Florida adds 75,906 coronavirus cases, 2,468 deaths in past week

COVID-related deaths surpass 51,000 as cases and hospitalizations fall.
Florida's weekly coronavirus numbers.
Florida's weekly coronavirus numbers. [ Photo illustration by ASHLEY DYE and KINFAY MOROTI | Times ] ]
Published Sept. 18, 2021

Florida officials on Friday reported 75,906 coronavirus cases over the seven-day period from Sept. 10 to Sept. 16, an average of about 11,000 infections per day. It’s a 24 percent drop in cases from the week before and the lowest weekly infection rate since late July.

The latest tally brings the total number of cases up to 3,485,163 since the pandemic’s first two cases in Florida were reported 18 months ago on March 1, 2020.

Related: Florida passes 51,000 COVID deaths as vaccination rate drops

The state added 2,468 deaths since the previous week’s report, setting the fourth consecutive record for the highest number of deaths reported in a single week since the start of the pandemic.

This brings the total statewide number of pandemic deaths to 51,240. The report indicates that 384 deaths occurred in the past seven days, but it can take officials up to two weeks to confirm and report a coronavirus-related death.

The Florida Department of Health announced in June that it would no longer release daily COVID-19 data. Instead, it is now releasing a weekly report every Friday — but it withholds information that was publicly available before.

As of June 4, the state no longer reports non-resident vaccinations, coronavirus cases and fatalities. The state has declined repeated requests to provide non-resident data to the Tampa Bay Times.

Florida is the only state that updates its coronavirus caseloads and data once per week. Although weekly reports can be more reliable than daily updates, experts warn that infrequent data updates may delay the identification of emerging trends.

Related: U.S. panel backs Pfizer COVID boosters only for elderly, high-risk

Vaccinations: Florida administered 335,327 vaccine doses in the past week, including to 176,802 people who are now fully inoculated against the coronavirus.

Over 41,000 doses were additional shots given to vaccinated Floridians who are immunocompromised and received the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. So far, 277,551 Floridians have received an additional vaccine dose.

As of Thursday, 70 percent of Florida residents age 12 and up have received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine, according to the state. About 60 percent of eligible residents have been fully vaccinated.

But 39 percent of Florida’s total population is unvaccinated, including children 11 and under who are not eligible to receive the vaccine.

Vaccination rates are highest among Florida’s older adults. Eighty-eight percent of Floridians 65 and older have been vaccinated, and 83 percent of those ages 60-to-64 have been vaccinated, according to state data.

Younger adults had the largest gains but remain the least vaccinated cohorts in the state. Ages 12-19 are 53 percent vaccinated, ages 20-29 are 51 percent vaccinated, and ages 30-39 are 61 percent vaccinated.

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In Hillsborough County, 65 percent of residents age 12 and up have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 66 percent; in Pasco, 65 percent; in Manatee, 66 percent; in Polk, 63 percent; in Hernando, 59 percent; and in Citrus, 59 percent.

Related: St. Petersburg to require COVID vaccinations for new city employees

Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate fell to 11.2 percent in the past week, down from 13.5 percent the prior week. Positivity rates were highest among ages 12-to-19, with 14.9 percent of tests coming back positive.

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 testing is widespread enough to capture mild, asymptomatic and negative cases.

Positivity fell around the Tampa Bay area, where the positivity rate was 12.5 percent in Hillsborough, 11.8 percent in Pinellas, 17 percent in Pasco, 12.8 percent in Manatee, 15.2 percent in Polk, 18.1 percent in Hernando and 19 percent in Citrus.

Related: Pinellas considers $750 incentive for employees in vaccine push

Hospitalizations: Florida had 9,256 confirmed COVID-19 patients in the hospital as of Friday, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, down 25 percent from last week. The agency reported 9,094 confirmed COVID-19 patients were admitted to Florida hospitals from Sept. 10 to Sept. 16.

The Tampa Bay area saw 2,625 hospital admissions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hillsborough County hospitals had 857 admissions, Pinellas had 629 admissions, Pasco had 290 admissions, Manatee had 157 admissions, Polk had 458 admissions, Hernando had 142 admissions and Citrus had 92 admissions.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 17,891 cases in the past week, bringing the area total up to 661,792 cases.

As of Thursday’s count, Hillsborough added 5,442 new cases, Pinellas had 3,506 cases, Pasco had 2,671 cases, Manatee had 1,528 cases, Polk had 3,233 cases, Hernando had 806 cases and Citrus had 705 cases.

The CDC reported that Hillsborough saw 144 deaths in the past 7 days, Pinellas has 124 deaths, Pasco had 77 deaths, Manatee had 31 deaths, Polk had 96 deaths, Hernando 65 deaths and Citrus had 20 deaths.

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