FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida’s coronavirus cases maintained a downward swing Sunday, with the state reporting 2,583 new cases and another 14 deaths in the past 24 hours.
No deaths were reported in Broward or Palm Beach counties and only four were reported in Miami-Dade County.
State officials have tallied 621,586 COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began — only 21,015 cases more than a week ago, reports from the Florida Department of Health show. As of Sunday, 11,263 people have died from the disease, including 144 people who lived elsewhere but died in Florida.
The deaths reported Sunday represent a sharp decline from the record 277 coronavirus deaths reported on Aug. 11. The one-day peak for new cases was July 12, with 15,300 infections.
Sunday’s daily report from the Department of Health reflects deaths that occurred over recent weeks, but were only confirmed in the past 24 hours. The new cases follow a lag between the collection of swabs over several days and the confirmation of positive results.
Broward County: 186 new coronavirus cases were reported Sunday, bringing the total to 70,950. A total of 1,209 people in Broward have died from the virus. No new deaths were reported in Broward on Sunday.
Palm Beach County: 135 new cases were reported Sunday, bringing the total to 41,865. A total of 1,134 people have died. No new deaths were reported Sunday.
Miami-Dade County: 521 new cases were reported Sunday, bringing the total to 156,559. A total of 2,421 people in Miami-Dade have died from COVID-19. That’s four more than reported Saturday.
Testing and positivity rate
More than 4.6 million people have been tested for COVID-19 statewide since the pandemic began, producing an overall positivity rate of 13.49%, according to the Florida Department of Health. Nearly 3.98 million people have tested negative.
In South Florida, the overall positivity rates are 19.36% for Miami-Dade County, 14.19% for Broward and 13% for Palm Beach County.
On Sunday, Florida reported that its daily positivity rate, for new infections only, stood at 5.1%, up from 4.45% the previous day. This doesn’t count people who previously tested positive.
Positivity is viewed as a key way to gauge the prevalence of the disease. Public health experts say the coronavirus is under control when the rate is 5% or below. Florida says its “target range” is below 10%.
Recent numbers mark a significant improvement over July, when the daily positivity rate for new infections was hovering around 15% across the state.
On Sunday, health officials reported test results for 60,074 people, thousands fewer than the 72,557 test results reported the previous day.
In South Florida, the daily positivity rates reported on Sunday dropped in all three counties. The rate was 4.49% for Broward County, a slight increase from the previous day’s 4.27%; 4.7% for Palm Beach County, up from 4.45%; and 6.63% for Miami-Dade, down from 7.09% the day before.
Across the state, 3,806 people were hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 as of 1:45 p.m. Sunday, four fewer people than the day before. Broward County reported 467 patients; Palm Beach County had 181; and Miami-Dade had 694, the most in the state.
The state Agency for Health Care Administration’s online report updates several times throughout the day. Hospitalizations have been declining all month statewide, including South Florida.
A different report, from the state health department, shows 38,410 Florida residents have been hospitalized since the start of the pandemic.
Statewide: The official COVID-19 report, updated Sunday, shows 11,119 Florida resident deaths. Another 144 non-residents also died in Florida since the pandemic began. The state has reported an average of 114 deaths per day over the past seven days. 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.
Long-term care facilities: At least 4,682 deaths have occurred among residents and staff of nursing homes and assisted-living centers throughout the state – just four more than Saturday. No deaths were reported in South Florida in the past 24 hours. Miami-Dade County has the highest number of deaths at the facilities, with 697; Palm Beach County has reported 479 deaths, and Broward accounted for 353 deaths.
Worldwide: The novel coronavirus has infected more than 25 million people and killed at least 843,729 worldwide as of 12:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
U.S.: The United States has more than 5.96 million cases, the highest total in the world, with at least 182,841 deaths, the most of any country. The U.S. has 4.3% of the world’s population, but 23.8% of the world’s cases and 21.7% of the world’s deaths.
Other countries with high COVID-19 deaths are Brazil with 120,462, Mexico with 63,819, India with 63,498, and the United Kingdom with 41,586.
©2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)