FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida on Saturday added 8,410 new cases of COVID-19 to its pandemic tally, ending its worst week for infections since Aug. 1.
Department of Health records show 56,732 people tested positive for the virus over the past week, continuing a monthlong trend.
Florida’s surge is part of a nationwide wave that on Friday hit a pandemic record of 195,542 new cases across the country, according to Johns Hopkins University.
The state experienced a 49.2% increase over the 38,019 cases from the previous week. Two weeks ago, Florida had 34,530 people with new infections.
This week marks the most new cases for the state since the week ending Aug. 1. But it’s still below the weekly record of 83,058 cases set July 18.
The big question is, what comes next? Public health experts are warning of increasing cases and deaths across the nation as fall turns into winter.
But it’s not an exact science, even for the most trusted forecasts.
The COVID-19 ForecastHub is the best place to get a read on what to expect, said Justin Lessler, a Johns Hopkins epidemiology professor.
This site collects prediction models from more than two dozen sources, including a few Johns Hopkins models, and combines them to create one ensemble forecast. This the same approach seen in weather reports, only this time it’s for the highly infectious disease that is rattling the U.S. and the world.
“It’s the same way we forecast hurricanes,” Lessler said.
The ForecastHub releases a new COVID-19 forecast every Tuesday, looking as far as four weeks ahead. The most recent projection for Florida fell short. The modeling only called for 39,571 new cases this week, or a modest increase.
The current ensemble forecast, a calculation based on 28 different models, shows an expectation of about 44,000 new cases over the next three weeks in Florida. This would likely be revised, based on the greater than expected jump seen in the past seven days.
This included 10,105 new cases Sunday, and 9,085 new infections both Thursday and Friday.
Florida officials say 931,828 people have tested positive for COVID-19 since the pandemic began in March.
The state on Saturday also confirmed 42 new deaths linked to COVID-19. The fatalities listed on the daily statistical reports happened over several weeks but were just confirmed in the past day.
Overall, at least 18,152 people have died from the virus in Florida, official records show.
Broward County: 968 additional cases and three more deaths. Broward has a known total of 100,288 cases and 1,647 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The death tally includes 29 nonresidents.
Palm Beach County: 576 additional cases and one more death. The county now has 61,305 confirmed cases and 1,672 deaths. The fatalities include 24 nonresidents.
Miami-Dade County: 1,940 additional cases and seven new deaths. The county now has 213,197 confirmed cases and 3,775 deaths. The death tally includes 22 nonresidents.
©2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)