Florida’s COVID-19 cases continue to fall

Health care workers work at a walk-up COVID-19 testing site during the coronavirus pandemic in Miami Beach. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Florida’s cases of coronavirus continue to grow, but at a slower pace than they had since early this summer.

The Department of Health reported 2,258 new cases of COVID-19 in the state on Monday and 72 deaths, including one each in Clay and St. Johns counties.

The number of total cases and deaths continues a downward trend that began five weeks ago.

Florida reported 2,258 new cases on Sunday, only the third time since June 15 that fewer than 2,500 new cases were n tallied in a day. The daily total peaked July 15 when more than 15,000 cases were reported, but has been declining since.

Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have also been declining. Late Sunday morning, 4,578 patients were being treated for the disease in Florida hospitals compared to Saturday’s 4,773. It is a drop of almost 800 since Thursday. Hospitalizations peaked at above 9,500 on July 23. The state’s positivity rate on tests returned Sunday was 5.2% after averaging about 10% for the past week.

Overall, the state has now reported 602,829 confirmed cases. The state has reported 10,534 deaths since the pandemic began appearing in Florida at the beginning of March. Last week the state has reported an average death rate of 125 per day and an average of 151 deaths per day during August. Only Texas, at 203 deaths, has a higher daily average over the past week. It has about 50% more residents.

The two most recent deaths reported in Northeast Florida are a 86-year-old woman in St. Johns County and a 71-year-old man in Clay County. According to FDOH, neither had contact with a positive case or known exposure from travel.

Deaths from COVID-19 usually occur two weeks or more after diagnosis, so epidemiologists have said Florida’s fatality rate should shrink in the coming weeks if confirmed infections continue to shrink.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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