Florida’s COVID cases cut in half from peak of August surge

State says 70% of eligible population now vaccinated


FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida’s COVID-19 infections dropped by 25% this week, and the state’s weekly case increase is half of what it was during last month’s surge, new health department data shows.

A day after passing 50,000 deaths connected to the virus, Florida reported 11,275 new cases and six more fatalities Friday.

The state has now verified 3,485,148 COVID-19 cases and 50,817 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the latest CDC data.

The Florida Department of Health’s full weekly report on COVID-19 also came out Friday. It shows there were 75,906 new cases identified from Sept. 10-16, down from 100,038 the previous week.

The latest weekly total is about half of what the state had been seeing from the middle of August when there were three straight weeks with 150,000+ new cases.

The new-case positivity rate dropped to 11.2% this week, the lowest since early July.

A look at new COVID-19 cases and positivity rates in Florida over recent weeks. (Florida Department of Health)

The state also now says that 70% of the eligible population (ages 12+) has received at least one vaccine shot. (See the full state report at the bottom of this page.)

New cases and hospitalizations have been steadily decreasing since the apex of the summer surge last month.

August was the deadliest month of the pandemic in Florida with more than 8,600 fatalities connected to the novel coronavirus.

The state was averaging 21,000+ new cases per day for much of last month.

The state is now averaging under 11,000 new cases per day over the past week, and statewide hospitalizations dropped below 10,000 for the first time since late July.

Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday praised the state’s aggressive push of monoclonal antibody treatment as a reason hospitalizations have decreased. The Regeneron treatments are for people who have recently become infected and can reduce the severity of symptoms, keeping them out of the hospital. The treatment does not prevent COVID-19.

The trendlines on COVID deaths in Florida can be more difficult to define because the data is consistently backlogged.

Last month, the state health department — which sends the data to the CDC — switched from tallying deaths by the day they were verified to now tracking them by the date a person passed away. The deaths typically take several days to be processed, so a single date’s totals can slowly grow days later and the day-by-day increases appear smaller at first.

On Thursday, an additional 1,554 deaths were added to the CDC’s metrics, spanning back weeks in terms of the dates when they happened.

That new data brought Florida over 50,000 deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Florida has lost more than 1,800 people with COVID-19 in the first half of September.

[Click here for information on where to get COVID-19 testing or vaccines in South Florida.]