TAMPA, Fla. - As cases of the novel coronavirus increase daily in Florida, state agencies and independent organizations have again started reporting daily case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths in an effort to inform the public on the risk of catching the disease and becoming seriously ill.
On Friday, the Florida Hospital Association says the state reported there were 22,783 cases of COVID-19 detected Thursday, August 5, and, as of Friday afternoon, 12,864 patients were hospitalized – both numbers marking record highs for the state since the beginning of the pandemic.
Florida also reported an additional 199 people have died due to the virus, bringing the state's total COVID-19 deaths to 39,602, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Florida has been hit hard in recent weeks by a surge caused by the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus. The variant has particularly posed a threat to people who are unvaccinated.
A Florida Hospital Association poll of hospitals indicated 60% expect to have staffing shortages in the next week. Additionally, 23% reported that they will have to expand their patient care areas in the next week into parts of their facilities not currently used for care.
Hospitals across the state have been forced to cancel non-emergency surgical procedures, and some facilities have limited visitation as the numbers of people hospitalized with COVID-19 have increased.
The state of Florida stopped reporting daily COVID-19 statistics in June at the direction of Gov. Ron DeSantis. The Florida Department of Health now issues updates once a week, on Fridays. The FHA and CDC continue to publish data on a daily basis, however.
There remains no source of recovered COVID-19 patient data, or reliable statewide information on breakthrough cases.
Editor's note: The number of new cases and deaths reported each day does not necessarily reflect the day that the case was confirmed. Stats for today and previous days will likely change in the future as the state reviews more cases and updates retroactive data.