COVID-19 cases decrease in Florida: Death toll climbs to 48,772

For the second week in a row, Florida Department of Health reported fewer new COVID-19 cases; however, the opposite is true for deaths with an increase of nearly 2,500 for the week of Sept. 3-9.

DOH reported 100,012 new cases, or 14,287 a day, for the week bringing the cumulative total to 3,409,165. It was the fewest new cases reported since July 23.

The prior week, Aug. 27-Sept. 2, DOH reported 129,240 new cases, or 18,463 a day.

DOH reported 151,749 new cases, or 21,678, for the week of Aug. 20-26, 150,118 for Aug. 13-19, 151,415 for Aug. 6-12 and 134,506 for July 30-Aug. 5.

DOH added 73,199 more cases to the tally for July 16-22, 45,603 for July 9-15, 23,748 for July 2-8, 15,978 for June 25-July 1 and 11,873 for June 18-24.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the transmission rate statewide in Florida is high. The rate of new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 decreased by 15% compared to an increase of 1% the week before.

Hospital admissions decreased by 14%. Three percent of hospitals statewide were reporting supply shortages and 20% reported staff shortages.

Death toll

DOH reported a statewide death toll of 48,772 — 2,448 more than the week of Aug. 27-Sept. 2 when DOH reported 46,325 deaths.

An increase in deaths is not unexpected after the increase in case numbers in prior weeks. Officials refer to the death rate as the “lagging indicator,” meaning deaths occur at a point in time after a case is diagnosed and the reporting of deaths doesn’t always happen in a timely manner.

According to the CDC, the rate of deaths per 100,000 in Florida decreased by 73% compared to 70% last week.

As of Sept. 9, 17 deaths had been reported in children under age 16 (four more than the week before), 307 in the age group 16-29 (24 more than the week before), 694 for ages 30-39 (73 more than the week before), 1,857 for ages 40-49 (198 more than the week before), 4,276 for ages 50-59 (355 more than the week before), 3,730 for ages 60-64 (296 more than the week before) and 37,891 for ages 64 and up (1,518 more than the week before).

DOH reported 1,727 new deaths the week of Aug. 20-26, 1,486 new deaths for the week of Aug. 13-19, 1,071 deaths for Aug. 6-12, 616 new deaths for July 30-Aug. 5, 409 new deaths for July 16-22, 231 deaths for July 9-15, 172 for July 2-8 and 213 for June 25-July 1.

Positivity rate

The state’s new case positivity rate decreased to 13.5% for the week of Sept. 3-9, down from 15.2% for the week of Aug. 27-Sept. 2, which was a decrease from 16.8% from the week of Aug. 20-26, the first decline in the positivity rate since July.

The highest positivity rate, 18.2%, was reported in the age group 12-19 followed by 15% for those under age 12 and 14.3% for ages 20-29.

The lowest positivity rate, 9.9%, was reported in ages 65 and above with 10.7% for the age group 60-64 and 12% for those ages 50-59.

In previous weeks, DOH reported a positivity rate for new cases at 19.8% for the week of Aug. 13-19, 19.1% for Aug. 6-12, 18.9% for July 30-Aug. 5, 18.1% for July 23-29, 15.1% for July 16-22, 11.5% for July 9-15, 7.8% for July 2-8, 5.2% for June 25-July 1, 3.8% for the week of June 18-24, 3.3% for June 11-17 and 3.4% for June 4-10.

Pinellas County

In Pinellas County, the new case positivity rate for the week of Sept. 3-9 was 14.7% down from 16.3% reported for Aug. 27-Sept. 2, which was a decrease from 18% reported for Aug. 20-26.

DOH reported a new case positivity rate of 20.6% for Aug. 13-19, 19.2% the week of Aug. 6-12, 18% for July 30-Aug. 5, 16.7% for July 16-22, 14.2% for July 16-22, 9.2% for July 9-15, 6.1% for July 2-8, 3.7% for June 25-July 1, 3% for June 18-24, 2.7% for June 11-17 and 2.3% for June 4-10.

Pinellas County’s new case count increased by 4,430, an average of 633 a day, which was down from 5,683 for the week of Aug. 27-Sept. 2, which was a decrease compared to the week of Aug. 20-26 when 6,720 new cases were reported. The cumulative count since March 2020 climbed to 124,373.

DOH reported 6,271 new cases for the week of Aug. 13-19, 6,424 new cases for Aug. 6-12, 5,125 for July 30-Aug. 5, 4,164 for July 23-29, 2,679 for July 16-22, 1,365 cases for July 9-15, 569 for July 2-8, 393 for June 25-July 1, 347 for June 18-24, 323 for June 11-17 and 301 new cases for June 4-10.

The CDC reports that the transmission rate in Pinellas is high with a 16% decrease in new cases over the past seven days. New hospital admissions totaled 660, which was down 14% from the prior week.

DOH ended its daily reports of COVID-19 activity on June 2 and removed the dashboard that provided a detailed accounting of cases, deaths, testing and other information reported since March 2020.

DOH no longer provides the number of new deaths by county. As of June 2, deaths in Pinellas totaled 1,671.

Information about COVID in Pinellas is available at https://covid19.pinellascounty.org/.

Vaccination rate at 69%

DOH reports that the state’s vaccination rate has remained the same the week of Sept. 3-9. Sixty-nine percent of ages 12 and older have received at least one dose.

As of Sept. 9, DOH reported that 13,281,666 Floridians had received a COVID-19 shot with 2,004,887 receiving a first-dose only and 11,048,444 completing the one- or two-shot series. DOH also reported that 228,335 had taken an additional dose.

According to DOH, 88% of those 65 and older had received at least one shot, 82% of ages 60-64, 75% of ages 50-59, 69% of ages 40-49, 60% of ages 30-39, 50% of ages 20-29 and 52% of ages 12-19.

In Pinellas County, 582,178 had received at least one dose of vaccine out of a population of 992,298, or 65%, the same as last week.

United States and global numbers

According to Johns Hopkins University of Medicine’s COVID-19 dashboard, as of 1:21 p.m. Sept. 11, 40.89 million cases and 659,246 deaths had been reported in the United States, and 224 million cases had been reported worldwide with 4.6 million deaths. In addition, more than 5.6 billion vaccine doses had been administered.

Suzette Porter is TBN’s Pinellas County editor. She can be reached at sporter@tbnweekly.com.