The total of pandemic deaths in Florida edged closer to 17,000 on Sunday as the state reported another 28 fatalities related to COVID-19.
Florida also tallied another 4,865 coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 807,412 since the pandemic began in March.
Overall, 16,997 people have died, including 208 non-residents who died in Florida.
Most of the 28 deaths reported Sunday happened in recent weeks but were just confirmed in the past day.
With cases spiking across the nation, the country’s leading infectious diseases expert warned the U.S. will face a rising death toll and “a whole lot of hurt” in the coming weeks.
We need to make an “abrupt change” in public health precautions nationwide, Dr. Anthony Fauci told The Washington Post in a story published Saturday night.
His comments contradict President Donald Trump’s claim that the nation is “rounding the turn” on the virus.
Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told The Washington Post the U.S. was likely to see 100,000 or more cases a day this winter.
“It’s not a good situation,” Fauci said. “All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”
The number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. has now surpassed 9 million, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
More than 46.3 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 across the globe.
Worldwide, nearly 1.2 million have died from the highly infectious coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins dashboard. The U.S. has the highest number of deaths, with at least 230,811 as of 1:30 p.m. Sunday.
On Friday, Florida reported 5,592 new cases of COVID-19 — the most new cases in one day since Aug. 15, when the state tallied 6,352 cases. Florida reported 7,569 cases on Sept. 1, but much of that spike was due to a backlog of lab results.
On Saturday, the number of new cases dropped to 2,331.
Broward County: 726 additional confirmed coronavirus cases and three more deaths. The county has a known total of 86,961 cases and 1,555 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. The death tally includes 29 non-residents.
Palm Beach County: 332 additional cases of COVID-19 and no reported deaths. The county now has 52,779 confirmed cases and 1,612 deaths, including 24 non-residents.
Miami-Dade County: 918 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 15 more deaths. The county now has 186,809 confirmed cases and 3,684 deaths, including 22 non-residents.
Testing and positivity rates
Public health experts say the virus is considered under control when the COVID-19 test positivity rate is under 5%.
Florida exceeds 5% in one of its measures for assessing the positivity rate for testing of residents.
In the first calculation, the state reported a daily positivity rate of 4.32% on Sunday, down from 6.31% on Saturday.
This method of calculating positivity counts new infections only, but also counts repeat negative tests, which skews the figure downward.
According to the state, Sunday’s new case numbers reflect the results of 111,616 COVID-19 tests of Florida residents received from labs in the past day, an increase from 37,007 results reported Saturday.
In the second calculation, which includes retests of people who were previously diagnosed, the statewide daily positivity rate is 7.38% based on the latest results for 123,903 residents, down from 7.95% the day before.
Broward County: Test results for 15,637 residents were tallied Saturday and reported Sunday, producing a daily positivity rate of 4.58% for people with new infections only. That’s up from 4.18% the previous day.
Palm Beach County: Test results for 6,755 residents were tallied Saturday and reported Sunday, producing a daily positivity rate of 4.81% for people with new infections only, down from 7.37% the previous day.
Miami Dade County: Test results for 23,328 residents were tallied Saturday and reported Sunday, producing a daily positivity rate of 3.93% for people with new infections only. That’s down from 5.8% the previous day.
The number of people hospitalized in Florida for COVID-19 increased by 74 in the past day.
As of 1:30 p.m. Sunday, 2,371 people across the state were hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19. That’s up from 2,297 patients around the same time the day before.
In South Florida, Broward County reported 238 patients hospitalized, an increase of 16; Palm Beach County had 147, up by one; and Miami-Dade had the most in the state with 316, an increase of 12.
The online report from the state Agency for Health Care Administration updates several times throughout the day. Hospitalizations hit a peak in late July of about 9,500 patients.
Since the pandemic began, 49,404 residents have been hospitalized for the disease, state health officials say.
Statewide: Sunday’s report shows a total of 16,789 Floridians dead. In addition, the deaths of 208 non-residents have been attributed to the virus.
Florida has the fourth-highest total of COVID-19 deaths among the states, behind California, Texas and New York, according to the CDC.
Florida’s death rate since the pandemic began ranks ninth among states, tied with Illinois, at 78 deaths per 100,000 people, the CDC reports. That’s higher than the national rate of 70 deaths per 100,000.
Long-term-care facilities: At least 6,771 residents and staff have died at nursing homes and assisted-living centers throughout Florida. That’s another 12 deaths in the past day.
Miami-Dade County has reported the highest number of deaths at long-term-care facilities, with 851. Palm Beach County is second with 722. Broward has reported 445 deaths.
National and global view
U.S.: More than 9.17 million people in the country have been infected with the novel coronavirus and 230,811 have died as of 1:30 p.m. Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center.
World: At least 46.3 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 1,198,498 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins says. The U.S. has had the most COVID-19 cases and deaths of any country. The U.S. has 4.3% of the world’s population, but 19.78% of the world’s cases and 19.26% of the world’s deaths.
Other countries with high COVID-19 death tolls include Brazil with 159,884, India with 122,111, Mexico with 91,753 and the United Kingdom with 46,807.
Susannah Bryan can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @Susannah_Bryan
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