As millions of Americans head to the polls to cast their ballots before Election Day, the death toll from the coronavirus pandemic continues to rise across the country.
In Florida, the numbers of deaths per day have continued to decline. The state is averaging about 57 deaths a day over the past week. The new average is a stark comparison to where the state was a couple months ago. In early August, the state saw a high of 185 deaths in one day.
But with Election Day just over a week away, average deaths per day across the country are up 10% over the past two weeks, from 721 to nearly 794, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Newly confirmed infections per day are rising in 47 states, and deaths are up in 34.
Health experts had warned that it was only a matter of time before deaths turned upward, given the record-breaking surge in cases engulfing the country. Deaths are a lagging indicator — that is, it generally takes a few weeks for people to sicken and die from the coronavirus.
Deaths are still well below the U.S. peak of over 2,200 per day in late April, but experts are warning of a grim fall and winter, with a widely cited model from the University of Washington projecting about 386,000 dead by Feb. 1.
Some health experts say a vaccine is unlikely to become widely available until mid-2021.
Below is a breakdown of the most recent data provided by the Department of Health.
The Florida Department of Health reported 4,115 new cases on Wednesday, bringing the state’s overall total to 790,426 cases since March.
The Florida Department of Health on Wednesday reported 66 people have recently died from COVID-19. As of Wednesday’s coronavirus report, 16,775 deaths across the state have been related to the coronavirus, a number that includes 204 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 2,337 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration.
The state reported 210 new hospitalizations on Wednesday, meaning the state has seen a total of 48,722 patients admitted to a hospital since March in relation to COVID-19.
The percent of positive results ranged from 3.65% to 6.72% over the past 2 weeks and was 5.44% on Tuesday.
[SEE YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports nearly 4,300 coronavirus cases 1 week from Election Day]
Below is a Central Florida county-by-county breakdown of COVID-19 for Oct. 28.
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The Associated Press contributed to this story