Florida adds 13,148 coronavirus cases, 104 deaths Thursday

The state reported its highest daily caseload since mid-July.
Florida added 13,148 coronavirus cases Thursday.
Florida added 13,148 coronavirus cases Thursday. [ Times ]
Published Dec. 17, 2020

Florida added 13,148 coronavirus cases Thursday, the highest daily number reported since mid-July, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Excluding data from Nov. 27 — which recorded new cases across the span of two days — Florida’s daily COVID-19 numbers last surpassed 13,000 on July 16, with 13,759 cases reported, according to the COVID Tracking Project.

The state recorded 104 deaths Thursday, bringing the death total to 20,594 since March. On average, the state has added 10,541 cases and 106 deaths each day this week.

It can take officials up to two weeks to confirm and report a COVID-19 death, meaning the number of deaths added does not necessarily reflect the number of people who died the previous day.

Hospitalizations: According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, Florida hospitals were treating 5,127 patients Thursday afternoon, including 1,004 locally.

The health department reported 326 new hospital admissions Wednesday, including 71 locally.

About 20 percent of regular hospital beds and around 17 percent of adult intensive care unit beds were open statewide. In Tampa Bay, about 18.5 percent of regular hospital beds and about 14 percent of adult ICU beds were available.

Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate was 9.2 percent Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University, which recently changed its metrics to more closely match the state health department’s calculations.

Data from the Florida Department of Health indicates that the state had a weekly average positivity rate of 8.56 percent. Daily positivity rates have ranged from 7.4 percent to 9.66 percent over the past two weeks.

States should maintain a positivity rate of 5 percent or less for at least two weeks before reopening, according to the World Health Organization. This rate indicates that testing is widespread enough to capture asymptomatic and mild cases. Only Vermont, Hawaii and the District of Columbia currently have positivity rates below 5 percent.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 2,467 cases and 38 deaths Thursday.

Pinellas County added 24 deaths. Pasco County added five deaths, while Hillsborough and Polk counties reported four deaths each. Hernando County added one death. There were no new deaths reported in Citrus and Manatee counties.

Polk and Hernando counties recorded weekly average positivity rates of 9.5 percent, while Pasco County had a positivity rate of 9.4 percent. Hillsborough County’s positivity rate was 9 percent, Citrus County’s positivity rate was 8.9 percent, Manatee’s County’s positivity rate was 7.7 percent and Pinellas County’s positivity rate was 7.2 percent.

According to the latest counts, Hillsborough has had 67,801 cases and 1,022 deaths, Pinellas has had 39,337 cases and 997 deaths, Polk has had 32,432 cases and 742 deaths, Manatee has had 19,612 cases and 405 deaths, Pasco has had 18,733 cases and 337 deaths, Hernando has had 6,267 cases and 251 deaths, and Citrus has had 5,774cases and 224 deaths.

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