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Florida adds more than 9,000 coronavirus cases Thursday

The state’s weekly case average rose for the eighth consecutive day to the highest point since early August

Florida added 9,085 coronavirus cases Thursday, bringing the weekly case average above 7,000 per day for the first time since early August.

Since March, Florida has recorded 914,333 coronavirus cases. About 7,245 cases are announced per day, based on the weekly average. It increased for the eighth day in a row.

The state also announced 81 deaths from the virus, bringing the total number of people in Florida who have died to 18,030. The weekly death average increased to about 64 people announced dead per day.

About 132,000 tests were processed Wednesday, with a daily positivity rate of 7.58 percent.

Hospitalizations: About 3,375 people are hospitalized across Florida with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. About 740 are in the Tampa Bay area.

As cases have gone up in recent weeks, hospitalizations have increased as well. In Mid-October, the number of people hospitalized was around 2,000 or 2,100.

About 22 percent of Florida’s hospital beds and 20 percent of ICU beds are available. In Tampa Bay, about 20 percent of hospital beds and 16 percent of ICU beds are open.

Some of the largest hospitals in the region, like Morton Plant Hospital, Tampa General Hospital and Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point, had only a handful of ICU beds available as of Thursday morning.

Cases that led to a hospitalization increased by 236 admissions.

Positivity: Florida’s average weekly positivity rate is about 9 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University. It is one of 44 states that does not meet the World Health Organization recommended rate of 5 percent or below.

When positivity is too high, it can indicate there isn’t enough widespread testing in an area to capture mild and asymptomatic infections, allowing them to continue to spread through the community.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 1,393 coronavirus cases and 15 deaths Thursday.

Six deaths were in Hillsborough, four were in Pinellas, two were in both Citrus and Hernando and one was in Manatee.

Citrus leads the area with the highest average weekly positivity rate at 11 percent, followed by Hillsborough, Pasco and Polk at 8 percent, Manatee and Hernando at 7 percent and Pinellas at 6 percent.

As of the latest count, Hillsborough has 54,326 cases and 888 deaths; Pinellas has 30,006 and 870 deaths; Polk has 25,897 and 658 deaths; Manatee has 15,343 and 366 deaths; Pasco has 13,156 and 264 deaths; Hernando has 4,440 and 190 deaths; and Citrus has 4,125 and 153 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

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