Florida breaks COVID-19 record with 872 deaths reported in one week

Florida breaks COVID-19 record with 872 deaths reported in one week

Death toll now stands at 5,854 in the state

  • Jul. 26, 2020 12:30 p.m.

ORLANDO, Fla. —Florida reported 9,344 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the statewide infection total to 423,855.

With 77 new resident deaths added, the death toll is now 5,854. One new non-resident death reported by the state Sunday brings that total to 118.

The state now ranks second in the nation for positive COVID-19 infections. It surpassed New York’s case total on Saturday. California, the most populous state, has the most cases with over 445,000 reported. New York is the fourth most populous state; Florida is the third.

From Sunday to Sunday, the state reported 872 new resident deaths, breaking the record for number of fatalities reported in a single week. It also posted a total of 73,808 positive infections and 384,843 people tested.

The state reported over 100 deaths each day from Tuesday through Saturday, including a record-breaking 173 fatalities reported on Thursday.

“Sadly, it will continue to go up at this rate for a while,” Dr. Raul Pino, state health officer in Orange County, said Thursday of the death toll.

In comparison, the prior week ending July 19 saw 80,236 cases, 740 deaths and 429,477 people tested. The spike in weekly reported deaths comes after several weeks of fatalities in the 200s from mid-May through June.

To be clear, the day a death was reported by the state is not the same day a person died due to COVID-19 complications.

Sunday’s update also marked a record for number of reported hospitalizations in a single week, with 3,093 posted by the state.

To date, 24,064 people have been hospitalized in Florida, the dashboard shows, 334 more than a day earlier. The state broke the single-day record for hospitalizations on Friday, with 581 reported.

Across Florida, 8,956 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of about 12:15 p.m. Sunday, according to the state’s online data. The data in the state’s tool for current patients, which updates several times throughout the day, do not differentiate between general hospital beds and intensive care units.

Over 3.3 million people have been tested in Florida, with 50,204 more tests reported Sunday. More than 2.3 million tests have been administered since May 31.

Statewide, the latest positivity rate made available by the Florida Department of Health, for Saturday’s cases, was 11.06%. The lowest positivity rate in the past two weeks, 10.5%, was reported for Tuesday’s cases.

Central Florida added 1,220 cases for a total of 68,339: 421 new cases were reported in Orange for 26,980; 226 in Polk for 11,423; 207 in Osceola for 7,614; 107 in Volusia for 6,240; 65 in Seminole for 6,034; 68 in Brevard for 4,966; 102 in Lake for 4,090; and 24 in Sumter for 992. (See details on all Central Florida cases here).

Central Florida accounts for about 16% of the cases statewide and nearly 13% of the deaths. The region’s share of the state’s deaths has ticked up compared with June and the start of July, when it had steadily remained at under 9% of Florida’s total.

Central Florida had 5 of the deaths reported Sunday. With two reported in Volusia, and one reported in Lake, Polk and Seminole counties each, the regional death toll is 734.

Polk, due to nursing-home outbreaks, has the most coronavirus fatalities in Central Florida with 217, followed by 173 in Orange, 99 in Volusia, 66 in Seminole, 64 in Brevard, 51 in Osceola, 39 in Lake, and 25 in Sumter.

Orange County reported 540 patients hospitalized, Osceola with 212, Seminole with 141, and Lake with 104 as of about 12:15 p.m. Sunday.

South Florida, home to 29% of Florida’s population, accounts for about 43% of cases with 184,430 total. That includes 4,682 new cases reported Sunday among Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties.

South Florida’s reported deaths on Sunday rose by 37 for a total of 2,748, 47% of the state’s total.

Some researchers say Florida’s death toll could double by Labor Day unless people devote themselves to social distancing and facial coverings. The state has one of the worst outbreaks anywhere in the nation.

The virus has tapped out intensive care units of some hospitals around the state. In particular, hospitals in Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville have reported recent surges and a critical shortage of the antiviral remdesivir.

“We are teetering on the edge of disaster,” Carlos Migoya, chief executive of Jackson Health System in Miami, wrote in an op-ed in The Miami Herald.

As demand for testing increases, labs across the nation are experiencing backlogs. The sheer number of tests has become so overwhelming that state officials are no longer encouraging everyone to get tested.

The virus has infected over 16 million people and has killed over 645,000 worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center. In the U.S., over 4.1 million people have been infected and more than 146,000 are dead.

The U.S. has the most fatalities by far, followed by Brazil with over 86,000, the United Kingdom with over 45,000, Mexico with over 42,000, Italy with over 35,000, India with over 32,000, France with over 30,000 and Spain with over 28,000.

Within the U.S., New York has the most deaths with over 32,000, followed by New Jersey with over 15,000.

Memorial Day weekend travel and general reopenings contributed to a surge in infections across the U.S. Southwest, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus task force coordinator, said Wednesday. And the number of infections is likely much higher than reported cases.

Almost all people infected with coronavirus survive, but those who do succumb usually die two or more weeks after they are diagnosed. The most vulnerable to death and hospitalization are those over 65 or who have health issues such as diabetes, weakened immune systems or obesity.

Coronavirus is the state’s deadliest infectious disease, killing three times more Floridians a day than flu/pneumonia, AIDS and viral hepatitis combined.

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