Florida reports 6,587 COVID-19 cases, 62 deaths

Florida reported 6,587 coronavirus infections and 62 deaths on Sunday, bringing the overall death toll to 18,214 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Florida Department of Health.

Since March, 938,414 people have tested positive for the virus. The state has the third highest number of coronavirus cases reported, trailing behind only California and Texas, which have both reported more than 1 million cases since the pandemic began.

Hospitalizations:

By Sunday afternoon, the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration reported 3,613 people across Florida were in the hospital with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 — an increase of 138 hospitalizations in the last 24 hours.

Roughly 22 percent of those patients were in Tampa Bay area hospitals, which reported a combined 783 coronavirus patients on Sunday. Last Sunday, those same hospitals reported only 680 active coronavirus patients. Overall, local hospitalizations rose by about a quarter in the past month, records show.

About 27 percent of regular hospital beds statewide and 23 percent of adult beds in Florida’s intensive care units were available for new patients on Sunday. About 42 percent of all pediatric ICU beds were empty by 3 p.m. on Sunday, reporting 374 total patients.

In the Tampa Bay area, nearly 26 percent of regular hospital beds and 21 percent of adult ICU beds were empty. The region’s pediatric units saw a slight decrease in admissions, reporting 56 active patients on Sunday compared to 64 at the same time last week. Availability in those pediatric ICU units has increased from about 26 percent to 33 percent. have seen a steady increase in patients this week, have continued to operate at about 26 percent, records show.

The number of people hospitalized has continued to increase in recent weeks, up from 3,118 last Sunday and 2,732 the week before. The counties experiencing the most coronavirus hospitalizations has mostly aligned with the number of known infections reported to the state. Miami-Dade lead the state with 515 active coronavirus patients on Sunday, followed by Broward and Palm Beach counties. Hillsborough County’s hospitalizations on Sunday was the fourth-highest number in the state at 249 active patients, followed by Duval, Orange and Pinellas County’s 157 patients.

Positivity:

Florida’s average weekly positivity rate is about 8.24 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University, which recently changed its metric to align more closely with the Florida Department of Health’s measure.

For much of the fall, Florida’s positivity rate has steadily declined from a high of 20 percent during a case surge in mid-July. Still, Florida is one of 45 states above the World Health Organization’s recommended positivity rate of 5 percent or below. A high positivity rate can indicate there’s not enough testing in a given area to capture mild and asymptomatic cases.

Local numbers:

Tampa Bay added 947 coronavirus cases on Sunday and five deaths.

Polk County reported three deaths, while Hillsborough and Manatee counties each reported one death. There were no new deaths reported in Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando or Citrus counties.

As of early Sunday night, the state had not published data regarding the positivity rates in various counties.

Citrus County leads the region with an average weekly positivity rate of about 11 percent, followed by Polk at nearly 9 percent, Hillsborough and Pasco counties at 8 percent, Manatee and Hernando counties at 7 percent and Pinellas County at 6 percent.

As of the latest counts, Hillsborough has 55,482 cases and 890 deaths; Pinellas has 30,878 cases and 871 deaths; Polk has 26,352 cases and 665 deaths; Manatee has 15,723 cases and 369 deaths; Pasco has 13,679 cases and 266 deaths; Hernando has 4,596 cases and 198 deaths; and Citrus has 4,330 cases and 158 deaths.

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Florida coronavirus cases by age group

Doctors say older people are at a greater risk to developing severe symptoms from COVID-19, which makes Florida especially vulnerable.

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Tampa Bay Times coronavirus coverage

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