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Florida adds 11,384 coronavirus cases, 121 deaths Wednesday

The state has reported an average of 98 deaths per day over the past week.
The Florida Department of Health reported 11,384 coronavirus cases and 121 deaths Wednesday.
The Florida Department of Health reported 11,384 coronavirus cases and 121 deaths Wednesday. [ Times ]
Published Dec. 23, 2020
Updated Dec. 23, 2020

The Florida Department of Health reported 11,384 coronavirus cases and 121 deaths Wednesday, bringing the total number of deaths to 21,173.

More than 1.2 million people have been infected with the virus statewide. Florida has the third-highest number of cases, following behind Texas with 1.6 million cases, and California with 1.9 million cases.

Florida has added about 11,295 cases and 98 deaths per day on average over the past seven days. 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.

Vaccinations: Florida began vaccinating people last week and has reported 68,133 vaccinations to-date, including 11,166 people vaccinated Tuesday. In its first report Saturday, the state administered 32,707 shots.

The report does not provide information about whether the vaccines distributed were manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, the latter of which was authorized for emergency use Friday.

Miami-Dade has administered the most vaccines so far, reporting 12,926 vaccinations Wednesday. Broward County recorded the second highest number at 10,838 vaccinations, followed by Orange County with 8,373 vaccines.

With the fourth-highest number of vaccinations statewide, Hillsborough County reported 6,099 shots administered. Pinellas had 5,976, Pasco had 985, Polk had 937, Manatee had 122, Hernando had 73 and Citrus had 38.

No Floridians have received the second dose of the vaccines. In order to complete the immunization process, patients must receive a second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine three weeks after the first injection. The Moderna vaccine involves two doses administered four weeks apart.

Hospitalizations: As of Wednesday afternoon, 5,590 people were currently in Florida hospitals with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. That included 1,144 patients in the Tampa Bay area.

The health department recorded 338 new admissions Wednesday, including 54 in the Tampa Bay.

About 23 percent of regular hospital beds and around 20 percent of adult intensive care unit beds were open statewide. In Tampa Bay, about 21 percent of regular hospital beds and about 18 percent of adult ICU beds were available.

Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate was 9.6 percent Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University, which changed its metrics to more closely match those of the Florida Department of Health.

According to state data, Florida’s weekly average positivity rate was 8.55 percent, with daily positivity rates ranging from 8 percent to 9.78 percent over the past two weeks.

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Before loosening social distancing guidelines, a state should maintain a positivity rate of 5 percent or less for at least two weeks, according to the World Health Organization. This positivity rate indicates that testing is widespread enough to capture asymptomatic and mild cases.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay reported 1,788 cases and 41 deaths Wednesday.

Citrus County reported 13 deaths, while Hillsborough County added eight deaths. Pinellas had seven deaths, Pasco had six deaths, Hernando had four deaths, Manatee had two deaths and Polk had one death.

Polk County had a weekly average positivity rate of 10.9 percent, while Pasco had a positivity rate of 10.6 percent. Citrus County’s positivity rate was roughly 10 percent. Hillsborough’s was 9.8 percent, Hernando’s was 9.7 percent, Manatee’s was 7.7 percent and Pinellas was 7.3 percent.

According to the latest counts, Hillsborough has had 71,957 cases and 1,053 deaths, Pinellas has had 41,654 cases and 1,014 deaths, Polk has had 34,349 cases and 764 deaths, Manatee has had 20,822 cases and 412 deaths, Pasco has had 20,164 cases and 354 deaths, Hernando has had 6,762 cases and 264 deaths, and Citrus has had 6,176 cases and 240 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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