Florida coronavirus cases push past 33,000; death toll rises to 1,218

Tribune Content Agency

MIAMI — Florida’s Department of Health on Wednesday morning confirmed 347 additional cases of COVID-19, bringing the state total of confirmed cases to 33,193 as the governor prepares to announce “Phase 1” of the state’s reopening plans.

There were 47 new deaths also announced, bringing the statewide death toll to 1,218.

This is the lowest total number of newly confirmed cases reported in Florida since Saturday, when the state confirmed 306 additional cases of COVID-19 and decreased its COVID-19 case updates from twice a day to once a day.

On Tuesday, the state had reported 708 additional confirmed cases and 83 deaths — the highest total of new deaths reported on a single day. Of Wednesday’s 47 reported deaths, 22 were in South Florida, according to the state’s COVID-19 Data and Surveillance Dashboard.

Fourteen people died in Miami-Dade, bringing the county’s death toll to 338. Three people died in Broward, raising the county’s death count to 182, and five people died in Palm Beach County, bringing the county’s death toll to 178. Additional details about the deaths was not immediately available.

Of the statewide total of confirmed cases, 32,318 are Florida residents and 875 are non-residents who were diagnosed or isolated in the state. Miami-Dade County saw 96 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, pushing it closer to the 12,000 mark. It now has a total of 11,927 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Local and state officials have previously said that the change in the number of reported cases is a sign that statewide social distancing measures are working and have recently begun to ease restrictions across the state, including in hard-hit South Florida, whose four counties make up more than half of the state’s COVID-19 cases.

Parks, marinas, golf courses and other recreation areas, excluding beaches, reopened in Broward and Miami-Dade County — which continues to have the highest number of known cases and deaths in the state — for limited recreational activities early Wednesday as part of the efforts to bring life back to normal during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The openings come about a week after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that Florida’s coronavirus curve had flattened.

Testing in Florida has seen a steady growth since the COVID-19 crisis began and is expected to increase following the governor’s promise to have 18,000 tests a day at state labs by the end of May.

As of Tuesday, the state has done a total of 367,435 tests. Of those tests, 32,846 or 8.94% came back positive. The state said 334,029 came back negative and 1,216 tests were still pending results. Information about Wednesday’s testing was not immediately available.

But health experts told the Miami Herald earlier this month they were concerned the number of pending COVID-19 tests listed by the state is an undercount because Florida reports only the number of Floridians waiting to get test results from state labs, not private ones — and private labs are completing more than 90% of state tests.

Previously, the result of pending tests from private labs have taken as long as two weeks to be added to the state’s official count, making it difficult for officials to project the size and scale of the pandemic in the state. It’s unclear how quickly results are currently being sent to the state from private labs.

Epidemiologists have also warned that Florida, like the rest of the country, would need to test thousands more people on a daily basis before it would be able to safely reopen restaurants, movie theaters and other businesses.

Health officials say the state has also had 5,419 hospitalizations relating to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The statewide and county-level data for COVID-19 hospitalizations include anyone who was hospitalized during their illness and “does not reflect the number of people currently hospitalized,” according to the Department of Health.

The state says it does not “have a figure” to reflect current hospitalization data.


As of Wednesday morning, here’s what Florida’s Department of Health data show:

Miami-Dade County saw 96 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, raising the county total to 11,927. Those who have fallen ill range from the age of 0 to 105. (Those listed as age zero are less than 1). Health officials say 11,797 are residents, 129 are non-residents and one is a resident who is not in Florida. The county has had 1,458 hospitalizations and 338 deaths, Florida’s highest death toll.

Broward County reported 51 additional confirmed cases of the disease, raising the county total to 4,898. Those who have fallen ill range from the age of 0 to 102. Health officials say 4,769 are residents and 129 are non-residents. The county has had 182 deaths and 976 hospitalizations.

Palm Beach County had 34 additional confirmed cases of COVID-19, raising the county total to 2,911. Those who have fallen ill range from the age of 0 to 104. Health officials say 2,850 are residents, 59 are non-residents and two are residents who are not in Florida. The county has had 431 hospitalizations and 178 deaths.

Monroe County did not report any additional confirmed case of the disease. The county’s total is 78. Those who have fallen ill range from the age of 6 to 80. Health officials say eight are non-residents. The Florida Keys has had three deaths and 11 hospitalizations.


(Miami Herald staff writers Daniel Chang, Ben Conarck and Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau Chief Mary Ellen Klas contributed to this report.)


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