ORLANDO, Fla. – Over the past five days, Florida has reported less than 7,000 new COVID-19 cases, outside of a blip on Wednesday due to a large data dump, which is a positive trend.
The Florida Department of Health reported 6,148 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday, bringing the state’s running total since March to 563,285 cases.
The state also announced 229 new fatalities, bringing Florida’s death toll from the virus up to 9,276. That number includes 9,141 residents and 135 non-residents who died in Florida. New COVID-19 deaths are often delayed in reporting to the state DOH and those new deaths could have occurred within the past few weeks.
Meantime, the positivity rate, which represents the number of people who tested positive for the first time compared to the overall number of tests reported by the DOH for the day prior was 8.08%.
Health officials agree the rate should be under 10% to show cases are on the decline.
While testing continues to be a main necessity across the Sunshine State, antibody tests are also needed.
Gov. Ron DeSantis held a roundtable discussion Thursday to express the importance of getting an antibody test during the pandemic.
“I recommend if you’re totally asymptomatic that the antibody test is better to take than a PCR test because the PCR tests can’t even identify an active infection,” DeSantis said.
Health officials explained during the discussion that the antibodies found in a patient’s blood after testing positive for the virus have been key to helping those with severe cases of the virus.
“If you are positive, we absolutely ask you to be willing and consider donating your blood because it can be used,” DeSantis added.
To find a testing site nearest to you that offers antibody testing click or tap here.
Many people who test positive for COVID-19 will have mild or no symptoms at all, which is why it is important to monitor hospitalizations and deaths attributed to the virus.
As of Friday morning, there were 5,959 patients currently hospitalized with coronavirus in Florida, according to the state Agency for Healthcare Administration. The Florida Department of Health reported 618 new hospitalizations on Friday, bringing the overall total to 33,155 since March.
Here are three things to know about coronavirus in Central Florida and across the U.S. for Friday:
- Children contracting COVID-19: More than 200 children under the age of 18 have contracted the coronavirus in Orange County within the last two weeks, according to numbers from the Florida Department of Health. Most experience fever, headache, a dry cough, muscle aches and a runny nose, but a quarter of the children reported no symptoms at all. To see the exact ages of children and what symptoms they’re experiencing, click or tap here.
- Mixing masks with politics: President Donald Trump is attacking Joe Biden for calling on governors to mandate that all Americans wear masks for the next three months. Biden did not call for an executive order, but he did at an earlier campaign event call for the institution of “a mask mandate nationwide, starting immediately.” To hear more about what each candidate said, click or tap here.
- Switching learning style: An Orange County parent is not happy she selected the LaunchED program for her kids. After the issues she said they’ve had this week, the monther told News 6, she wanted to switch to a different option. She posted on Orange County Public Schools’ Facebook page asking if she could enroll her kids in face-to-face, instead of LaunchEd. To find out what the school had to say about the switch, click or tap here.
Across the Central Florida region, Brevard, Flagler, counties all reported new deaths.
Below is a breakdown of COVID-19 cases across Central Florida as of Aug. 14:
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