ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – The unprecedented surge of new COVID-19 cases in Florida continues Friday bringing the total of more than 65,000 new cases in one week and many are waiting up to two weeks for test results due to the demand, delaying the numbers overall.
As of Friday, the Florida Department of Health has reported 244,151 cases since March 1. In the past 24 hours, 11,433 new cases were reported in Florida.
The daily positivity rate, which is the number of new positive cases compared to those tested on a given day, hit a new record Thursday at 18.39% and on Friday it was 12.7%, according to the DOH. Over seven days the positivity rate has averaged 14.9%. Most health officials agree the rate should be below 10% to show a downward trend.
As of Friday, 4,204 people have died in Florida due to complications from the respiratory illness.
On July 1, the Florida Department of Health began reporting resident and non-resident deaths as separate categories. The state reported 93 new resident deaths and zero new non-resident deaths in Florida on Friday, for a cumulative total of 4,102 resident deaths and 102 non-resident deaths. While deaths due to COVID-19 are delayed up to two weeks, according to the DOH, the latest count set a new record for Florida.
The state reported 435 new hospitalizations due to the virus Friday, bringing the total to 17,602 people who have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 since March 1. The state had not reported current hospitalizations until this point, however late Friday the state Agency for Health Care Administration released the first break down by county, showing nearly 7,000 people are currently in hospitals across the state.
Here are four things to know about COVID-19 going into the weekend:
- Gyms are concerning Orange County officials in regards to complying with standards set by the state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and Dr. Raul Pino from the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said they’ve recently been to local gyms after receiving complaints and what they found was alarming.
- Florida schools are preparing to reopen in a few weeks. On Thursday, DeSantis and the U.S. Department of Labor secretary said they thought it was safe to welcome students and staff again despite the state’s current surge in infection numbers. DeSantis said it’s important students return to in-person learning to close the education gap and allow for socialization. “If you can do Home Depot, if you can do Walmart, if you can do these things, we absolutely can do the schools,” DeSantis said. “In spite of good efforts with the online, it’s just not the same.”
- The Florida governor has stressed the state has enough resources to handle the rising case load. Hundreds of nurses have been sent to Tampa and South Florida-area hospitals to aid in regular cases as well as COVID-19-related patients. DeSantis said that he has been in contact with the White House regarding securing additional supplies of the antiviral drug remdesivir.
- Walt Disney World welcomed annual passholders Thursday in the first step toward reopening two of its parks to guests for the first time since mid-March following closures due to the coronavirus pandemic. News 6 spoke to several guests who were the first to experience Animal Kingdom and Magic Kingdom under new protocols, including temperature checks, due to the ongoing health risks. They reported overall a positive, and less crowded, experience at the parks.
Meanwhile in Orange County, which is beginning to see small increases in the hard hit tourism industry with more hotel stays and visitors, hundreds of new cases have been reported every day this week. The daily positivity rate for the county’s new cases is 10.1% as of Friday, according to the DOH.
Three Central Florida counties, Marion, Polk and Volusia, posted their highest one-day totals of new COVID-19 cases on Friday.
Marion had an explosion of reported cases with 145, nearly three times as many as the day before. Polk County also had it’s largest increase in new cases with 405. Volusia County reported 220 new cases with a previous record of 188.
Here’s the breakdown of coronavirus cases in the Central Florida region.
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