caitlin Johnston contributed to this report.

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