JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The number of new coronavirus cases in Florida over the past week was the lowest in a month, but the number of deaths reported in the state jumped by 2,345 in seven days -- the largest increase since the pandemic began.
The deaths were up 35% from last week’s increase of 1,727, which was the state’s previous record
According to the Florida Department of Health, there have been 46,324 deaths in the state since March 2020. Based on state data provided to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of about 184 Floridians died each day in Florida. And it sometimes takes weeks for fatalities to show up in the data, it’s likely more August fatalities have yet to be reported.
The state has not provided any information as to when or where these deaths occurred since early June.
The Florida Department of Health on Friday reported 129,240 new cases in the seven-day period ending Thursday, bringing the state’s pandemic total to 3,308,916 cases. That is an average of 18,457 new infections reported per day.
While the weekly case growth did ease over recent weeks, it remains higher than Florida’s peak of coronavirus infections last summer and winter.
Young people continue to make up a large percentage of recent infections. The FDOH report shows more than one-third of new cases are among those under age 20.
Nearly one of every 100 residents between the age of 12 and 19 tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week.
Cases in Duval County, which helped lead the state’s summer surge, declined for the fifth week in a row, but some neighboring counties -- Clay, Putnam and St. Johns -- continued to see increases.
According to Health and Human Services, the number of COVID-19 patients hospitalized on Friday dropped 9.9% in seven days, but the availability of ICU beds was only 6.1% -- a continuing concern to medical professionals.
“While the total number of hospitalizations remain high and workforce challenges remain, it is encouraging that fewer hospitals are expecting critical staffing and oxygen shortages,” said Mary Mayhew, president and CEO, Florida Hospital Association. “As Floridians continue to get vaccinated and with expanded availability of monoclonal antibody treatments for those who test positive, it looks like the worst of this surge may finally be behind us.”
While the case numbers and hospitalizations are dropping, so is the rate of vaccinations. While 13,124,436 Floridians -- 69% of those age 12 and above -- have now received at least one shot, the number of people getting their first dose has dropped for four weeks in a row.