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Florida adds 3,204 coronavirus infections and 140 deaths Friday

The total number of coronavirus infections statewide has reached 677,660.
Florida added 3,204 coronavirus cases and 140 deaths on Friday, according to the Florida Department of Health.
Florida added 3,204 coronavirus cases and 140 deaths on Friday, according to the Florida Department of Health. [ Times ]
Published Sep. 18, 2020
Updated Sep. 18, 2020

Florida added 3,204 coronavirus cases on Friday, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Since March, the state has recorded 677,660 coronavirus infections. Florida also logged 140 coronavirus deaths Friday, bringing the total dead from COVID-19 to 13,387 people.

It seemed that Florida’s coronavirus caseloads were beginning to level off, but then began to increase again in the last week, public health experts said. Some officials attributed the rise to reported virus cases in Florida schools and universities as classes resumed. It’s too early to know if the trend will continue.

The average weekly caseload rose every day this week except Friday, where it dipped some.

Hospitalizations: The Agency for Health Care Administration tracked 2,384 patients hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus in Florida as of Friday. About 442 of those patients were in the Tampa Bay area.

The number of people hospitalized peaked in mid-July and has declined since then. But in Tampa Bay, that decline has stalled.

About 24 percent of hospital beds and 23 percent of intensive care unit beds across Florid were available Friday. In Tampa Bay, about 20 percent of hospital beds and 16 percent of ICU beds were open.

Positivity: The positivity rate can be used to measure whether an area is doing enough testing to capture mild and asymptomatic cases in the community.

Though there is no one perfect metric to determine positivity, the World Health Organization recommended a rate of 5 percent or below for 14 days before loosening social distancing restrictions.

Florida’s weekly average positivity rate was 12 percent on Friday, according to Johns Hopkins University. The Florida Department of Health, which calculates positivity by counting negative retests but not positive retests, said the weekly positivity was about 4 percent.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 633 coronavirus cases and 14 deaths Friday.

Five deaths were reported in Pinellas County. Three came from Hillsborough, two each were recorded in Polk and Hernando counties, and one each in Citrus and Pasco counties. There were no deaths reported in Manatee County on Friday.

As of the latest counts, Hillsborough has 40,349 cases and 604 deaths; Pinellas has 21,359 cases and 720 deaths; Polk has 18,915 cases and 505 deaths; Manatee has 11,087 cases and 277 deaths; Pasco has 8,729 cases and 198 deaths; Hernando has 2,974 cases and 112 deaths; and Citrus has 2,586 cases and 81 deaths.

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