Florida breaks record with 430,297 COVID cases this week

Hospitals face dire financial stress but are hopeful omicron surge has peaked

The Jackson Health System in Miami-Dade County says its resources are overwhelmed and they are asking for donations.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida reported 430,297 new COVID-19 cases from the past week, a new record that equates to more than 61,000 infections per day, according to the state health department’s report released Friday.

The report, which reflects data from Jan. 7-13, does show that the statewide new-case positivity rate dropped slightly to 29.3% as medical officials express optimism that Florida may have reached the peak of the omicron variant surge.

The week prior, the state reported 396,353 cases and a positivity rate of 31.3%. (See the full weekly report at the bottom of this page.)

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

According to the latest CDC data, Florida reported 59,061 new COVID-19 infections from Thursday.

The state has now verified at least 4,992,579 coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, though that total doesn’t include at-home tests not reported to health officials.

Three more COVID-related deaths were also added in the latest CDC metrics, raising the state’s death toll to 63,084.

More than 11,000 patients were hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state on Friday, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

Because of the strain on local hospitals, the Jackson Health System is asking the public for financial donations.

“Nearly two years into this pandemic, we are stretching our already exhausted resources even more and we need your help,” Flavia Llizo, co-president and chief development officer of the Jackson Health Foundation, said in an email Thursday. “Our costs continue to rise on virtually everything: overtime, extra-shift bonuses, agency nurses, supplies, and shipping. We are used to being nimble with our dollars, but we will never compromise care to our patients, even as these additional costs strain the organization.”

For more information on that drive, click here.

Jackson on Friday said that it had 508 patients currently admitted who have tested positive for COVID-19 (267 were admitted primarily for non-COVID reasons).

“We have repurposed units, meaning we have moved non-COVID patients to non-COVID units and we have turned entire units, five units to be exact, of the non-ICU units into COVID units,” said Dr. Hany Atallah, chief medical officer of Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Baptist Health nearly doubles Jackson with just under 900 patients who have tested positive for COVID-19.

While one expert predicts that about 80% of Floridians will have contracted COVID-19 by the end of this surge, hospital leaders and infectious disease experts say it may not be long until the downturn of this omicron variant spike.

“We think, based on some models that we have looked at, that we are at the peak, perhaps, which is good news,” Attalah said.

Omicron has been proven to be the most contagious variant of the pandemic, though it has not led to the number of hospitalizations and deaths statewide as the delta variant did over the summer. More residents are also now vaccinated and have received booster shots.

For information on where you can get a COVID-19 test or vaccine in South Florida, click here.

See the state’s weekly report below:

About the Authors:

Alex Finnie joined the Local 10 News team in May 2018. South Florida is home! She was raised in Miami and attended the Cushman School and New World School of the Arts for high school.