Florida’s Department of Health on Friday confirmed 12,444 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s known total to 402,312. There were also 135 new Florida resident deaths announced, increasing the statewide resident death toll to 5,653.
One new non-resident death was also announced, bringing the non-resident death toll to 115.
COVID-19 cases in South Florida
▪ Miami-Dade County reported 3,362 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 16 new deaths, according to Florida’s Department of Health. The county now has 98,430 confirmed cases and 1,370 deaths.
▪ Broward County reported 1,566 additional confirmed cases of the disease and 10 new deaths. The county now has 46,576 known cases and 546 deaths.
▪ Palm Beach County saw 737 additional confirmed cases and 17 new deaths. The county now has 29,004 confirmed cases and 744 deaths.
▪ Monroe County reported 84 additional cases of the disease and no new deaths. The Florida Keys now have 1,082 confirmed cases and six deaths.
Here’s a breakdown on what you need to know:
COVID-19 hospitalizations in Florida
One of the tools that officials are relying on to determine whether the coronavirus situation is improving in the state is hospitalization data. Unlike testing, which might be limited or take days to report results, hospitalizations can help give officials a real-time snapshot of how many people are severely ill with COVID-19.
Earlier this month, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration began reporting 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 only providing 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 11 a.m. Friday, there were 9,210 COVID-19 patients admitted into hospitals throughout the state, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration dashboard.
Of those, 1,984 were in Miami-Dade, 1,270 in Broward, 563 in Palm Beach and 15 in Monroe counties, according to the agency.
Florida’s current hospitalization data does not always match the hospitalization data reported in Miami-Dade’s “New Normal” dashboard. Jennifer Moon, deputy mayor of Miami-Dade, previously told the Miami Herald that there may be a number of reasons why the county’s hospitalization data differs from the state’s.
She said these reasons include the frequency of daily updates, human error and whether the state’s agency is including in its data the patients who visited the emergency room for other urgent medical needs and tested positive for COVID after they are admitted.
On Friday, Miami-Dade hospitalizations for COVID-19 complications increased from 2,254 to 2,257, according to Miami-Dade County’s “New Normal” dashboard. According to Friday’s data, 227 people were discharged and 212 people were admitted.
The state has had a total of 23,225 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.
The recommended number of daily tests needed varies among experts, but the dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Medicine told the governor that Florida needs to test about 33,000 people every day.
On Friday, Florida’s Department of Health reported 106,280 new tests on Thursday. The positive rate was 16.65% of the total, according to the report. In total, 4,166,644 tests have been conducted.
To date, 3,281,087 people have been tested in Florida. Of the total tested, 402,312 (about 12.26%) have tested positive. The state says there are 2,727 tests with pending results.
The state began adding antigen test results to Florida’s case totals earlier this month. Antigen tests are a new category of tests that detect fragments of proteins found in the virus by testing samples collected by nose swabs. The FDA authorized the first antigen COVID-19 tests in May.