Florida added 3,571 coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing the total number of infections statewide to 637,013.
Another 149 coronavirus deaths were announced. Since March, 11,800 people in Florida have died from the virus. The weekly death average increased slightly to 113 people announced dead per day.
Hospitalizations related to the virus increased by 273 admissions.
Hospitalizations: About 3,500 people across Florida are in the hospital with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. About 540 of those are in the Tampa Bay area.
The number of people hospitalized has declined steadily since mid-July, when about 9,500 people were getting treatment.
Nearly a quarter of Florida’s hospital beds were available Thursday, and about 21 percent of intensive care unit beds. In Tampa Bay, about 22 percent of hospital beds and about 16 percent of ICU beds were open. Large hospital systems in the region like Tampa General and St. Joseph’s had only a handful of ICU beds open on Thursday.
Positivity: The positivity rate, or the percentage of tests conducted that come back positive, can be used to gauge if a community is doing enough testing to capture mild and asymptomatic cases.
In Florida, the average weekly positivity rate is 12 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Health experts have different ways of calculating the positivity rate based on what kinds of tests to include and what to exclude. The Florida Department of Health calculates positivity by including negative retests but not positive retests. Their calculations put positivity at about 6 percent for the week, or 5 percent when excluding a data submission of nearly 75,000 backlogged tests from Quest Diagnostics that came on Tuesday.
Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 466 coronavirus cases and 22 deaths Thursday.
Six deaths were reported in Polk County, five in Hernando, four were in both Pinellas and Hillsborough, two were in Manatee and one was in Citrus.
Polk County has the highest average weekly positivity in the area, according to the department of health, at about 8 percent. Hillsborough and Hernando follow at about 6 percent, while Manatee, Pasco and Pinellas have a positivity rate of about 3 percent.
As of the latest counts, Hillsborough has 37,821 cases and 563 deaths; Pinellas has 20,177 cases and 672 deaths; Polk has 17,418 cases and 464 deaths; Manatee has 10,557 cases and 267 deaths; Pasco has 8,198 cases and 184 deaths; Hernando has 2,721 cases and 94 deaths; and Citrus has 2,166 cases and 61 deaths.
How fast is the number of Florida COVID-19 cases growing?
Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?
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
HOW CORONAVIRUS IS SPREADING IN FLORIDA: Find the latest numbers for your county, city or zip code.
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