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Florida records 12,000+ coronavirus cases, more than 100 deaths

The state also had more than 500 hospitalizations.

On Saturday, Florida recorded another 12,199 coronavirus infections, bringing the total number since March to 414,511 cases.

The state also announced 126 deaths, bringing the total death toll to 5,894 people. The weekly average continued rising, reaching about 127 people announced dead each day.

The state recorded the third-highest rise in hospitalizations, adding 511 admissions. The previous high was Friday, when the state added 584.

The day’s positivity was about 11 percent, with more than 120,000 tests processed, according to the Florida Department of Health.

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

What’s the picture statewide?

Since mid-July, Florida’s average weekly caseload has held steady above 10,000 new infections per day.

Still, the number of new cases announced by the Florida Department of Health may not reflect what happened in the prior 24 hours, often because of testing backlog.

Florida’s average percentage of positive tests has held steadily at around 19 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University. The World Health Organization recommends 5 percent positivity before places reopen and says too high of a percentage could mean testing isn’t widespread enough to capture the true extent of the disease.

Eighteen states have positivity at or below 5 percent. Florida has the fourth-highest positivity, behind Arizona, Mississippi and Alabama.

The Florida Department of Health calculates positivity by counting negative retests but not positive retests. It puts the weekly average at about 13 percent.

Still, health experts say positivity is just one metric. They also look to hospitalizations to understand how disease is impacting a community.

Friday, Florida recorded a record-high number of hospital admissions with 584. Average hospitalizations have continued rising through July.

Across Florida, about 22 percent of hospital beds and 17 percent of ICU beds are available. In Tampa Bay, about 19 percent of hospital beds and 11 percent of ICU beds are open.

As of Saturday morning, about 9,200 people statewide are in the hospital with a primary diagnosis of the coronavirus, according to the Agency for Healthcare Administration. That excludes people with the virus who were admitted for other reasons.

Hospitalization and death statistics lag behind announced cases by weeks. The state’s weekly death average has continued upward and hit a single-day high of 173 announced deaths Thursday.

On July 1, the weekly death average was 39 people per day. On Saturday, it was 127 people per day.

About 45 percent of state deaths are tied to long-term care facilities. And though nursing homes have been locked down to visitors since March, cases among residents and staff are still on the rise.

In July, infections among people in long-term care facilities went up by 129 percent. The state plan aims to test staff every two weeks, but the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services said federal regulators will soon require Florida to test nursing home staff weekly.

Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?

What’s the picture in Tampa Bay?

Tampa Bay added 1,590 coronavirus cases and nine deaths Saturday, with the most cases recorded in Hillsborough County.

Hillsborough has the most recorded infections outside of the three South Florida counties, which have been the epicenter of the state’s infection, particularly Miami-Dade.

Five deaths were recorded in Pinellas County, with one death recorded each in Hernando, Manatee, Pasco and Polk counties.

The deaths include a 75-year-old man in Hernando; a 68-year-old woman in Manatee; a 59-year-old man in Pasco; three women, two 90 years old and one 89, and two men, 73 and 79, in Pinellas; and a 73-year-old man in Polk.

In Tampa Bay, about 1,600 people are in the hospital with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus. The area’s two largest hospitals, Tampa General Hospital and Lakeland Regional Medical Center, had no ICU beds open as of Saturday morning. Area hospitals have been seeing a surge in patients that they prepared for.

As of the latest counts, Hillsborough has 26,626 cases and 284 deaths; Pinellas has 14,985 cases and 374 deaths; Polk has 11,197 cases and 217 deaths; Manatee has 7,709 cases and 156 deaths; Pasco has 5,674 cases and 67 deaths; Hernando has 1,418 cases and 22 deaths; and Citrus has 1,056 cases and 20 deaths.

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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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

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