Florida's COVID-19 case count is lowest since June

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Guests wear masks, as required, to attend the official re-opening day of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, on Saturday, July 11, 2020. - Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida reported the lowest number of new COVID-19 cases since June 23.

With 4,247 new cases reported Monday, the count is less than half of the new infections only two weeks ago on July 27.

A positive trend also is evident in people who need emergency care. Emergency department visits for COVID-19-like illness also declined from just two weeks ago with about 3,200 fewer visits.

The coronavirus pandemic still has its grips on the state, where 8,408 people have died from the disease. Monday’s report showed 91 more Florida resident deaths and two non-Florida resident deaths. The peak was 257 deaths on July 31. The daily totals are not reflective of deaths in the past 24 hours, but rather recent weeks. And the test results reported on a single day typically reflect tests taken over several days.

Overall, 531,217 people in Florida have been diagnosed with infections. Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have a double-digit total positivity rate over time with 19%, 14% and 13% respectively.

More than 4 million people have been swabbed in Florida since the pandemic began, producing a positivity rate of 13.4%. The rate reflects an improving trend from the first week of July when most days the state posted a positivity rate of 15%. The state processes close to 100,000 test results per day.

Public health experts say the positivity rate is an important figure, since it indicates the prevalence of the disease in the population. The World Health Organization had advised governments that before reopening, the rate should remain at 5% or lower for at least 14 days.

SOUTH FLORIDA

South Florida, which accounts for 29% of Florida’s population, reported 2,118 new cases in the past day.

Broward County: 679 new coronavirus cases were reported Monday, bringing the total to 62,898. The median age of those infected in the county is 39. A total of 821 people in Broward have died from the virus, 18 more than reported Sunday.

Palm Beach County: 282 new cases, bringing the total to 37,297. A total of 936 people have died, 39 more than reported the previous day. The median age of those infected in the county is 39.

Miami-Dade County: 1,157 new cases, bringing the total to 133,623. A total of 1,874 people have died. That’s nine more than reported Sunday. The median age of those infected in the county is 42.

TESTING AND POSITIVITY RATE

A total of 4.02 million people have been swabbed in Florida since the pandemic began, producing a positivity rate of 13.36%. The state reports that 3.47 million people have tested negative. At the end of May, Florida’s positivity rate was about 5.6%.

In South Florida the positivity rates on Monday were 9.5% for Broward, up from Sunday’s 8.7%; 10.7% for Miami-Dade, down from 12.2%; and 7.3% for Palm Beach County, which is up from 7.1%.

The most recent data concerning infections among children show 279,464 children have been swabbed statewide, and 15.1% of them, or 42,198 have tested positive for COVID-19.

Children: South Florida has had 45%, or 17,932 of the cases involving children. That includes 8,807 cases in Miami-Dade County, highest in the state, 6,330 in Broward, and 2,795 in Palm Beach County.

The pediatric data report released Saturday also says 436 children have been treated in hospitals since the start of the pandemic, a two-week increase of 133; seven have died from COVID-19 illness.

There have been 30 cases of a rare condition in children under 18 called “Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children.” Eleven of these cases associated with the new coronavirus were in Miami-Dade County, four were in Broward, and two were in Palm Beach County. There also has been one case in a young adult between 18 and 20 years old.

HOSPITALIZATIONS

Sunday to Sunday ending Aug. 9 saw the most new hospitalizations yet, with 3,355 new COVID-19-related admissions throughout Florida.

Across the state, 6,904 people were hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 as of about 10 a.m. Monday. The state’s online tool updates several times throughout the day. Broward County reported 933 patients hospitalized, Palm Beach with 441, Miami with 1,483.

Overall, Florida has reported a high number of hospitalizations from the virus: 30,785 people.

The total on Monday reflects 280 more people hospitalized than a day earlier. From June through mid-July in Florida, there were 207 new hospitalizations a day on average.

DEATHS

Statewide, the official COVID-19 death total for Florida reached 8,408 on Monday. That figure includes 131 people who were not residents. South Florida’s reported deaths on Monday rose by 32 for a total of 3,631, about 44% of the state’s total.

COVID-19 is the state’s deadliest infectious disease. Throughout 2019, there were 2,703 deaths attributed to the flu and pneumonia in Florida, records show.

Seniors: At least 3,519 deaths have occurred among residents and staff of nursing homes and long-term care facilities, a figure that represents 43% of the state total for coronavirus deaths of residents.

Miami-Dade County has the highest number of long-term care facility deaths, with 631, or 18.1% of the total. Palm Beach County had 377 deaths, or 11%, and Broward accounted for 250 deaths, or 7%.

Nationwide: Florida has reported an average of about 156 deaths per day, or 1,094 total over the past seven days. Florida’s death rate ranks 18th in the United States when compared with other states and the District of Columbia, with 36 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID Data Tracker.

The CDC does not list a death rate for New York state that includes New York City. The data for just New York City, the nation’s original coronavirus epicenter, shows 281 deaths per 100,000 people. For New York state, excluding the city, it’s 80 deaths per 100,000.

Texas has 26 deaths per 100,000, and California has 25. California and Texas are the most populous states, followed by Florida and New York.

GLOBAL VIEW

The virus has infected nearly 20 million people and has killed over 731,000 worldwide, according to the Johns Hopkins University & Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center.

The U.S. has over 5 million cases, the highest in the world, and over 163,000 are dead, the most fatalities of any country. After the U.S., other countries with high death tolls are Brazil with over 101,000, Mexico with over 52,000, the United Kingdom with over 46,000, India with over 44,000, Italy with over 35,000, and France with over 30,000.

The U.S. has 4.3% of the world’s population, but 25.5% of the world’s cases and 22.4% of the world’s deaths.

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©2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Florida governor Ron DeSantis answers a question during a roundtable meeting with transportation industry leaders at Orlando, FL. - Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel/TNS