There have been glimmers of hope in the fight against coronavirus.
Sunday marked the eighth consecutive day where the Florida Department of Health reported fewer than 5,000 new cases.
The FDOH reported 2,974 new COVID-19 cases Sunday. The new cases bring the state’s running total since March to 600,571 cases.
The state also announced 51 new fatalities, bringing Florida’s death toll from the virus up to 10,462. That number includes 10,325 residents and 137 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.
The state is recording an average of 156 coronavirus fatalities per day this month, which likely makes COVID-19 the state’s No. 1 killer during that period. Cancer and heart disease each average about 125 deaths per day, according to the Florida Department of Health.
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 5.52% on Sunday.
Health officials agree the rate should be under 10% for two weeks to show infections are on the decline. Saturday marked the 10th day the rate was below 10% in Florida.
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 Sunday morning, there were 4,578 patients currently hospitalized with coronavirus in Florida, according to the state Agency for Healthcare Administration.
The Florida Department of Health reported 139 new hospitalizations on Sunday, bringing the overall total to 36,468 since March.
Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have also been declining. Late Saturday morning, 4,773 patients were being treated for the disease in Florida hospitals compared to Friday’s 4,909 and Thursday’s 5,340. That number has fallen from a peak above 9,500 on July 23.
Here are three things to know about coronavirus in Central Florida and across the U.S. for Friday:
- Judge slated to rule on Florida teachers union lawsuit: Leon County Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, who is slated to issue a ruling early next week, heard closing arguments in lawsuits filed by the Florida Education Association and the union that represents Orange County teachers. But lawyers representing Gov. Ron DeSantis, Corcoran and state education officials, who are defendants in the case, maintain that the Constitution also requires the state to provide “high-quality education” to Florida schoolchildren. Want to hear more about the case? Click or tap here to read more.
- 5,500 Brevard students still not registered: Brevard Public Schools on Friday reported 500 fewer students were not registered for the first day of school on Monday, but 5,500 students still had yet to notify their schools about their plans for the upcoming semester. A district spokeswoman said lots of families are making last-minute decisions. Preparations will likely continue over the weekend for some district employees. To read more, click or tap here.
- Florida deaths continue to rise: Florida reported mixed statistics on the coronavirus outbreak Saturday, as it again recorded more than 100 deaths but also saw its number of infections and hospitalizations continue their fall. The state recorded 106 confirmed coronavirus deaths Saturday, the 17th time in August that the state has exceeded 100 recorded fatalities in a day. For more on Florida’s death rate, click or tap here.
Below is a breakdown of COVID-19 cases across Central Florida as of Aug. 23:
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