The number of new coronavirus infections has continued to skyrocket throughout Florida this month, but reports released by the state Department of Health show the number of lives lost to the relentless respiratory virus has begun to plummet.
That aligns with reports from state health experts showing that COVID-19 has begun to infect an increasingly younger demographic with resilient immune systems.
On Monday, state health experts reported an additional 1,758 people tested positive for the coronavirus over a 24-hour period, bringing the state’s total number of infections to 77,326. But for the second day in a row, the number of deaths attributed to the virus was a single-digit number.
Eight deaths were reported Monday, bringing the statewide death toll to 3,030. None of those deaths occurred in the seven counties making up the Tampa Bay region.
Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?
What’s the picture statewide?
At the beginning of the month, the daily average for new infections was less than 1,000, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Monday was the 13th consecutive day that the number of positive test results for the coronavirus exceeded 1,000.
Over the past seven days, an average of 145 new coronavirus patients have been hospitalized statewide each day. That’s higher than the daily average at the beginning of the month, but lower than the average in mid-May, when the coronavirus seemed to reach a peak in Florida and an average of nearly 200 patients were hospitalized daily.
The death rate statewide has remained relatively flat since late May at about 33 deaths every day.
Officials warn that frequent delays in data reporting mean that the cases and deaths reported by the state every day may have happened days or weeks earlier.
With Monday’s total of 77,326 positive cases, roughly 386 people per 100,000 residents — or 1 in every 259 people — have been infected with the virus.
About 6 percent of Florida’s population — roughly 1.4 million people — have been tested, the health department said.
About 6.7 percent of the tests came back positive — a slight uptick from the previous few days, when only 5.3 percent of tests were positive.
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 in Tampa Bay?
The Tampa Bay area reported 484 new coronavirus infections Monday. No new deaths were reported in the area, leaving the regional total at 431.
Hillsborough County saw a steep increase of 213 new cases, bringing the countywide total to 3,826.
What’s the picture nationwide?
More than 7.9 million coronavirus infections have been confirmed worldwide, and at least 434,000 have died from the virus, according to data tracked by Johns Hopkins University. In the United States, the number of COVID-19 cases has ballooned to nearly 2.1 million. And as of Monday, the number of deaths nationwide to the virus had surpassed 115,000.
While the death numbers are on a downward trend across the nation, Florida is among at least 18 other states where the numbers of COVID-19 patients seems to be growing, some seeing record highs. Many of those are states that reopened their economies earlier than others, allowing the virus to circulate widely throughout their population as life gets “back to normal" state health experts say.
And for many states, Florida among them, those experts have warned officials to expect the number of infected and hospitalized to climb even higher amid ongoing protests, the gradual reopening of Florida’s businesses and fatigue by many members of the public over maintaining social distancing guidelines.
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
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