Florida recorded 6,257 coronavirus cases Thursday, the first time the state logged more than 6,000 cases since the summertime surge, according to the Florida Department of Health.
The weekly case average jumped to 4,679 cases announced per day, which is the sixth consecutive day it has increased. The average is also the highest it’s been since mid-August.
The only other day to record 6,000-plus cases since Aug. 15 was on Sept. 1, when Quest Diagnostics reported a backlog of about 75,000 tests. Gov. Ron DeSantis canceled the state’s contract with Quest as a result.
Since March, 827,380 coronavirus cases have been recorded in Florida. The number of tests processed on Thursday surpassed 100,000, a jump from the previous three days when fewer than 70,000 tests were recorded, according to the health department.
Florida also announced 39 deaths Thursday, bringing the overall death toll to 17,170. The weekly death average decreased to about 45 people announced dead per day.
Hospitalizations: About 2,480 people across Florida are hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. The number of hospitalizations has increased steadily from previous weeks, when it was lower than 2,100 people seeking treatment.
In the Tampa Bay area, about 530 people are hospitalized with the virus.
Statewide, about 25 percent of hospital beds and 24 percent of intensive care unit beds were available. In Tampa Bay, about 24 percent of hospital beds and and about 23 percent of ICU beds were available.
Cases that led to a hospitalization increased by 191 admissions.
Positivity: Florida’s average weekly positivity rate is about 6 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The latest numbers from the Florida Department of Health, which count negative retests but not positive ones, puts the rate at about 7 percent.
Florida is one of 36 states that doesn’t meet the World Health Organization’s recommended level of a 5 percent positivity rate or below. If positivity is too high, it can indicate that there isn’t enough testing being done to capture mild and asymptomatic cases.
Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 1,020 coronavirus cases and four deaths Thursday.
Two deaths were recorded in Polk County, and one each came from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties. Citrus, Manatee, Pasco and Hernando had no new deaths.
Citrus and Pasco lead the area with the highest average weekly positivity rate at about 8 percent. Hillsborough and Manatee follow at 7 percent, and Hernando, Pinellas and Polk have a rate of about 6 percent.
As of the latest counts, Hillsborough has 49,794 cases and 833 deaths; Pinellas has 26,884 cases and 834 deaths; Polk has 23,763 cases and 637 deaths; Manatee has 13,892 cases and 332 deaths; Pasco has 11,445 cases and 246 deaths; Hernando has 3,915 cases and 178 deaths; and Citrus has 3,402 cases and 137 deaths.
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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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