Florida health officials report 187 additional COVID-19 related deaths

3,952,028 people have been tested for the virus in Florida

Healthcare workers walk to a tent, Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, at a COVID-19 testing site outside Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. State officials say Florida has surpassed 500,000 coronavirus cases. Meanwhile, testing is ramping up following a temporary shutdown of some sites because of Tropical Storm Isaias. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health on Saturday reported 8,502 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of COVID-19 cases in Florida to 526,577.

The number is a running total since the virus was first detected in Florida in March.

While the reporting of coronavirus deaths are delayed by days and sometimes weeks, state and public health leaders say an additional 187 people have recently died from the virus. Their deaths raise the overall count to 8,238 that number includes 129 non-residents who died in Florida.

[MORE: More than 19,000 Floridians projected to die from COVID-19 by December, experts say]

On Saturday, the positivity rate for the number of people who tested positive for the first time, compared to the overall tests, fell to 9.91%. Health officials agree the rate should be below 10% to show infections are decreasing.

[RELATED: Coronavirus: Which are the deadliest Florida counties for COVID-19?]

Across the state, 6,930 people are currently hospitalized with severe cases of the virus, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration’s report.

The FDOH’s coronavirus dashboard reveals 30,251 people have been hospitalized due to complications with COVID-19 since March, an increase of 521 patients since the last time the state released the total 24 hours ago.

News 6 speaks one-on-one with Gov. Ron DeSantis

In a one-on-one interview Friday with News 6 anchor Matt Austin, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said that school districts have a legal requirement to offer in-person instruction this fall despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The governor was responding to the decision in Hillsborough County to start the school year virtually for all students and then possibly consider in-person learning in September if infection numbers have dropped.

[MORE: ‘I’m concerned about it:’ DeSantis says Hillsborough County schools should reopen]

“The law requires you to offer certain amount of in-person instruction,” DeSantis said about the decision in Hillsborough to balk at the state order. “I’m concerned about it.”

DeSantis argued that not opening for in-person learning was not “the right decision” for school districts in areas other than Miami-Dade or Broward counties, where the majority of cases in the state have been reported.

To hear the full interview with Gov. Ron DeSantis, click or tap here.

Parents of Central Florida students can find everything they need to know about their district’s back-to-school plan at ClickOrlando.com/backtoschool.

Here’s a breakdown of COVID-19 cases in Central Florida:

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew HospitalizationsDeathsNew Deaths

To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter and go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.