ORLANDO, Fla. – Florida health officials announced Thursday the highest number of coronavirus cases reported in a single day since Sept. 1 with more than 5,500 new COVID-19 cases.
The news comes after Florida health officials held off releasing their normal coronavirus update Wednesday. The department of health announced there will be a more thorough review of all COVID-19 fatalities reported to the state.
Fatality data reported to the state consistently present confusion and warrant a more rigorous review, according to a Florida Department of Health news release.
Of the 95 fatalities reported to the state Tuesday, which would have been released publicly Wednesday, 11 of the deaths occurred more than a month ago. Also, 16 deaths had more than a two-month separation between the time the individuals tested positive and passed away, and five of those had a gap of more than three months.
Palm Beach County had 50 of the 95 coronavirus deaths reported Tuesday, health officials said. That nearly doubled a previous one-day record of 27 deaths in August.
Health officials normally report the state’s COVID-19 data daily around 11 a.m. in the form of several reports and a dashboard site that shows new deaths, cases and hospitalizations, along with overall testing numbers. On Wednesday, however, hours went by after 11 a.m. with no update, prompting concern from the public about transparency and potential changes in reported COVID-19 information to the public.
“During a pandemic, the public must be able to rely on accurate public health data to make informed decisions,” Florida Surgeon General Scott Rivkees said in a statement. “To ensure the accuracy of COVID-19 related deaths, the Department will be performing additional reviews of all deaths. Timely and accurate data remains a top priority of the Department of Health.”
[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Delayed death reporting prompts review of COVID-19 fatalities by surgeon general]
Below is a breakdown of the most recent data provided by the Department of Health.
The Florida Department of Health reported 5,558 new cases on Thursday, bringing the state’s overall total to 768,091 cases since March.
The last time Florida reported new cases of this size was more than a month ago on Sept. 1 with more than 7,500 new cases.
It’s important to note the DOH reported more coronavirus cases Thursday but also reported a larger amount of overall tests. The DOH more than 106,00 tests for Thursday’s numbers, the most reported since Oct. 10 but the day prior only had 34,000 tests.
The Florida Department of Health on Thursday reported 57 people have recently died from COVID-19. As of Thursday’s coronavirus report, 16,470 deaths across the state have been related to the coronavirus, a number that includes 203 non-resident deaths in Florida.
State health officials have always maintained that virus fatalities are often delayed in being reported to the FDOH, with some deaths not reported for a month or more.
Currently, there are 2,070 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
The state reported 137 new hospitalizations on Thursday, meaning the state has seen a total of 47,765 patients admitted into a hospital since March in relation to COVID-19.
The percent of positive results ranged from 3.44% to 7.88% over the past two weeks and was 5.62% Wednesday.
[SEE YESTERDAY’S REPORT: South Florida reports rising COVID-19 infections in schools as state reports 3,662 new cases]
Below is a Central Florida county-by-county breakdown of COVID-19 for Oct. 21.
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The Associated Press contributed to this story