TAMPA, Fla. - The Florida Department of Health says the number of known cases of COVID-19 in the state rose by 4,394 Wednesday. According to the state's daily update, the total number of cases in Florida since the pandemic began is now 2,253,929.
The number of Florida resident deaths has reached 35,478, an increase of 79 since Tuesday's update. In addition, a total of 706 non-Floridians have died in the state.
Locally, Hillsborough County reported 12 new deaths, Pasco and Sarasota each reported eight, Manatee and Polk each reported three, Hernando reported two, while Pinellas reported one. Citrus reported one less death than yesterday's total with no explanation.
Of the 2,253,929 cases, 2,211,728 are Florida residents while 42,201 are non-Florida residents in the state.
Bay Area COVID-19 cases by the numbers:
- Hillsborough: 136,897
- Pinellas: 79,355
- Sarasota: 32,666
- Manatee: 38,541
- Sumter: 9,312
- Polk: 68,433
- Citrus: 11,079
- Hernando: 13,927
- Pasco: 41,197
- Highlands: 8,520
- Desoto: 4,324
- Hardee: 3,132
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 Wednesday, the number of Floridians currently hospitalized for a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 was 3,009, with the state reporting a total of 91,425 hospitalized for treatment at some point.
Vaccination efforts continue across the state. Tuesday, 13,846 more patients received their first vaccine dose in Florida. Meanwhile, 44,808 more people received their second and final dose, meaning 6,533,066 have completed all necessary doses.
Source: Florida Department of Health
The number of new cases had generally been trending down in the fall, mirroring the number of tests being given. It began to increase again in the winter, then dropped, but has begun to slowly increase again.
The rate of positive new tests declined from its summertime peak, remaining below 10% for several months, but it reached that point again during the holiday season and into 2021 before dipping again. It was at 5.16% on Tuesday, 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. Now, with vaccinations more widespread, deaths are generally decreasing, epecially among the senior population.
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Source: Florida 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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