Florida recorded 4,198 coronavirus cases Thursday, marking 794,624 total infections since the first identified case about eight months ago.
The weekly case average decreased to about 3,790 cases announced per day Thursday. Positive tests per 100,000 people is on the rise, according to ProPublica.
Florida also announced 79 coronavirus deaths Thursday. Across the state, 16,854 people have died from the virus. The weekly death average increased slightly to about 55 people announced dead per day.
Hospitalizations: More than 2,300 people are hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus across Florida, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. About 490 are in the Tampa Bay area.
About 23 percent of hospital beds and 24 percent of intensive care unit beds were available statewide. In Tampa Bay, about 22 percent of hospital beds and 23 percent of ICU beds were open. As of Thursday morning, only one ICU bed at Tampa General Hospital, the largest hospital in the area, was available.
The number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 rose from just under 2,100 people seeking treatment to more than 2,300 over about a week.
Cases that resulted in a hospitalization increased by 291 admissions Thursday.
Positivity: Florida’s average weekly positivity rate is about 5 percent, according to both Johns Hopkins University and the Florida Department of Health.
The health department calculates positivity by using negative retests but not counting positive retests. The Johns Hopkins measure changed recently because of a backdated dataset made available by the state, which added 3.7 million tests to the data Johns Hopkins interprets, according to the Miami Herald.
The measure will now reflect the total number of people tested each day who have never tested positive before instead of counting only people being tested for the first time, according to the Herald.
When positivity is too high, it can indicate there isn’t enough widespread testing in an area to capture mild and asymptomatic cases. The World Health Organization set a goal for a 5 percent positivity rate or below.
Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 631 coronavirus cases and 28 deaths Thursday.
Sixteen deaths were recorded in Hillsborough County, five were in Pasco, three were in both Citrus and Hernando counties and one was in Pinellas County.
Polk, Pinellas, Manatee, Hillsborough and Hernando counties have an average weekly positivity rate of about 5 percent, while Citrus and Pasco counties have a positivity rate of about 4 percent.
As of the latest counts, Hillsborough 47,800 cases and 803 deaths; Pinellas has 25,674 cases and 823 deaths; Polk has 22,960 cases and 617 deaths; Manatee has 13,258 cases and 332 deaths; Pasco has 10,826 cases and 244 deaths; Hernando has 3,715 cases and 174 deaths; Citrus has 3,224 cases and 135 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.
• • •
Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
HOW CORONAVIRUS IS SPREADING IN FLORIDA: Find the latest numbers for your county, city or zip code.
GET THE DAYSTARTER MORNING UPDATE: Sign up to receive the most up-to-date information.
A TRIBUTE TO THE FLORIDIANS TAKEN BY THE CORONAVIRUS: They were parents and retirees, police officer and doctors, imperfect but loved deeply.
HAVE A TIP?: Send us confidential news tips
We’re working hard to bring you the latest news on the coronavirus in Florida. This effort takes a lot of resources to gather and update. If you haven’t already subscribed, please consider buying a print or digital subscription.