Florida reports more than 13,100 new COVID-19 infections, most since mid-July

Moderna vaccine could be approved within days

Registered nurse La Tanya Forbes, right, walks away after being inoculated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine by RN Cheryl Birmingham, left, at Memorial Healthcare System, Monday, Dec. 14, 2020, in Miramar, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) (Lynne Sladky, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

ORLANDO, Fla. – Days after Florida first received the initial round of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, a second vaccine is taking another step this week to approval but Florida and many other states are reporting increasing virus cases.

On Thursday, Florida’s Department of Health reported more than 13,100 new positive COVID-19 infections, the third-highest since the pandemic began. The last time the state saw a count that high was in mid-July. The most Florida reported was on July 11 with more than 15,000 cases, and July 15 marked the second-highest with more than 13,700 positive cases.

However, the state’s positivity rate is still below 10% and hospitalizations are not reaching near the numbers we saw this summer.

Drugmaker Moderna’s vaccine is up for review Thursday before a panel of physicians and medical researchers who are expected to endorse it, followed by the Food and Drug Administration’s OK within hours or days.

When it is approved, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Florida is expected to receive 367,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine in the first round of distribution.

[TRENDING: 250,000 chickens killed in fire | SpaceX launch to bring sonic booms | New stimulus could mean $600 direct payment]

DeSantis said the Moderna vaccine would go to 173 hospitals that did not get the first shipment of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine.

Meanwhile, long-term care facilities and health care workers continue to receive the first available doses of the Pfizer vaccine in Florida and around the country.

A second vaccine is urgently needed as coronavirus infections, hospitalizations and deaths continue to rise in the U.S. ahead of holiday travel and gatherings that are expected to further fuel the pandemic.

Even with a vaccine, the economic impacts of the pandemic will remain for years to come.

Congressional negotiators are closing in on a $900 billion COVID-19 economic relief package that would deliver additional help to businesses, $300-per-week jobless checks and $600 stimulus payments to most Americans. But there is no official deal, yet.

Negotiations intensified this week after months of futility.

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

[READ YESTERDAY’S REPORT: Florida reports more than 9,400 new COVID-19 cases as more vaccine shipments arrive]

Below is a breakdown of cases, recent deaths, hospitalizations and Florida’s positivity rate reported by the state on Dec. 17:

Cases

The Florida Department of Health reported 13,164 new cases on Thursday, bringing the state’s overall total to 1,168,483 cases since March.

Editor’s note: Along with the resources previously utilized by News 6 (state and county-by-county data), as of Dec. 7, WKMG has added state data pulled from the Florida Department of Health’s Florida COVID19 State Testing Totals. This new dataset includes the number of people tested the day prior, which is the number public health officials use to calculate the state’s daily positivity rate.

Deaths

Florida reported 104 new virus deaths Thursday. This means at least 20,594 people have died in relation to coronavirus across the state, including 289 non-residents who died in Florida.

Hospitalizations

As of Thursday afternoon, there are currently 5,127 people with the virus hospitalized in Florida, according to the state Agency for Health Care Administration, a decrease by about 40 patients within 24 hours.

Since March, 59,291 people have been hospitalized in Florida after complications from the coronavirus. That number includes the 322 people who have been recently hospitalized due to the virus, according to the health department’s report.

Positivity rate

The positivity rate for the 148,902 tests reported Thursday was 8.84%. This statistic is the number of people who tested positive for the first time based on test results reported to the state Wednesday.

See COVID-19 data for the Central Florida region below:

CountyCasesNew casesHospitalizationsNew HospitalizationsDeathsNew deaths
Brevard18,5112101,349174904
Flagler3,179422113471
Lake12,96623990322761
Marion15,4332151,242204302
Orange66,7868111,8632569713
Osceola22,3532961,02632720
Polk32,4324363,219167394
Seminole15,93818187033010
Sumter4,2216736211090
Volusia19,3342621,21183980

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

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


About the Authors: