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Florida adds 4,044 new COVID-19 cases, 87 deaths from residents

The Florida Department of Health on Saturday confirmed 4,044 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s known total to 752,481. 87 resident deaths were also reported, seven fewer than announced Friday, bringing the death toll to 15,917.

No new non-resident deaths were reported, leaving the non-resident toll 200.

Saturday is the third day this week that Florida reported more than 3,000 cases. It is also the highest number of single days reported since August 22, when 4,311 cases were added, although there were two exceptions.

On Oct. 11, more than 5,000 cases were added because duplicate test results clogged Florida̵

7;s data reporting system for a day, and the number from last Saturday was folded into the total number. There was also a “data dump” on September 1, when 7,569 cases were reported. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said at the time of the “data dump” that Quest Diagnostics suddenly unloaded 80,000 test results, some of which were as old as April.

According to Saturday’s dashboard, testing nationwide dropped by 940 people compared to Friday’s figures, and the daily positivity rate rose from 4.36% to 5.19%.

Confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Florida

Note: The Florida Department of Health states that each county’s percentage positivity for new cases (people who tested positive for the first time) does not include genetic testing (people who have tested positive once and are being tested a second time).

Miami-Dade County reported 554 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 – an increase of 24 compared to Friday – and 17 new deaths, two fewer than reported Friday, according to the Florida Department of Health. The county now has 177,893 confirmed cases and 3,537 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases increased from 4.11% to 4.76%.

Broward County reported 377 further confirmed cases of the disease, an increase of 46 compared to Friday and six new deaths, two fewer than reported on Friday. The county has a total of 80,820 cases and 1,506 deaths. Percentage positivity for new cases increased from 3.96% to 4.85%.

Palm Beach County saw 196 further confirmed cases, 18 more than reported Friday and nine new deaths, three more than Friday. The county now has 48,870 confirmed cases and 1,487 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases increased from 3.37% to 3.82%

Monroe County confirmed a further 16 cases, four fewer than on Friday and a new death. The county has a total of 2,038 cases and 25 deaths. Percent positivity for new cases increased from 7.81% to 10.88%.

COVID-19 admissions in Florida

One of the tools that officials rely on to determine if the coronavirus situation is improving in the state is hospitalization data. Unlike tests that may be limited or take days to report results, hospitalizations can help give officials a snapshot of how many people are seriously ill with COVID-19.

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration reports the number of patients admitted across the state with a “primary diagnosis of COVID.” The data, which are updated at least every hour, do not distinguish between the number of COVID-19 patients in the hospital’s intensive care units and those in acute care beds, which requires less attention from nurses.

Previously, the state provided only the total number of hospital admissions in its data across the state and county level. Miami-Dade was an exception, with hospitals themselves reporting a number of important measurements, including admissions, to the county, which has been publishing these data for several months.

From kl. 10 Saturday, there were 2,037 COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals across the state, according to the dashboard of the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration. This is a marked drop from early August, when more than 5,000 COVID-19 patients were admitted to hospitals across the state.

Of Saturday’s admissions, 256 were in Miami-Dade, 178 in Broward, 101 in Palm Beach and eight in Monroe counties, a slight increase in all counties except in Miami-Dade, according to the agency.

Florida’s current hospitalization data does not always match 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.

The state has 46,976 residents in Florida hospitalized due to COVID-19-related complications, an increase from 46,862 on Friday, according to Florida’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard.

COVID-19 Test in Florida

Tests in Florida have seen steady growth since the COVID-19 crisis began.

Testing, like admissions, helps officials determine the progress of the virus and plays a role in deciding whether it is safe to lift home orders and loosen restrictions.

Epidemiologists then use the test data to create a positivity rate. The rate helps them determine if an increase in cases is due to an increase in testing, or if it means there is increased transmission of the virus in the community.

On Saturday, the Florida Department of Health reported the results of 77,517 people tested on Friday. The positivity rate for new cases (individuals who tested positive for the first time) increased from 4.36% to 5.19%.

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Miami Herald Real Time / Breaking News reporter Howard Cohen, a 2017 winner of the Media Excellence Awards, has covered pop music, theater, health and fitness, obituaries, local government and general mission. He started his career in the Features section of the Miami Herald in 1991.
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