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Florida breaks 10-day streak of COVID-19 infection rate below 5%

99 new recent deaths reported by health officials Tuesday

A health care worker administers a COVID-19 test at a site sponsored by Community Heath of South Florida in Homestead.
A health care worker administers a COVID-19 test at a site sponsored by Community Heath of South Florida in Homestead. (AP photo by Lynne Sladky)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida health officials reported a slight increase in coronavirus infections, deaths and hospitalizations on Tuesday after 10 days with an infection rate below 5%.

The Florida Department of Health reported 2,470 new positive cases of the virus Tuesday, increasing the state’s total since March to 687,909.

The new cases Tuesday are out of nearly 45,000 tests.

The update released by the DOH every morning includes how many people have recently died from complications of COVID-19 and how many people have been hospitalized in Florida in the past six months. On Tuesday, the DOH reported 99 new fatalities from the pandemic. Since March, 13,579 have died in Florida from the virus, which includes 163 non-residents who died here. The U.S. pandemic death toll surpassed 200,000 over the weekend.

As of Tuesday morning, there are 2,298 patients hospitalized around the state with COVID-19 as their primary diagnosis, according to the state Agency for Healthcare Administration. The DOH doesn’t track current hospitalizations but the overall total. There were 228 new patients as of Tuesday morning, bringing the state’s total COVID-19 hospitalizations to 42,771 in the past six months.

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The positivity rate reported by the DOH comparing the number of new positive cases to test results reported the day prior was 5.88%, an increase by more than 1 point. The increase breaks Florida’s streak of 10 consecutive days of a positivity rate under 5%, however, it’s still well below the advised 10%.

If you are having trouble viewing the dashboard on mobile, click here.

Here are three things to know about the pandemic for Tuesday, Sept. 22:

  • CDC guidance on Halloween: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging people to stay away from most of the fun activities connected to Halloween, including trick-or-treating and haunted houses.
  • Fines for NFL coaches, staff: The NFL fined several coaches $100,000 each and their teams $250,000 each after the head of NFL football operations Troy Vincent’s strongly worded memo about face coverings was widely ignored in Week 2. The NFL warned teams and coaches last week that they had to cover their noses and mouths throughout their games lest they put the fledgling season at risk during the coronavirus outbreak. Players are taking daily COVID-19 tests and teams are going to great lengths to make sure they play the 2020 season. But coaches have been defying the mandates requiring masks, face shields or gaiters be worn at all times.
  • Orange County reports plateau in infections for first time: Health officials in Orange County are pleasantly surprised at the county’s recent coronavirus data, as numbers appear to be staying low despite recent reopenings. As schools and businesses reopened over the past several weeks, health officials said they expected a spike in the number of COVID-19 cases but recent data shows a plateau in infections for the first time, Dr. Raul Pino with the Florida Department of Health in Orange County said during a coronavirus news briefing on Monday.

Across Central Florida Tuesday, Brevard, Lake, Marion, Orange, Osceola, Polk and Volusia counties reported new deaths. Below is a breakdown of cases across the region:

CountyCasesNew CasesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths
Brevard8,5027377172814
Flagler1,675131392230
Lake7,3392653651723
Marion9,491389172611
Orange39,2321761,297114321
Osceola12,2097061341381
Polk19,339962,030155125
Seminole8,8872763732000
Sumter2,180162462650
Volusia10,6147777872266

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


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