Florida nears 14,000 deaths, reports 2,541 coronavirus cases

State total of cases reaches 693,040

FILE - In this May 16, 2020, file photo, a billboard is installed on an apartment building encouraging people to wear face masks in Cape Town, South Africa, on the 51st day of a strict government lockdown in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus. The pandemic has fractured global relationships as governments act in the interest of their citizens, but John Nkengasong, Africa's top public health official, has helped to steer the continent's 54 countries into an alliance praised as responding better than some richer nations. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht, File) (Nardus Engelbrecht, NARDUS ENGELBRECHT)

ORLANDO, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health reported 179 recent coronavirus-related deaths and 2,541 new cases Thursday, bringing the state’s total count from the virus up to 693,040.

Florida is likely to surpass a death toll of 14,000 by the end of the week. As of Thursday, there have been 13,961 deaths since March, including 166 non-residents who died in the state.

As of Thursday morning, there are 2,171 patients hospitalized with coronavirus around the state, according to the Agency for Healthcare Administration. The Florida Department of Health reported 187 new hospitalizations Thursday from the virus. Since March, 43,128 people have been hospitalized with COVID-19 in Florida.

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The Florida Department of Health reported 179 recent coronavirus-related deaths and 2,541 new cases Thursday, bringing the state’s total count from the virus up to 693,040.

State public health officials track the spread of the virus by comparing the number of new cases with overall tests done in a day. This is known as the daily positivity rate.

Thursday’s report revealed the state’s daily positivity rate for the day prior was 4.44% The state’s cumulative rate, which compares the total number of cases and tests, is 13.36%.

Health officials believe the daily rate should be below 10% to scale back local precautions to help stop the spread of the virus. The World Health Organization advises societies can reopen when they can keep their overall positivity rate at 5% or below.

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

Here are three things to know about the coronavirus for Thursday, Sept. 24:

  • Europe battling second virus surge: Data released by the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control showed five countries in the region with more than 120 confirmed cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 14 days. Spain was ranked No. 1, with almost all of its regions colored crimson on a map that also showed swathes of dark red spreading across southern France, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Romania. Health officials have been claiming that a second wave of COVID-19 could strike the U.S. in the fall, combined with flu season. Here’s what doctors say that could mean for the U.S.
  • How can I tell the difference between the flu and COVID-19? It’s impossible to tell without a test. Influenza and COVID-19 have such similar symptoms, you may need to get tested to know what’s making you miserable. Body aches, sore throat, fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and headaches are symptoms shared by the two. One difference? People with the flu typically feel sickest during the first week of illness. With COVID-19, people may feel the worst during the second or third week, and they may be sicker for a longer period. Here are other differences between the flu and coronavirus.
  • Dogs are on the case: Finland has deployed coronavirus-sniffing dogs at the Nordic country’s main international airport in a four-month trial of an alternative testing method that could become a cost-friendly and quick way to identify infected travelers. Four dogs of different breeds trained by Finland’s Smell Detection Association started working Wednesday at the Helsinki Airport as part of the government-financed trial. Anna Hielm-Bjorkman, a University of Helsinki professor of equine and small animal medicine, said if it works, the screening method could be used at hospitals, ports, sports venues and cultural events.

Below is a breakdown of coronavirus cases in Central Florida by county:

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew hospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths

See a review of new cases week over week in Florida since March:

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