More than a month after the state began to reopen, Florida recorded the largest single-day increase in infections with 1,698 new cases, bringing the total to 69,069.
The last peak came on April 2, with 1,443 recorded new cases. Florida also recorded 229 new hospitalizations of residents and non-residents on Thursday.
State health officials have attributed the high number of new cases to increased testing. But groups watching, like the news agency ProPublica, say that the number of positive tests per 100,000 tests is increasing.
Forty-nine additional deaths from coronavirus were also added Thursday, bringing the state total to 2,938. Seven of them were in the Tampa Bay area, including a 27-year-old in Polk County, according to the county medical examiner.
How fast is the number of Florida COVID-19 cases growing?
Morning updates typically show low numbers for the current day.
What’s the picture statewide?
As Florida approaches 70,000 cases, most of the state is in Phase 2 of reopening. More than 1.3 million people in Florida have been tested for coronavirus and 5.3 percent of those tests came back positive.
Since June began, the state has averaged about 25,800 new tests a day, according to data from The Covid Tracking Project. In the same period, excluding Thursday’s counts, Florida has averaged about 1,189 new cases per day, according to state data.
Though deaths are predominantly in people 65 and older, infections cut across age groups.
Half of all Florida’s deaths are tied to long-term care facilities, where the most vulnerable older populations live and where healthcare workers face exposure risk. Manatee, Pinellas and Hillsborough County have had significant nursing home outbreaks. Bristol at Tampa Rehabilitation and Nursing Home along with Freedom Square in Seminole have experienced some of the deadliest outbreaks statewide, behind only a nursing home in Miami-Dade County.
Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?
What’s the picture in Tampa Bay?
Tampa Bay saw 328 new cases and seven new deaths reported on Thursday, with a new single-day high for Hillsborough with 147 new cases.
The previous single-day high had been hit just a few days before, with 113 new cases. Pinellas County also saw a large single-day increase, with 116 new cases.
Hillsborough, Manatee and Polk County all had two new deaths, and Pinellas County had one additional death.
The day’s newly recorded deaths include a 90-year-old Hillsborough woman, a 97-year-old Hillsborough man, a 68-year-old Manatee man, a 74-year-old Manatee man, a 65-year-old Pinellas woman, a 90-year-old Polk woman and a 27-year-old Polk man.
Only 1 percent of deaths from coronavirus in Florida are people 34 and younger, 18 of the 2,938 total deaths.
As of the latest counts, Hillsborough County has 3,174 cases and 99 deaths; Pinellas has 1,862 cases and 102 deaths; Polk has 1,325 cases and 73 deaths; Manatee has 1,253 cases and 116 deaths; Pasco has 473 cases and 16 deaths; Citrus has 132 cases and 12 deaths; and Hernando has 130 cases and six deaths.
What are the latest numbers on coronavirus in Tampa Bay?
How are hospitalizations looking ?
On Thursday, the state recorded 229 hospitalizations because of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 11,850 people.
The Tampa Bay Times previously recorded only the number of Florida residents who were hospitalized, but now also includes the number of non-Florida residents for a more complete picture.
The increase is the ninth highest single-day rise in hospitalizations since the pandemic began. According to data from The COVID Tracking Project, which includes residents and non-residents, there have been an average of 127 new hospitalizations per day in June.
Dr. Marissa Levine, a professor of public health and family medicine at the University of South Florida, cautioned against attributing the rise in new cases solely to more testing. For her, the metric to watch is hospitalizations and deaths.
“I still believe people who are at higher risk of deaths and complication are cautious and aren’t necessarily as mobile as the younger population,” she said. “If that were to change, we might see a more rapid rise in hospitalizations and deaths.”
At least eight states have seen hospitalizations increase, which health experts attribute to a lack of social distancing, according to ABC News.
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.
• • •
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
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.