TAMPA, Fla. - The Florida Department of Health says the number of known cases of COVID-19 in the state rose by 8,942 since yesterday morning as the virus spreads and as more people are tested across the state. The total number of cases in Florida is now 122,960.
The number of deaths has reached 3,366, an increase of 39 since Thursday's update. Locally, Hillborough County reported five new deaths, Pinellas reported four, and Polk reported three.
Of the 122,960 cases, 120,574 are Florida residents while 2,386 are non-Florida residents currently in the state.
Bay Area COVID-19 cases by the numbers:
The state is not reporting a total number of "recovered" coronavirus patients or those currently hospitalized. As of Friday, 13,987 people had been hospitalized for treatment at some point.
A total of 1,770,081 people have been tested in the state as of Friday -- about 8.2% of the state's population -- according to the Florida Department of Health.
Florida resident cases in orange; Florida resident deaths in gray. Source: Fla. Dept. of Health.
Friday's total new cases represented, by several thousand, the largest single-day increase since the pandemic began, as well as the 24nd straight day with new cases near or over 1,000 per day. Experts say the current spike is partly due to more tests being given, but also a result of reopening the state.
The rate of positive new tests has increased during that time period. It was at 13.05% on Thursday, the most recent date available.
Source: Fla. Dept. of Health
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 also noted the "erosion" in social distancing, especially among the younger demographics in social settings.
After earlier threatening to pull the liquor license of any bar that did not enforce distancing rules, the state ordered all bars to cease serving alcohol immediately Friday.
Prior to this spike, the state had averaged just over 700 new cases per day in the last 30 days. That was a level that the health care system could handle, according to Gov. DeSantis. And while the number of new cases has trended up over the last few weeks, the number of deaths has appeared to trend down, though "significant delays" in data reporting, as the state says, make interpreting short-term trends from that statistic less reliable.
This week, emergency room doctors and hospital executives said they have enough hospital beds for the moment, but they expressed concern that a large increase in new patients appears to be beginning.
Source: Fla. Dept. of Health
As Florida continues taking steps to ease restrictions put in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, health experts say new cases and more deaths are expected.
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 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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