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Florida adds 5,093 coronavirus cases, 99 deaths Thursday

On average, the Florida Department of Health has reported about 4,495 infections and 83 deaths per day this week
Florida's positivity rate was about 5.9 percent Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Florida's positivity rate was about 5.9 percent Thursday, according to Johns Hopkins University. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and CHRIS URSO | Times ]
Published Mar. 18
Updated Mar. 18

Florida reported 5,093 coronavirus cases and 99 deaths Thursday, bringing the total number of reported statewide deaths to 33,219.

The state has seen 1,994,117 cases of COVID-19 through the year-long pandemic.

On average, the Florida Department of Health has reported about 4,495 infections and 83 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 107,000 tests on Wednesday, with a daily positivity rate of about 5.6 percent.

Vaccinations: Florida has vaccinated 4,570,538 people, according to Thursday’s report, with 40,547 people receiving their first shot of a two-dose vaccine on Wednesday and 24,864 completing a vaccine series. So far, 2,422,990 people have received both doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine, while 2,016,673 people have received just one dose. A total of 130,875 people have received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

In Hillsborough County, 243,087 people have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 220,398; in Pasco, 104,004; in Manatee, 94,421; in Polk, 123,880; in Hernando, 37,548; and in Citrus, 37,336.

Hospitalizations: As of Thursday, Florida hospitals were treating 2,946 patients for COVID-19, including 633 people in the Tampa Bay region.

The health department reported 222 new admissions Thursday, including 55 admissions locally.

About 23 percent of hospital beds and 28 percent of adult intensive care unit beds were available statewide. In Tampa Bay, about 21 percent of hospital beds and 18 percent of adult ICU beds were open.

Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate was about 5.9 percent Thursday, 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 30 states currently have a positivity rate below 5 percent.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 848 cases and 16 deaths Thursday.

Hillsborough and Polk counties reported six deaths each. Pasco added three deaths and Citrus recorded one. There were no new deaths in Pinellas, Hernando and Manatee counties.

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

As of the latest count, Hillsborough has 117,040 cases and 1,593 deaths, Pinellas has 69,667 cases and 1,540 deaths, Polk has 59,400 cases and 1,218 deaths, Manatee has 33,581 cases and 642 deaths, Pasco has 35,039 cases and 686 deaths, Hernando has 11,930 cases and 441 deaths, and Citrus has 10,094 cases and 423 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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