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Florida adds record-high coronavirus hospitalizations, 12,000 plus cases

The state surpassed 400,000 infections since the pandemic began.

Florida added a record-high number of hospitalizations Friday, recording 584 new admissions, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Florida logged 136 deaths, bringing the total number who have died from coronavirus since March up to 5,763 people.

The state also surpassed 400,000 infections over the five months since the pandemic began, adding 12,444 new cases Friday and bringing the total to 402,312. The percentage of positive tests for the day is about 13 percent, with more than 100,000 tests processed.

The Tampa Bay area added 1,862 coronavirus cases and 21 deaths on Friday.

How fast is the number of Florida COVID-19 cases growing?

What’s the picture statewide?

On Thursday, President Donald Trump called off the Republican National Convention in Jacksonville, surprising Florida republicans who weren’t told about the decision.

Trump said the timing wasn’t right with Florida’s “flare up” of coronavirus cases. The same day, Florida had a record-setting number of 173 coronavirus deaths.

The state’s weekly death average has risen through July, reaching 122 people a day on Friday. The weekly death total is now higher than at any point in the past five months.

Average weekly hospitalizations have also been higher in July than at any other point. Across the state, hospitals are seeing a surge of new coronavirus patients.

About 22 percent of hospital beds and 16 percent of intensive care unit beds are available in Florida, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. In the Tampa Bay Area, about 18 percent of hospital beds and 10 percent of ICU beds are open.

Nearly 9,300 people are in the hospital with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus as of Friday. About 1,700 are in the Tampa Bay area, with the bulk coming from Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough has the fourth most cases of any Florida county, behind Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, which have consistently been hot spots of the virus in Florida.

The daily report of new coronavirus cases may not reflect what was found in the past 24 hours because of testing backlogs. In an effort to remedy these delays, Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he’ll cut ties with labs that don’t turn around tests fast enough.

Florida has been averaging more than 11,000 cases a day since mid-July, with the number of tests processed on each day often fluctuating. Some days about 67,000 tests have been processed, and others have had more than 115,000.

The average positivity rate has held steady. Positivity reflects the percentage of positive results among all tests, and is used as a metric for government leaders and health experts to understand the level of spread in the community.

A high positivity rate may also mean there hasn’t been enough testing done to capture all the positive cases, said Dr. Marissa Levine, a professor of public health and family medicine at the University of South Florida.

Florida’s weekly average positivity is about 19 percent according to Johns Hopkins University. The Florida Department of Health, which calculates positivity differently by counting negative retests but not positive retests, said the weekly positivity is about 13 percent.

The World Health Organization recommends positivity remain at 5 percent or lower for at least 14 days before reopening. Eighteen states currently have positivity at that level, according to Johns Hopkins.

Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?

What’s the picture in Tampa Bay?

The Tampa Bay area added 1,862 coronavirus cases and 21 deaths Friday, with the most deaths coming out of Polk County.

Polk has the highest weekly average positivity rate of any county in the Tampa Bay area at 14 percent. Hillsborough County, which leads the area with the most cases, has an average positivity of 12 percent. Pinellas, which leads in deaths, has a positivity of 8 percent.

Polk added 12 deaths Friday, with three deaths recorded in Pinellas, two in Hillsborough, two in Citrus, and one in both Hernando and Manatee counties.

The deaths include in Citrus an 84-year-old woman; in Hernando an 83-year-old man; in Hillsborough a 62-year-old woman and a 49-year-old man; in Manatee a 59-year-old woman; in Pinellas a 56- and 81-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man; and in Polk a 71-, 73-, 79-, 88- and 89-year-old woman and a 29-, 61-, 61-, 67-, 71-, 76- and 85-year-old man.

About 57 percent of all the deaths in the Tampa Bay area are tied to long-term care facilities. In Pinellas alone, that figure jumps to 68 percent.

As of the latest counts, Hillsborough has 26,037 cases and 284 deaths; Pinellas has 14,726 cases and 369 deaths; Polk has 10,909 cases and 216 deaths; Manatee has 7,520 cases and 155 deaths; Pasco has 5,526 cases and 66 deaths; Hernando has 1,348 cases and 21 deaths; Citrus has 1,009 cases and 20 deaths.

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