TAMPA, Fla. - The Florida Department of Health says the number of known cases of COVID-19 in the state rose by 17,042 Friday and Saturday. According to the state's daily update, the total number of cases in Florida is now 1,264,588.
The number of Florida resident deaths has reached 21,135, an increase of 140 since Thursday's update. In addition, a total of 302 non-Floridians have died in the state.
Locally, Sarasota County reported 11 new deaths; Pinellas reported seven; Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, and Polk each reported two, while Citrus, Hernando, Highlands, and Sumter each reported one.
Of the 1,264,588 cases, 1,243,118 are Florida residents while 21,470 are non-Florida residents currently in the state.
The numbers represent two days of reporting because no update was issed on Christmas.
Bay Area COVID-19 cases by the numbers:
- Hillsborough: 73,980
- Pinellas: 42,973
- Sarasota: 17,748
- Manatee: 21,277
- Sumter: 4,754
- Polk: 35,393
- Citrus: 6,359
- Hernando: 6,981
- Pasco: 20,919
- Highlands: 4,785
- DeSoto: 2,835
- Hardee: 2,044
Florida new resident cases in orange; new resident deaths in gray. Note: Deaths usually appear to be trending down because of the delay in confirming the last few days of data. Source: Fla. Dept. of Health.
The state is not reporting a total number of "recovered" coronavirus patients. As of Saturday, 5,646 Floridians were currently hospitalized for a primary diagnosis of COVID-19; in total, 61,288 have been hospitalized for treatment at some point.
Vaccination efforts are ramping up across the state. Friday and Saturday, 8,516 more residents received their initial vaccine dose, bringing the total to 113,946. No one has yet received their second and final dose.
Source: Fla. Department of Health
The number of new cases had generally been trending down in the fall, mirroring the number of tests being given. But it has begun to increase again. The 13,148 new cases reported last Thursday was the highest single-day increase since July -- just one more positive case than today's number.
The rate of positive new tests has declined from its summertime peak, remaining below 10% for several months, but it has also begun to increase again. It was at 8.0% on Friday, the most recent date available.
After peaking in July, the number of deaths also began a downward trend in August that continued until November -- though "significant delays" in data reporting, as the state says, make interpreting short-term trends from that statistic less reliable.
Source: Fla. Department of Health
Editor's note: The number of new cases and deaths reported each day does not necessarily reflect the day that the case was confirmed. The state says some private testing labs dump large batches of test results which include cases from previous days, and data can take days or weeks to validate. Stats for today and previous days will likely change in the future as the state reviews more cases and updates retroactive data.
The state's number of deaths represents permanent Florida residents who have died from COVID-19.
If you feel sick:
The Florida Department of Health has opened a COVID-19 Call Center at 1-866-779-6121. Agents will answer questions around the clock. Questions may also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
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