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Florida adds 12,311 COVID-19 cases and 153 deaths as positivity rates drop statewide

Howard Cohen
·4 min read

Florida’s Department of Health on Saturday confirmed 12,311 additional cases of COVID-19 to bring the state’s known total to 1,639,914. Also, 153 resident deaths were announced, bringing the resident death toll to 25,164.

The number of deaths, and day-to-day cases, dropped after Florida reported a near record number of resident deaths — 272 — in a single day on Friday. Positivity percentages also dropped in Saturday’s report, after soaring across the state on Friday.

Three new non-resident deaths were also announced, bringing the non-resident toll to 397. The total death count for the state is 25,561, the fourth highest in the country after New York, California and Texas, according to the New York Times database of U.S. cases.

According to the state’s Saturday COVID-19 vaccine report, 1,328,175 people have been vaccinated in Florida — with 151,447 of those people having completed the series of two doses.

Of those who completed the two-dose vaccination, 23,266 were Miami-Dade residents, 17,276 were Broward residents, 323 were Monroe residents and 7,213 were Palm Beach County residents.

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Confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Florida

Miami-Dade County reported 2,334 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 25 new deaths, according to Florida’s Department of Health. The county now has 357,038 confirmed cases and 4,703 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases decreased from 10.83% to 6.31%, from Friday to Saturday.

Broward County reported 1,149 additional confirmed cases of the disease and seven new deaths. The county has a known total of 165,045 cases and 2,018 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases decreased from 13.52% to 5.47%, from Friday to Saturday.

Palm Beach County saw 812 additional confirmed cases and 10 new deaths. The county now has 101,831 confirmed cases and 2,093 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases decreased from 10.92% to 5.88%, from Friday to Saturday.

Monroe County confirmed 30 additional cases and no new deaths. The county has a known total of 5,135 cases and 39 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases decreased from 14.29% to 3.98%, from Friday to Saturday.

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.

As of 7:16 p.m. Saturday, there were 6,711 COVID-19 patients admitted into hospitals throughout the state, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration dashboard. This is at mid-August levels, when more than 7,000 COVID-19 patients were admitted into hospitals throughout the state.

Of Saturday’s hospitalizations, 959 were in Miami-Dade, 606 in Broward, 439 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 Saturday, Miami-Dade hospitalizations for COVID-19 complications decreased from 1,069 to 1,041, according to Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” dashboard. According to Saturday’s data, 197 people were discharged and 130 people were admitted.

The state has had a total of 69,735 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 Saturday, Florida’s Department of Health reported the results of 185,853 people tested on Friday. The positivity rate of new cases (people who tested positive for the first time) decreased from 12.37% to 6.54%.