After a one-day respite, new statewide COVID-19 cases topped 4,000 for the fifth time in six days, the Florida Department of Health reported Sunday.
The 4,865 additional cases pushed the state’s total since the coronavirus pandemic began to 807,412. Only Texas and California, which rank 1-2, have reported more infections than Florida.
Florida has averaged 3,626 new cases during the past seven days, including 5,592 on Friday. That number dropped to 2,331 on Saturday before more than doubling with Sunday’s report.
There were 332 positive cases in Palm Beach County reported Sunday, an 18% jump above the seven-day average of 280.
Sunday’s numbers did provide some good news. The state announced 29 new deaths – the lowest total in a week – while Palm Beach County’s death total remained unchanged. The virus has killed 16,697 in Florida and 1,612 in Palm Beach County.
New York, Texas and California rank ahead of Florida in coronavirus-related deaths. More than 231,00 people have died from the virus in the U.S. and 1.2 million around the world.
Deaths in Florida have not risen recently at the pace of new cases and the positivity rate, which helps determine if an increase in cases is due to more testing or if there’s increased transmission of the virus in the community.
One other silver lining in Sunday’s report centered on positivity rates in the state and county. Florida’s positivity rate — the percentage of all coronavirus tests performed that are actually positive — fell statewide to 4.32%, the lowest figure since 3.66% on Oct. 23.
Meanwhile, the county’s positivity rate of 4.81% marked the first time since Oct. 23 that the local number was below 5%. Medical experts say the 5% threshold is critical to control the virus.
Miami-Dade County reported 918 people who tested positive and 15 more deaths, while Broward County had 726 new cases and three deaths, according to the state.
The latest numbers have medical professionals worried about a new surge in cases mirroring the summer months, when more than 150 people died statewide every day.
“We’re in for a whole lot of hurt. It’s not a good situation,” infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci told The Washington Post. “All the stars are aligned in the wrong place as you go into the fall and winter season, with people congregating at home indoors. You could not possibly be positioned more poorly.”
President Donald Trump has repeatedly said on the campaign trail that the U.S. is “rounding the corner” on the virus.
According to The New York Times, more than two dozens states reported their worse week for new cases.
On Friday, the U.S. set a daily record with nearly 99,000 new cases recorded and surpassed 9 million infections — a little less than 20% of the world’s cases — since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University’s Coronavirus Resource Center. More than 46.1 million people around the globe have been infected.
The University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation is projecting that 72,000 people will die of the virus nationwide in January. That would top the nearly 61,000 fatalities registered in April across the U.S.
County: 52,779 cases, 1,612 deaths
Florida: 807,412 cases, 16,697 deaths
U.S.: 9,176,125 cases, 230,814 deaths
Global: 46,369,296 cases, 1,198,516 deaths