Par susannah bryan
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla .– Newly reported cases of coronavirus infection in Florida were down on Sunday, just two days after the state entered the third and final phase of its reopening.
Since the start of the pandemic, Florida has recorded 700,564 cases of COVID-19. Most people have recovered, but 14,202 have died, including 170 non-residents.
Florida health officials on Sunday reported 1,882 new cases of the coronavirus and 12 other deaths. That’s a big drop from the previous day, when the state reported 2,795 new cases and 107 deaths.
Most of those deaths occurred weeks ago, but have simply been confirmed as deaths from the virus.
The numbers reported on Sunday represent a sharp drop from the state’s record coronavirus pandemic totals of 277 deaths reported on August 11 and 15,300 cases on July 12.
Cases in Florida followed a downward trend in September after peaking in July.
Experts have warned of a possible increase in cases this winter, but Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Friday the state was ready to enter the third phase of recovery that allows bars and restaurants to operate at full capacity.
DeSantis highlighted a drop in cases and hospitalizations as well as the positivity rate for daily tests still hovering below 5%. This low rate of positivity is a sign of reduced spread of the coronavirus, experts say.
The move to phase 3 paves the way for restaurants to open at full capacity, with a few exceptions. Bars, nightclubs and strip clubs can also open their doors.
In Broward County, restaurants can reopen bar counters, but cannot serve alcohol from there. Parties should always be seated 6 feet apart and patrons should wear masks when walking around the restaurant.
In Miami-Dade County, only restaurants with enough space to keep five feet between tables will be allowed to reach 100% capacity. All others will have to remain at 50% of their capacity.
Miami-Dade bars with counter service only may open but will need to keep crowds at 50% capacity. And dance clubs will have to require patrons to wear masks on the dance floor.
Palm Beach County had previously planned to allow bars to reopen on October 5. But with the governor’s order, Palm Beach County officials allowed the bars to reopen at half capacity on Friday. Social distancing rules and a mask warrant are still in effect.
In the past seven days, Florida has reported an average of 106 deaths and an average of 2,401 cases in daily data reports.
The state’s seven-day average reported deaths was 105 on September 6. And on September 8, the seven-day case average was 2,722.
More than 7 million people in the United States have been infected with the novel coronavirus and 204,566 have died, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University.
Globally, at least 32.9 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 995,352 people have died from the highly infectious disease.
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TEST AND POSITIVITY RATE
More than 5.26 million people have been tested for COVID-19 in Florida since the start of the pandemic, producing an overall positivity rate of 13.32%, according to state data. At least 700,564 people have tested positive and 4.55 million people have tested negative.
In South Florida, the cumulative positivity rates are 18.59% for Miami-Dade County, 13.61% for Broward County and 12.65% for Palm Beach County. 911,360 people were cleaned up in Miami-Dade on Sunday, 564,572 people were tested in Broward and 365,973 people were tested for COVID-19 in Palm Beach County.
State officials reported Sunday that the daily test positivity rate for Florida was below 5% for the fourth day in a row.
The data shows daily positivity at 4.08%, up from 4.13% the day before. This figure only reflects new infections based on COVID-19 testing for the day; it does not count people who have already tested positive for the disease.
The rate has been below 5% for 14 of the past 16 days, dropping to 3.85% on September 13, the lowest in three months. Public health experts say the virus is under control at this level.
Daily positivity rates reported on Sunday were 3.6%, up from 2.98% the day before; 3.02% for Palm Beach County, compared to 3.20%; and 4.26% for Miami-Dade County, compared to 4.03%.
Sunday’s state report shows test results for 45,979 Florida residents, up from 72,903 reported on Saturday and 72,070 results reported on Friday. The results include additional tests from people who have already been diagnosed.
As of 2 p.m. Sunday, 2,104 people across the state were hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19. The number is up five since 1 p.m. Saturday.
Broward County has reported 202 patients currently in hospital; Palm Beach County had 121; and Miami-Dade had the most in the state at 269.
The online report from the National Agency for Healthcare Administration is updated several times during the day. Hospitalizations have been declining since peaking in late July.
Since the start of the pandemic, a total of 43,533 state residents have been hospitalized with the disease in Florida, according to the Department of Health.
Statewide: The official COVID-19 report, updated Sunday, shows 14,032 deaths of Florida residents. In addition, 170 non-resident deaths have been attributed to the virus in the state. The state does not say if the victims had any underlying health issues.
Long-term care facilities: At least 5,720 deaths have occurred among residents and staff of nursing homes and assisted living centers in Florida. That’s seven more than reported on Saturday.
No new deaths were reported from long-term care facilities in South Florida on Sunday. Miami-Dade County reported the highest number of deaths at these facilities, with 795; Palm Beach County reported 585 and Broward 398.
NATIONAL AND GLOBAL VIEW
United States: More than 7 million people in the country have been infected with the novel coronavirus and 204,566 died at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, according to the Coronavirus Resource Center at Johns Hopkins University.
World: At least 32.9 million people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 995,352 people have died of the disease, says Johns Hopkins. The United States has had the most cases and deaths of COVID-19 of any country. The United States has 4.3% of the world’s population, but 21.5% of global cases and 20.6% of global deaths.
The other countries with high COVID-19 death tolls are Brazil with 141,406, India with 94,503, Mexico with 76,243 and the UK with 42,077.
(c) 2020 Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Floride)
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