Florida added 4,599 coronavirus cases, 59 deaths Wednesday

On average, the Florida Department of Health has reported about 4,491 infections and 82 deaths per day this week.
Florida's daily positivity rate was about 5.9 percent Wednesday.
Florida's daily positivity rate was about 5.9 percent Wednesday. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and DIRK SHADD | Times ]
Published Mar. 17, 2021|Updated Mar. 17, 2021

Florida reported 4,599 coronavirus cases and 59 deaths Wednesday, bringing the total number of reported statewide deaths to 33,120.

The state has seen 1,989,024 cases of COVID-19 through the year-long pandemic.

On average, the Florida Department of Health has reported about 4,491 infections and 82 deaths per day this week. It can take officials up to two weeks to confirm and report a coronavirus-related death, meaning the number of deaths added does not necessarily reflect the number of people who died the previous day.

The health department processed more than 84,782 tests on Tuesday, with a daily positivity rate of about 5.6 percent.

Vaccinations: Florida has vaccinated 4,464,035 people, according to Wednesday’s report, with 49,349 people receiving their first shot of a two-dose vaccine on Tuesday and 31,567 completing a vaccine series. So far, 2,375,690 people have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, while 1,967,600 people have received just one dose. A total of 120,745 people have received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In Hillsborough County, 236,378 people have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 212,806; in Pasco, 101,548; in Manatee, 92,692; in Polk, 119,663; in Hernando, 35,809; and in Citrus, 36,806.

Hospitalizations: As of Wednesday, Florida hospitals were treating 3,007 patients for COVID-19, including 656 people in the Tampa Bay region.

The health department reported 206 new admissions Wednesday, including 50 admissions locally.

About 22 percent of hospital beds and 21 percent of adult intensive care unit beds were available statewide. In Tampa Bay, about 21 percent of hospital beds and 20 percent of adult ICU beds were open.

Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate was about 5.9 percent Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Before reopening, states should maintain a positivity rate of 5 percent or less for at least two weeks, according to the World Health Organization. A positivity rate of 5 percent or less indicates that testing is widespread enough to capture mild, asymptomatic and negative cases.

The District of Columbia and 32 states currently have a positivity rate below 5 percent.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 983 cases and 13 deaths Wednesday.

Pasco and Hernando counties added five deaths each, while Pinellas reported two deaths. Hillsborough County recorded one death. Polk removed one death from its count, meaning the death was not coronavirus-related or the person who died was not a resident. There were no new deaths in Manatee or Citrus counties.

Hillsborough and Pasco counties had weekly average positivity rates of about 7 percent as of Wednesday. Hernando, Polk, Citrus and Manatee counties had positivity rates of about 6 percent. Pinellas County had a positivity rates of about 5 percent.

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As of the latest count, Hillsborough has 116,691 cases and 1,587 deaths, Pinellas has 69,468 cases and 1,540 deaths, Polk has 59,264 cases and 1,212 deaths, Manatee has 33,536 cases and 642 deaths, Pasco has 34,961 cases and 683 deaths, Hernando has 11,902 cases and 441 deaths, and Citrus has 10,081 cases and 422 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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