TAMPA, Fla. - The Florida Department of Health says the number of known cases of COVID-19 in the state rose by 5,409 Wednesday as the virus spreads and as more people are tested across the state. The total number of cases in Florida is now 502,739.
The number of Florida resident deaths has reached 7,627, an increase of 225 since Tuesday's update. In addition, a total of 124 non-Floridians have died in the state. Locally, Polk County reported 12 new deaths, Hillsborough reported eight, Pinellas reported seven, Pasco reported three, Sumter reported two, while Manatee, Sarasota, and Hernando each reported one more.
Of the 502,739 cases, 497,181 are Florida residents while 5,558 are non-Florida residents currently in the state.
Bay Area COVID-19 cases by the numbers:
- Hillsborough: 31,197
- Pinellas: 17,202
- Sarasota: 5,940
- Manatee: 8,938
- Sumter: 1,180
- Polk: 13,419
- Citrus: 1,373
- Hernando: 1,842
- Pasco: 6,708
- Highlands: 1,311
- DeSoto: 1,313
- Hardee: 866
Florida new resident cases in orange; new resident deaths in gray. Source: Fla. Dept. of Health.
The state is not reporting a total number of "recovered" coronavirus patients. As of Wednesday, 7,608 Floridians were currently hospitalized for a primary diagnosis of COVID-19; in total, 28,573 have been hospitalized for treatment at some point.
A total of 3,820,683 people have been tested in the state as of Wednesday -- about 17.9% of the state's population -- according to the Florida Department of Health.
Source: Fla. Dept. of Health.
Today's new case number represents the 64th straight day with new cases near or over 1,000 per day. The rate of positive new tests has increased during that time period, but has begun to trend down slightly. It was at 10.89% on Tuesday, the most recent date available.
As the number of new cases has trended up over the last few weeks, the number of deaths has also reflected the same upward trend -- though "significant delays" in data reporting, as the state says, make interpreting short-term trends from that statistic less reliable.
Wednesday's new case number was again among the lowest reported by the state since June, but it comes after testing sites in South Florida and the East Coast were closed for several days because of Hurricane Isaias.
Source: Fla. Dept. of Health.
Experts say the current spike is partly due to more tests being given, but also a result of reopening the state.
Gov. Ron DeSantis says the recent case increases are largely due to testing of "high-risk" individuals like farmworkers in the state's rural counties, prisoners, and residents of long-term care facilities, though he has more recently noted the "erosion" in social distancing, especially among the younger demographics in social setting. That prompted him to order all bars to cease serving alcohol.
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. 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 email@example.com. Email responses will be sent during call center hours.
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