Florida passed 7,000 recorded deaths from coronavirus Saturday, adding 178 and bringing the total since March to 7,144.
The average number of daily deaths continued to rise, and as of Saturday was about 179 people per day.
The state also recorded 9,642 cases, bringing the number of recorded infections to 480,028 in the five months since Floorida’s first coronavirus case was identified in the state.
Positivity for the day was about 11 percent, with more than 100,000 tests processed, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Hospitalizations increased by 439 admissions Saturday, bringing the weekly average number slightly down. The record-high number was recorded on Tuesday, and the second highest number came on Wednesday.
How fast is the number of Florida COVID-19 cases growing?
What’s the picture statewide?
For the previous four days in a row, Florida set new records for coronavirus deaths, bringing the weekly average higher and higher.
Florida saw more than three times as many coronavirus deaths in July as in June. And about a third of July’s deaths came in the past seven days.
The rise in deaths isn’t unexpected. Public health experts have warned that reports of deaths lag behind cases by several weeks. Cases have been spiking since mid-June.
Florida’s average caseload dipped slightly in the past week, going below 10,000 cases per day on Friday and Saturday.
But positivity remains far above the World Health Organization recommended average of 5 percent. In Florida, it is about 19 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University. Only two states, Mississippi and Alabama, are higher.
That can mean testing isn’t widespread enough to capture the true amount of disease in the community. Some of Florida’s state-run testing sites in the path of Hurricane Isaias are closed until August 5. The testing centers in Tampa Bay are open.
More than 3.6 million people in Florida have been tested for the virus.
Across the state, more than 8,200 people are currently in the hospital with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus, which doesn’t include people who have the virus but were admitted for other reasons, according to the Agency for Healthcare Administration. About 1,400 are in the Tampa Bay area.
Statewide, 23 percent of hospital beds and 17 percent of ICU beds are available. In Tampa Bay, 20 percent of hospital beds and 13 percent of ICU beds are free.
Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?
What’s the picture in Tampa Bay?
Tampa Bay recorded 1,257 cases and 18 deaths Saturday, with the most cases and deaths in Hillsborough.
Hillsborough recorded six deaths, while Pinellas recorded five, Manatee had three, Citrus had two, and Hernando and Polk had one each.
The dead ranged in age from 50 to 94 years.
Weekly average positivity in the area stayed mostly consistent, with Polk still having the highest average at 12 percent. Pinellas and Manatee have the lowest at about 7 percent. Pasco is at about 8 percent and Hillsborough is at 10 percent.
As of the latest counts, Hillsborough has 29,589 cases and 346 deaths; Pinellas has 16,604 cases and 439 deaths; Polk has 12,735 cases and 270 deaths; Manatee has 8,655 cases and 187 deaths; Pasco has 6,394 cases and 97 deaths; Hernando has 1,707 cases and 34 deaths; and Citrus has 1,228 cases and 29 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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