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Florida COVID update: 20,133 new cases, second-highest count, as more go into hospital

·6 min read

Florida reported 20,133 new COVID-19 cases, its second-highest single-day case count since the pandemic began last year as the state continues record-breaking hospitalizations for the fourth straight day.

The number of cases reported to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday was just 1,550 short of Florida’s single-day case count record. On July 31, Florida reported a record of 21,683 new COVID cases for the previous day.

Florida, which makes up about 6.5% of the U.S. population, accounted for nearly 22% of the country’s new cases on Wednesday, based on data the state is reporting to the CDC. The state’s seven-day average of new cases was 18,120, as of Aug. 4, up from a seven-day average of 2,337 on July 4, a 675 percent increase, stemming from the highly contagious delta variant.

The state also reported 84 new deaths.

The state’s surge of new cases and hospitalizations has pushed some Florida hospitals, including Memorial Healthcare System in South Broward, to temporarily pause elective surgeries to conserve staff and make room for infected patients.

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Meanwhile, more testing sites are popping up in both Miami-Dade and Broward.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida

There were 12,888 people hospitalized for COVID-19 in Florida, breaking the state’s hospitalization record for the fourth day in a row, according to data from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services as of 1:16 p.m. Thursday.

About 2,577 people were in intensive care, or 40 percent of the state’s ICU hospital beds.

In Miami-Dade County, COVID hospitalizations are not at 2020 summer levels yet, but are inching closer. On Wednesday, there were 1,504 patients with COVID in 25 of 30 hospitals reporting their data to the county, which has mandated that local hospitals report COVID cases to county officials. Of the 1,504 patients, 282 were in the Intensive Care Units at the hospitals.

There were 191 new COVID patients as of noon Wednesday, 169 of whom were not vaccinated, or 88 percent, according to the Miami-Dade dashboard. There were 149 patients discharged Wednesday.

The number of Florida children hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to rise. A Miami Herald analysis of weekly case data showed that the number of children under 12 admitted has seen the sharpest increase over the past month. More Florida children were hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday than in any other state in the country.

On Wednesday, there were 22 children in Nicklaus Children’s Hospital being treated for COVID. Of the 22, six children were in ICU and eight new patients were admitted on Wednesday. There was one child on a ventilator, Miami-Dade data shows.

Numbers for Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital in Hollywood were not available Thursday.

January was the worst month of the Florida pandemic, with daily case counts routinely topping 10,000. That followed a surge in July 2020, when daily case counts and hospitalizations also topped 10,000. Hospitalizations were higher in July 2020 over January because there was no vaccine yet. The latter half of July 2021 and early August is Florida’s third COVID-19 surge.

Cumulatively, Florida has recorded at least 2,678,764 confirmed COVID cases statewide and 39,403 deaths, according to the CDC.

COVID-19 vaccine rates in Florida

Nearly 10 1/2 million eligible Floridians have completed the two-dose series of Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna, or have completed Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine. About 48.8% of Florida’s total population is fully vaccinated, according to federal data.

Counties are doing what they can to encourage people to take the shot. On Thursday, Miami-Dade teamed up with the Miami Heat to offer people a chance at winning tickets to concerts and sporting events in exchange for getting the shot at the FTX Arena. Broward has opened six sites for drive-through or walk-up testing.

Florida switched from daily to weekly COVID reports in early June. The Miami Herald can no longer include new deaths because the state stopped classifying deaths by county in its report. The CDC does not display daily case totals for counties, only weekly averages.

Here’s the CDC’s vaccination data:

In Miami-Dade County, 2,068,847 people, or 76.1% of the county’s total population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC. About 1,681,679 people, or 61.9% of the county’s total population, are fully vaccinated.

In Miami-Dade, 88% of the population 12 years old and over, 90.3% of people 18 and older, and 99.9% of people 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In Broward County, 1,248,221, or 63.9% of the county’s total population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC. About 1,017,197 people are fully vaccinated, or 52.1% of the county’s total population.

In Broward, 74.2% of the population 12 years old and over, 76.3% of people 18 and older, and 95.5% of people 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In Palm Beach County, 887,004, or 59.3% of the county’s total population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC. About 760,706 people are fully vaccinated, or 50.8% of the county’s total population.

In the county, 67.6% of the population 12 years old and over, 69.8% of people 18 and older, and 89.1% of people 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In Monroe County, 52,907, or 71.3% of the county’s total population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC. About 44,179 people are fully vaccinated, or 59.5% of the county’s total population.

In Monroe, 79.5% of the population 12 years old and over, 82% of people 18 and older, and 99.9% of people 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

In Manatee County, 221,330, or 54.9% of the county’s total population, have received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC. About 188,462 people are fully vaccinated, or 46.7% of the county’s total population.

In Manatee, 62.1% of the population 12 years old and over, 64.6% of people 18 and older, and 87.1% of people 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Miami Herald staff writer Ana Claudia Chacin contributed to this report.

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