Florida is now reporting the number of current patients in hospitals across the state with COVID-19, four months after the first case was reported.
The new information comes at the end of a grim, record-breaking week during which Florida reported 514 fatalities — an average of 73 per day. Three weeks ago, the state was averaging 30 deaths per day.
The Florida Department of Health reported 12,624 new positive coronavirus cases Monday, bringing the state’s overall total to 282,435 cases since the virus was first detected in March. This is the second-highest number of new cases ever recorded.
According to the Agency for Health Care Administration hospital database, as of Monday afternoon, there are 8,051 current coronavirus patients in hospitals across the state. According to the Department of Health, 18,498 have received hospital care due to the virus since March.
The data shows Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have the highest numbers of current COVID-19 patients.
In Central Florida, Orange County has 561 patients, Osceola has 202, according to the AHCA numbers.
The largest hospitals in Central Florida, Orlando Health Regional Medical Center and Advent Health Orlando are also included in the AHCA hospital bed count dashboard, which breaks down hospital capacity by county and facility around the state.
Orlando Health Regional Medical Center in Orlando currently had 24% of its hospital beds available and 35% of its ICU beds unoccupied. AdventHealth Orlando has 30% of regular hospital beds and 26% of its ICU beds available, according to the AHCA dashboard.
Some hospital systems say they have the ability to add hospital and intensive care unit beds if needed.
Since the Florida Department of Health began reporting cases of the coronavirus on March 1 the state has included the overall total of hospitalizations but not the current number on Friday the AHCA dashboard was the first to include the current totals.
View the breakdown below, including how many hospital and intensive care beds are available by county and facility:
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Testing has doubled over the last month, going from about 25,000 tests per day to almost 50,000, but the percentage of people testing positive has risen even more dramatically. A month ago, fewer than 5% of tests came up positive on a daily average. Over the past week, the daily average exceeded 19%.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said that even with the rising rates, he still wants the schools to reopen as scheduled next month, saying children have not proven to be vectors for the disease in states and countries where campuses are open. He said while each county will have to come up with procedures, depending on their local infection rate, not opening the schools would exacerbate the achievement gap between high- and low-performing students.
Throughout May and into June, the state reopened much of its economy with some restrictions — and the number of positive cases began rising, but it wasn't until the last week that the daily death total began rising, too.
Because of the increase in cases and the positivity rate, doctors have predicted a rise in deaths, saying the mortality rate usually increases two to four weeks later as some of those infected get sicker and eventually die. Health experts are concerned that people are gathering in crowds, and have expressed concern that the Republican National Convention’s nomination party for President Donald Trump will be held in Jacksonville in August.
The Associated Press contributed to this story