Florida added 4,544 coronavirus cases Saturday, bringing the weekly case average upwards.
The cases came from a batch of just under 50,000 tests processed Friday, making the daily positivity rate about 10 percent.
The same day, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott announced on Twitter that he came into contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus, but tested negative. Though he has no symptoms, the former governor said he would be quarantining. His spokesman, Chris Hartline, said it was the second time he’s quarantined himself after coming into contact with someone who was infected. In March, he announced he would be quarantining after possible exposure from a meeting with Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s press secretary.
Hartline declined to answer where and when Scott’s exposure was.
Since March, 875,096 cases of coronavirus have been identified across Florida. About 5,431 coronavirus cases are announced per day, according to the weekly average caseload, about the same level where it was in mid-August.
The state also announced 45 deaths Saturday. The weekly death average dropped to about 56 people announced dead per day. Overall, 17,704 people in Florida have died from the virus.
Hospitalizations: More than 3,100 people are hospitalized across Florida with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. About 650 patients are in the Tampa Bay area.
The counties with the most hospitalizations closely mirrors the counties with the largest number of coronavirus cases, with Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach leading. Hillsborough has nearly the same number of hospitalizations as Duval, with just under 200 as of Saturday morning, and Pinellas follows with about 160 hospitalizations.
The number of people hospitalized has gone up in recent weeks. In mid-October, about 2,100 people were in the hospital with the virus.
About 23 percent of hospital beds and 21 percent of intensive care unit beds are available statewide. In Tampa Bay, about 22 percent of hospital beds and 18 percent of intensive care unit beds are available. The region’s largest hospital, Tampa General Hospital, only had two intensive care unit beds available as of Saturday morning.
Cases that led to hospitalization increased by 278 admissions.
Positivity: Florida’s average weekly positivity rate is about 8 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University. This rate measures the number of people testing positive out of the tests conducted in Florida, excluding repeated positive tests.
Keep up with Tampa Bay’s top headlines
Subscribe to our free DayStarter newsletter
You’re all signed up!
Want more of our free, weekly newsletters in your inbox? Let’s get started.Explore all your options
Florida is one of 40 states that do not meet the World Health Organization recommendation of 5 percent or below.
Florida’s positivity rate has been increasing in the past few weeks. If the positivity rate is too high, it can indicate there isn’t enough widespread testing to capture mild and asymptomatic infections, allowing them to go undetected and spread throughout the community.
Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 511 coronavirus cases and 17 deaths Saturday.
Six deaths were recorded in Manatee, four in Hernando, three in both Citrus and Pinellas, and one in Polk.
Citrus leads the area with an average weekly positivity rate of about 11 percent, followed by Polk at 9 percent, Pasco and Hillsborough at 8 percent and Hernando, Manatee and Pinellas at 7 percent.
As of the latest counts, Hillsborough has 52,481 cases and 862 deaths; Pinellas has 28,865 cases and 857 deaths; Polk has 25,020 cases and 650 deaths; Manatee has 14,553 cases and 348 deaths; Pasco has 12,403 cases and 260 deaths; Hernando has 4,215 cases and 187 deaths; and Citrus has 3,856 cases and 147 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.