Florida on Thursday added 49 fatalities to the state’s novel coronavirus death toll, including seven in the Tampa Bay region.
The state’s total death count stands at 2,222.
Confirmed infections statewide rose to 48,675 with the addition of 1,204 cases Thursday.
Just below 6 percent of tests have come back positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.
As of Thursday, 815,584 people have been tested, according to the Florida Department of Health. Between Wednesday and Thursday, the total number of people tested increased by 42,915.
Gov. Ron DeSantis tweeted that the state recorded a large increase in tests after “another big dump of test results.”
The Florida Department of Health did not respond to two emails or a phone call from the Tampa Bay Times inquiring about the increase.
On Wednesday, health officials said they received more than 77,900 test results, the largest number they’d received in a single day since the epidemic started. The governor tweeted that the increase was due to “a big dump of test results.”
DeSantis also blamed a weekend spike in cases in Miami-Dade County on a backlog of test results, the Miami Herald reported.
Below is the latest on coronavirus deaths tied to nursing homes and other care facilities and cases in the Tampa Bay region.
Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?
Nursing home deaths
Deaths among residents and staff of Florida’s long-term care centers surpassed 1,000 on Thursday — representing 45 percent of the state’s total coronavirus fatalities.
The state started recording aggregate death numbers tied to care facilities by county in its daily reports in mid-April.
On April 16, the number of deaths stood at 126. By April 23, the number reached 258. By May 7, it reached 622.
On Thursday, it stood at 1,001.
It’s unclear, on average, how much of a delay exists between the time a resident or staff member of a care center dies and when the death is recorded in the Department of Health’s statewide count.
The health department publishes a list of resident and staff deaths related to specific long-term care facilities that is updated weekly, generally on Fridays.
Since the end of April, the week-over-week percentage increase in statewide coronavirus deaths related to care facilities has been dropping.
Over the past week, from May 14 to Thursday, the number of reported care center fatalities increased by about 23 percent.
The week before, May 7 to May 14, deaths involving residents or staff of the facilities increased by 31 percent. The week before that, April 30 to May 7, the increase was 47 percent.
Deaths in care facilities in the Tampa Bay region have largely followed the same pattern. The area saw the biggest week-over-week increases in reported deaths at care centers in late April.
Over the past week, from May 14 to Thursday, deaths of residents or staff at facilities in Manatee, Pinellas, Hillsborough and Polk counties increased by 23 percent. Those counties represent the region’s biggest share of deaths related to long-term care facilities with 175 combined fatalities, as of Thursday.
Of the four counties, deaths among residents and staff in Hillsborough care centers have been increasing by the largest amounts over the past two weeks. On May 14, Hillsborough had 21 recorded deaths tied to the facilities. By Thursday, that number had increased to 36.
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.
What’s the latest in Tampa Bay?
The Tampa Bay region added 182 confirmed cases of the coronavirus Thursday, bringing the seven-county region’s total infection count to 5,189.
Of the seven new fatalities reported in the region, five occurred in Manatee alone, bringing the county’s overall death count to 90.
Manatee is much smaller than the area’s two largest counties, Hillsborough and Pinellas, but it continues to have the region’s highest death toll. More than 60 percent of the deaths in Manatee have been connected to long-term care facilities, according to state numbers.
On Thursday, the Tampa Bay region’s coronavirus death count stood at 308.
The new deaths included: a 77-year-old man in Polk; an 85-year-old man in Pinellas; and two women, aged 67 and 87, and three men, aged 50, 59 and 85, in Manatee.
Of the region’s total deaths, roughly 60 percent can be tied to long-term care facilities.
As of the latest counts, Hillsborough had 1,767 cases and 67 deaths; Pinellas had 1,109 cases and 74 deaths; Manatee had 933 cases and 90 deaths; Polk had 822 cases and 46 deaths; Pasco had 335 cases and 13 deaths; Citrus had 115 cases and 12 deaths; and Hernando had 108 cases and six deaths.
What are the latest numbers on coronavirus in Tampa Bay?
• • •
Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.
SO YOU WANT TO LEAVE YOUR HOUSE? Read these 10 tips first
DID YOU TEST POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS? A Tampa Bay Times reporter would like to talk to you.
LOCAL RESTAURANTS: The updated database of Tampa Bay restaurants open for dine-in or takeout
UNEMPLOYMENT Q&A: We answer your questions about Florida unemployment benefits
LISTEN TO THE CORONAVIRUS PODCAST: New episodes every week, including interviews with experts and reporters
HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips
We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.