Another 119 Floridians have died from COVID-19 as the state saw 4,684 new cases of people infected with the coronavirus, the state reported Friday.
It’s the fourth consecutive day that the number of new infections has increased, according to the state Department of Health’s updated coronavirus pandemic tally.
But the all-important testing positivity rate, which offers some clues about the prevalence of the disease, has now been at about 7% for three days in a row.
This is the percentage of people who test positive out of the total number of tests on one day of results. The state’s figure is for new cases only and doesn’t count people who previously tested positive.
Florida positive test rates by day
As of Fri, Aug 21. The state noted the 11.93% on Aug 11 was due to a lab that submitted backlogged results.
Percentages will be adjusted after today. These are the test results received in the last two weeks from midnight to 11:59 p.m. each day. Duplicate positive tests from the same person count the first time only.
Public health experts say the virus is under control when the rate is 5% or below. The state says its “target range” is below 10%. From June 15 through the end of July, Florida regularly had positivity rates above 10%, and even hit 15% or higher on several days.
Positivity is also looking better in South Florida, which has had the state’s biggest coronavirus outbreak.
The daily positivity rates on Friday were 6.75% for Broward, a decrease from the previous day’s 7.12%; 9.53% for Miami-Dade, down from 9.62%; and 5.18% for Palm Beach County, up just slightly from 5.12% the prior day.
Also in Friday’s report, the state indicated that it processed 79,260 COVID-19 test results over the previous day. That’s up slightly from 77,175 results posted Thursday.
Yet another calculation, which includes retests of people who were previously diagnosed, shows a statewide positivity rate of 9.77% based on the latest results. That’s the lowest it has been since it was 9.75% on June 15, records show.
The new cases posted Friday continue a streak during which the state has not had 10,000 or more cases per day for nearly four weeks. Still, the numbers have ticked up from 2,678 new cases on Monday, 3,838 cases Tuesday, 4,115 cases Wednesday, and 4,555 cases Thursday.
The cases reported on a single day follow a lag between the collection of swabs over several days and the confirmation of positive results.
With the most recent reported deaths on Friday, the state has now confirmed a total of at least 10,304 people have died from COVID-19 complications. These are people who died in recent weeks but whose deaths were recently added to the state figures.
Health officials reported the death of a 6-year-old girl from Hillsborough County — the youngest known victim of the disease in the state. It’s unclear if she had traveled or had underlying health conditions.
The girl is the eighth person younger than 18 to die from COVID-19, records show. Previously, Florida’s youngest victim had been a 9-year-old Putnam County girl, who died last month.
South Florida, which accounts for 29% of Florida’s population, reported 1,888 new cases in the past day, or 40.3% of the daily total for the state.
Broward County: 474 new coronavirus cases were reported Friday, bringing the total to 68,542. The median age of Florida residents infected in the county is 39. A total of 1,094 people in Broward have died from the virus, 17 more than reported Thursday.
Palm Beach County: 271 new cases, bringing the total to 40,157. The median age of those infected in the county is 41. A total of 1,064 people have died, nine more than reported the previous day.
Miami-Dade County: 1,143 new cases on Friday, bringing the total to 150,305. The median age of those infected in the county is 43. A total of 2,235 people have died. That’s 34 more than reported Thursday.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said the recent data trends are “very encouraging,” considering that last month the county’s positivity rate was around 20% and there were several days with more than 3,000 new cases.
“It’s a great sign,” he said during a news conference Friday. “It’s thanks to all the residents who have been following the new normal.”
Gimenez said people can’t afford to let down their guard any time soon or the spread of the virus will get worse again.
“It’s our responsibility,” he said. “We have to keep wearing our masks, social distancing, wash our hands and then in the home, in multigenerational homes, hey if you’re venturing outside you may have caught the virus, you may want to stay away as much as possible from those that are high risk.”