Sunday’s update: Florida again reports more than 2,000 new COVID-19 cases

That brings the tally to 12,810 new cases since last Sunday. However, the state reported no new deaths from the virus in Tampa Bay.
Patrons of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay enjoy the 200-foot dive on the SheiKra roller coaster on Thursday in Tampa. The park has reopened to the public for the first time in almost three months after closing on March 16 because of the coronavirus. Health officials have expressed concern that cases will increase as restrictions are eased.
Patrons of Busch Gardens Tampa Bay enjoy the 200-foot dive on the SheiKra roller coaster on Thursday in Tampa. The park has reopened to the public for the first time in almost three months after closing on March 16 because of the coronavirus. Health officials have expressed concern that cases will increase as restrictions are eased. [ DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times ]
Published June 14, 2020|Updated June 14, 2020

For the second day in a row, the number of new coronavirus cases reported in Florida over a 24-hour period topped 2,000 on Sunday. That total bolstered concerns that the state could be in for a large surge of new infections amid ongoing protests, the gradual reopening of Florida’s businesses and fatigue by many members of the public over maintaining social distancing guidelines.

An additional 2,016 new coronavirus cases reported over a 24-hour period — from Saturday’s morning report to Sunday’s update from the Florida Department of Health — brings the state total of recorded infections to 75,568. It was the 12th consecutive day the number of newly reported cases in Florida has surpassed 1,000 in a 24-hour period.

Sunday’s caseload was the second-highest single-day increase reported by the state’s Department of Health since it began publicly tracking coronavirus cases on March 1. The highest single-day surge came just the day before, with 2,581 new cases reported Saturday.

But for the first time this month, the number of deaths attributed to the virus over the same 24-hour period remained only a single-digit number: six. None of those six deaths occurred in the seven counties that make up the Tampa Bay area, according to the state health department.

Those fatalities bring Florida’s death toll to 3,022, which includes 91 non-Florida residents.

The number of positive patients being hospitalized also took a nosedive on Sunday, with only 68 new admissions, bringing the total number of hospitalized patients to 11,942 statewide.

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?

With a deluge of new coronavirus cases reported throughout the U.S., health experts nationwide have warned against a growing complacency when it comes to maintaining precautions like social distancing, limiting activities to groups of no more than 10 and wearing face coverings when out in public.

Still, Florida health officials have held firm that the higher cases aren’t indicative of an increase in the virus’ activity, but a reflection of efforts to increase testing statewide. More than 1.4 million Floridians have been tested, about 6 percent of the state’s population.

Of those tested, about 5.4 percent came back positive for the coronavirus — a slight uptick from the previous few days, when only 5.3 percent of tests were positive. On Saturday, 4.46 percent of new cases tested positive.

That means that roughly 377 people per 100,000 people in Florida are infected with coronavirus, or 1 in every 265 people.

On Saturday, the state saw its largest single-day number of recorded cases, with 2,581 new positive coronavirus tests. That figure beat out the previous record, which had been set the day before — Friday’s 1,902 new infections. Statewide, from Sunday, June 7, to Sunday, June 14, Florida reported a total of 12,810 new coronavirus cases.

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The number of coronavirus-related deaths this week, though, has gone down from the week before, the state’s data shows. With the total number of deaths at 3,022 on Sunday, Florida is currently averaging 33.7 new deaths per day.

The six deaths reported on Sunday occurred in Dade, Lee, Palm Beach and St. Lucie counties, according to the state Department of Health.

Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?

What’s the picture in Tampa Bay?

While there were no new coronavirus-related deaths reported in the region, Sunday’s report showed an additional 346 people who have tested positive in the Tampa Bay area.

Pinellas County reported the most new infections on Sunday, with 132 new positive cases, bringing the overall number of infected to 2,235.

That figure still pales in comparison to the overall number of infected in Hillsborough County, which grew to 3,613 on Sunday with the addition of 109 new cases.

The data shows that about 6 percent of the county’s population of 1.5 million people has been tested for the virus.

Manatee County leads the region in deaths with 117, followed by Pinellas with 103, Hillsborough with 102, Polk with 75, Pasco with 16, Citrus with 12 and Hernando with 6.

What are the latest numbers on coronavirus in Tampa Bay?

Who’s getting infected?

Gov. Ron DeSantis has sought to mitigate fears of a possible second wave of infections, as well as worries that Florida’s first wave is far from over, by assuring the public that many of the newly-reported positive cases are concentrated in high-density population groups such as nursing homes, prisons and among farm workers returning to work.

But state health experts also say relaxed social distancing measures since Florida began gradually reopening its economy on May 4 and ongoing protests are adding fuel to the fire in many of the state’s largest counties.

Sunday marked the 16th consecutive day that demonstrators across Tampa Bay have marched and rallied against police brutality in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

And since then, the demographics of those becoming infected with the virus have continued to skew younger, said Dr. Charles Lockwood, dean of the University of South Florida’s Morsani College of Medicine. As patients become younger, the rate of new hospitalizations has continued to drop, Lockwood said.

In Hillsborough, for example, the hospitalization rate dropped from 127 per day to 110 per day in the past week, roughly 15 percent of all cases, and the county has maintained a low rate of fatalities — just 3 percent of all known infections.

“So while I suspect the majority of the increase in cases is due to increased testing, a lack of compliance with physical distancing and facial coverings following the re-opening of the county likely accounts for a portion of cases,” Lockwood said. “It is critical that folks socially distance and wear masks in public.”

Of the 3,613 coronavirus cases being tracked in Hillsborough, Lockwood said the vast majority of patients have recovered or are recovering. By comparison, the case fatality rate is 12 percent in Sarasota County, where the average patient age is 64 years old.

According to Sunday’s report, 11,942 people have been treated in Florida hospitals for COVID-19 since the state began tracking the pandemic — an increase of 68 since Saturday.

The daily Florida Department of Health report includes information released by the state on an individual day. Cases and deaths in the report may have happened days or weeks earlier, according to state officials.

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.

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