The state Department of Health reported 6,331 coronavirus infections and 96 deaths on Monday.
Since March 1, the day health officials reported the first known COVID-19 infection in the state, Florida’s Department of Health has tied 18,310 deaths to the respiratory infection caused by the virus. In all, Florida has reported 944,745 known coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic - meaning roughly 1 in every 22 Floridians has become infected.
The nation has watched recently as daily case loads and hospitalizations have surged higher than ever before. By mid-day Monday, Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center showed the overall caseload in the U.S. had risen to at least 12,282,123. And of those infected, the university is reporting at least 256,934 people have died from the virus.
The nation’s average daily caseload is now nearly 200,000 reported each day. More than 1 million infections were reported in the last week alone.
The month-long surge in cases has prompted dozens of states to issue new health restrictions in hopes of taming the virus’s spread ahead of Thanksgiving. But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has thus far resisted calls for similar measures in Florida, where the overall coronavirus caseload ranks third highest in the nation and the death toll remains the fourth highest.
Florida’s economy has remained fully reopened since Sept. 25 under an executive order that not only removed the last remaining coronavirus restrictions in the state, but also prohibited local governments from passing their own public safety restrictions, issuing mask mandates or enforcing other social distancing rules.
In the seven days before Florida’s restrictions were lifted, health department data shows roughly 17,000 coronavirus infections were reported. Last week, the number of coronavirus cases reported by the state tripled that number at more than 53,000.
By Monday afternoon, the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration reported 3,754 people across Florida were in the hospital with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 — an increase of 100 hospitalizations in the last 24 hours.
Roughly 22 percent of those patients were in Tampa Bay area hospitals, which reported a combined 821 coronavirus patients on Monday. About 26 percent of regular hospital beds statewide and 24 percent of adult beds in Florida’s intensive care units were available for new patients on Sunday. About 42 percent of all pediatric ICU beds were empty by 4 p.m. on Monday, reporting 382 total patients.
In the Tampa Bay area, nearly 24 percent of regular hospital beds and 21 percent of adult ICU beds were empty. The region’s pediatric units saw a slight increase in admissions, reporting 66 active patients on Monday compared to 56 the day before. Availability in those pediatric ICU units has increased from about 26 percent last week to 30 percent on Monday.
The counties experiencing the most coronavirus hospitalizations has mostly aligned with the number of known infections reported to the state. Miami-Dade led the state with 532 active coronavirus patients on Monday, followed by Broward and Palm Beach counties. Hillsborough County’s hospitalizations were the fourth-highest number in the state at 263 active patients, followed by Duval, and Pinellas County’s 183 patients.
Florida’s average weekly positivity rate is about 8.11 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University, which recently changed its metric to align more closely with the Florida Department of Health’s measure.
For much of the fall, Florida’s positivity rate has steadily declined from a high of 20 percent during a case surge in mid-July. Still, Florida is one of 45 states above the World Health Organization’s recommended positivity rate of 5 percent or below. A high positivity rate can indicate there’s not enough testing in a given area to capture mild and asymptomatic cases.
According to state data, Florida’s positivity rate for new cases was 7 percent, and has ranged from 6.7 percent to 10 percent in the last two weeks. Those results come from 95,791 coronavirus tests processed by the state in the last 24 hours. Overall, just under 7 million people have been tested for the coronavirus in Florida — about one-third of the state’s population.
Florida’s death rate is the 12th highest in the nation per capita, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The Tampa Bay region added 1,148 coronavirus cases on Monday and 28 deaths.
Twelve of those fatalities were in Hillsborough County, while Polk reported seven deaths, Pinellas had five, Hernando had two deaths and Pasco and Citrus each reported one death. There were no new deaths reported in Manatee County.
Pasco County leads the region with an average weekly positivity rate of about 9.39 percent, followed by Citrus at 9.37 percent, Hernando at 8.38 percent, Hillsborough at 7.18 percent, Polk at 7.17 percent, Manatee at 7.07 percent and Pinellas at 5.65 percent.
As of the latest counts, Hillsborough has 55,835 cases and 902 deaths; Pinellas has 31,137 cases and 876 deaths; Polk has 26,504 cases and 672 deaths; Manatee has 15,904 cases and 369 deaths; Pasco has 13,809 cases and 267 deaths; Hernando has 4,641 cases and 200 deaths; and Citrus has 4,358 cases and 159 deaths.
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How fast is the number of Florida COVID-19 cases growing?
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Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?
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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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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage
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