90ºF

Coronavirus: Florida reports 6,563 more cases; Miami-Dade hits 1,000 deaths from COVID-19

People wait in line at a walk-up testing site for COVID-19 Tuesday in Miami Beach.
People wait in line at a walk-up testing site for COVID-19 Tuesday in Miami Beach. (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Miami-Dade County has reached 1,000 deaths from COVID-19. That somber milestone was hit Wednesday as Florida announced 6,563 new coronavirus cases across the state.

The state is now up to 158,997 confirmed cases and 3,550 resident deaths associated with COVID-19, according to the latest data released by the health department.

There were 45 new coronavirus-related deaths reported Wednesday morning across the state, including nine in Miami-Dade County, two in Broward and two in Palm Beach County.

In the past day, Miami-Dade County’s confirmed cases increased by 1,141 to 37,961. The county has 1,000 deaths, the highest total in the state.

Broward’s cases increased by 531 to 16,155. The county’s death toll is now at 385.

Palm Beach County’s cases increased by 297 to 14,447, with the death toll now at 512.

Monroe County is now listed with 270 cases (a one-day increase of 11) and four confirmed deaths.

Florida has confirmed at least 14,825 coronavirus-related hospitalizations since the start of the outbreak.

The state set a new one-day high with 9,585 new COVID-19 cases reported Saturday.

Medical experts and elected leaders have noted a rising number of cases among younger patients, which they’ve attributed to more widely available testing and people coming closer together both as businesses reopen and while attending large protests in recent weeks.

“You’re seeing it in those groups who are less at risk,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said earlier this week. “But you’re seeing them test positive at much higher rates.”

Those higher positivity rates are a concern to many health officials, who say it’s a clear sign of increased community spread.

“That tells me there’s increased transmission,” said Dr. Aileen Marty, an infectious disease expert at Florida International University. “So in other words, this virus is now spreading almost as it was before we ever instituted any other of the public health measures.”

Over recent days, local leaders have gotten tougher on face masks and threatened to shut down and heavily fine businesses that don’t follow safety guidelines as they try to slow the spread.

The South Florida counties have also closed their beaches for the upcoming July 4 weekend to prevent large crowds from gathering.

Positivity rates rise

The explanation that the COVID-19 case rise can be purely attributed to more testing has been shelved as the rate of positivity among Florida’s tests has increased over recent days.

Statewide, Florida reports having completed over 1.9 million tests for COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with 8% coming back positive.

The rate of positivity among people tested for COVID-19 across Florida has been higher over the past two weeks than previously, topping out at 15.7% on June 23 and returning to 15% on tests taken Tuesday.

A look at the percentage of COVID-19 tests that have come back positive in Florida over recent days.
A look at the percentage of COVID-19 tests that have come back positive in Florida over recent days. (Florida Department of Health)

Here’s a look at how those percentages have trended in Miami-Dade and Broward counties:

MIAMI-DADE

  • 6/5 – 6.8%
  • 6/6 – 3.6%
  • 6/7 – 7.8%
  • 6/8 – 5.1%
  • 6/9 – 7.1%
  • 6/10 – 5.7%
  • 6/11 – 6%
  • 6/12 – 10.3%
  • 6/13 – 3.0%
  • 6/14 – 8.9%
  • 6/15 – 9.0%
  • 6/16 – 12.8%
  • 6/17 – 11.2%
  • 6/18 – 11.1%
  • 6/19 – 11.7%
  • 6/20 – 13.3%
  • 6/21 – 8.9%
  • 6/22 – 18.1%
  • 6/23 – 19.6%
  • 6/24 – 10.2%
  • 6/25 – 14.2%
  • 6/26 – 14.0%
  • 6/27 – 17.7%
  • 6/28 – 18.5%
  • 6/29 – 17.7%
  • 6/30 – 18.2%

BROWARD

  • 6/5 – 3.3%
  • 6/6 – 2.9%
  • 6/7 – 4.5%
  • 6/8 – 4%
  • 6/9 – 6.7%
  • 6/10 – 5.9%
  • 6/11 – 5%
  • 6/12 – 6.0%
  • 6/13 – 2.7%
  • 6/14 – 5.1%
  • 6/15 – 7.6%
  • 6/16 – 9.8%
  • 6/17 – 7.3%
  • 6/18 – 8.9%
  • 6/19 – 9.7%
  • 6/20 – 9.6%
  • 6/21 – 6.1%
  • 6/22 – 10.2%
  • 6/23 – 10.7%
  • 6/24 – 6.4%
  • 6/25 – 11.4%
  • 6/26 – 10.2%
  • 6/27 – 10.4%
  • 6/28 – 12.0%
  • 6/29 – 13.6%
  • 6/30 – 14.8%

Patients younger, less financially stable

Trends have emerged in South Florida showing that a high percentage of the coronavirus cases are in zip codes that are younger and less financially stable.

Miami-Dade County will target its hotspots (Miami’s Brownsville, Little Havana and Allapattah neighborhoods and areas of South Dade) with more education and distribution of masks and hand sanitizers.

Broward County said it will focus federal funds toward zip codes that are showing up as that county’s hot spots.

While the younger demographic may not face the harshest symptoms from COVID-19, infectious disease experts remind that they can still spread the disease to older and more vulnerable residents.

Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez even suggested that those vulnerable residents may want to keep limit their contact with the younger crowd that has been out and about.

Hospitals have also reported seeing sicker patients who are in their 20s, 30s, 40s and 50s than was seen earlier in the outbreak.

Latest totals

The United States has passed 2.6 million confirmed cases, with over 127,000 deaths from COVID-19, the highest numbers in the world. Over 720,000 Americans have been deemed recovered, according to data compiled from various sources by Johns Hopkins University.

Worldwide, the number of COVID-19 cases reported has surpassed 10.5 million. There have been more than 511,000 deaths worldwide attributed to the pandemic, with over 5.3 million being declared recovered.

In Florida, since June 3, the state has reported more than 1,000 new cases each day except one.

  • Wednesday: 6,563
  • Tuesday: 6,093
  • Monday: 5,266
  • Sunday: 8,530
  • Saturday: 9,585
  • Friday: 8,942
  • Thursday: 5,004
  • June 24: 5,511
  • June 23: 3,289
  • June 22: 2,926
  • June 21: 3,494
  • June 20: 4,049
  • June 19: 3,822
  • June 18: 3,207
  • June 17: 2,610
  • June 16: 2,783
  • June 15: 1,758
  • June 14: 2,016
  • June 13: 2,581
  • June 12: 1,902
  • June 11: 1,698
  • June 10: 1,371
  • June 9: 1,096
  • June 8: 966
  • June 7: 1,180
  • June 6: 1,270
  • June 5: 1,305
  • June 4: 1,419
  • June 3: 1,317

RELATED LINKS

Local 10 News reporter Trent Kelly contributed to this report.


About the Author: