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After topping a million, Florida adds nearly 10,000 more COVID-19 cases and 97 deaths

A day after hitting the million-case milestone, Florida added nearly 10,000 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The state on Wednesday reported 9,994 new infections, bringing the known total to 1,018,160. Florida also announced 97 COVID-19-related resident deaths, bringing the resident toll to 18,776. The state reduced the non-resident death count by one to make the cumulative non-resident toll 236.

Florida is the third state in the U.S. to record one million cases since the pandemic began in March, according to the New York Times COVID-19 Database. The other two states are Texas and California.

Miami-Dade County reported 2,293 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 21 new deaths, according to Florida’s Department of Health. The county has a total of 234,054 confirmed cases and 3,860 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases increased from 9.65% to 9.77%. The 14-day percent positivity average was 8.35%, according to Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” dashboard.

▪ Broward County reported 1,035 additional confirmed cases and nine new deaths. The county has a known total of 109,360 cases and 1,673 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases increased from 7.11% to 8.67%.

▪ Palm Beach County saw 491 additional confirmed cases and two new deaths. The county now has 66,427 confirmed cases and 1,699 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases decreased from 9.87% to 7.96%.

▪ Monroe County confirmed 34 additional cases and no new deaths. The county has a known total of 3,426 cases and 28 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases increased from 7.28% to 12.23%.

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COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida

One of the tools that officials rely on to determine whether the coronavirus situation is improving in the state is hospitalization data. Unlike testing, which might be limited or takes days to report results, hospitalizations can help give officials a real-time snapshot of how many people are severely ill with COVID-19.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration reports the number of patients hospitalized statewide with a “primary diagnosis of COVID.” The data, which is updated at least every hour, does not distinguish between the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital intensive care units and those in acute-care beds, which require less attention from nurses.

Previously, the state was providing only the total number of hospitalizations in its statewide and county-level data. Miami-Dade was an exception, with hospitals self-reporting a number of key metrics, including hospitalizations, to the county, which has made this data public for several months.

As of 6:01 p.m. Wednesday, there were 4,246 COVID-19 patients admitted into hospitals throughout the state, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration dashboard. This is a big jump from what the state was reporting last month and approaching the high levels in early August, when more than 5,000 COVID-19 patients were admitted into hospitals throughout the state.

Of Wednesday’s hospitalizations, 702 were in Miami-Dade, 444 in Broward, 275 in Palm Beach and eight in Monroe, according to the agency.

Florida’s current hospitalization data does not always match the hospitalization data reported in Miami-Dade’s “New Normal” dashboard. Officials say this could be for a number of reasons, including the frequency of daily updates.

On Wednesday, Miami-Dade hospitalizations for COVID-19 complications increased from 799 to 815, according to Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” dashboard. According to Wednesday’s data, 94 people were discharged and 100 people were admitted.

The state has had a total of 55,567 Florida residents hospitalized for COVID-19-related complications, according to Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard.
COVID-19 Testing in Florida

Testing in Florida has seen steady growth since the COVID-19 crisis began.

Testing, like hospitalizations, helps officials determine the virus’ progress and plays a role in deciding whether it is safe to lift stay-at-home orders and loosen restrictions.

Epidemiologists use the testing data to create a positivity rate. The rate helps them determine if a rise in cases is because of an increase in testing or whether there’s increased transmission of the virus in the community.

On Wednesday, Florida’s Department of Health reported the results of 108,998 people tested on Tuesday. The positivity rate of new cases (people who tested positive for the first time) increased from 8.69% to 9.1%.

If retests are included — people who have tested positive once and are being tested for a second time — the positivity rate increased from 10.50% to 10.87%, according to the report.

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