On Thursday, Florida set a single-day record for new coronavirus cases with 1,698. On Friday, the state blew past that number with 1,902 new recorded infections.
The state total of cases is now 70,971. On Friday, Florida also recorded 29 new deaths, bringing the total to 2,967. Hospitalizations of residents and non-residents increased by 136 people.
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?
Florida health officials have said the increased number of cases is because of expanded testing.
As of Friday, more than 1.3 million people have tested for coronavirus, with 5.4 percent of the tests coming back positive, a slight uptick from the past few weeks where only 5.3 percent of tests came back positive.
Though the state says the increase is just from testing, ProPublica reports the number of positive tests per 100,000 people has been increasing in Florida. The news agency classifies it as a medium number of positive tests, similar to Georgia and Nevada.
Just over half of Florida’s deaths are tied to long-term care facilities, where older and at-risk seniors live close together. In the Tampa Bay area, about 67 percent of the deaths are tied to long-term care facilities.
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 picture in Tampa Bay?
On Friday, Tampa Bay saw five new deaths and 320 new cases. Hillsborough County recorded three deaths, while Pinellas and Polk County both recorded one.
The higher numbers have troubled politicians in Hillsborough and Pinellas, especially when it comes to younger people. Dr. Douglas Holt, the director of the Florida Department of Health in Hillsborough County, said the percentage of infections in people under 34 years old has nearly doubled since mid-May to about 46 percent.
Holt called the moment a crossroads for the area.
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has called out younger people and said they need to take personal responsibility, and coronavirus, seriously.
The five new recorded deaths in the area include an 89-year-old Hillsborough woman, a 90-year-old Hillsborough woman, an 81-year-old Hillsborough woman, an 86-year-old Pinellas woman and an 81-year-old Polk woman.
What are the latest numbers on coronavirus in Tampa Bay?
Do the higher numbers mean a possible spike?
A single-day increase just short of 2,000 coronavirus cases feels large, but the state continues to say it’s from expanded and more accessible testing.
A recent data analysis from the Miami Herald says testing has been inconsistent and even trended downward during the days before Phase 2 reopening. Still, during the same period of time new cases increased by almost 50 percent.
The Herald’s analysis shows that 64 counties in Florida saw an increase in new cases that couldn’t be explained by increased testing alone before June 5, when the state, excluding South Florida, moved into Phase 2.
Experts they interviewed said the numbers could indicate a resurgence of the virus, and shows control of coronavirus’ spread in the state has not been achieved.
A spokesperson for Gov. Ron DeSantis, when interviewed by the Herald about the numbers, said the state’s deaths, hospitalizations and available ICU beds didn’t reflect the new caseloads.
Epidemiologists say cases outpacing testing can forewarn a later increase in hospitalizations and deaths, like what happened in Arizona, according to the Herald analysis.
Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?
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