New Florida COVID data shows downward trend in cases, positivity rate

(Marta Lavandier, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida reported 17,506 new COVID-19 cases in the latest CDC data posted Friday.

With that, the 7-day moving average for new cases in the state sits at 18,436, the lowest in a month, an indication that Florida is coming down from the peak of the summer surge propelled by the delta variant.

A look at the trend of COVID-19 cases in Florida. (CDC graphic)

Further evidence of that came in the state’s weekly report, released Friday.

After three consecutive weeks with over 150,000 new cases, Florida reported 129,240 from Aug. 27-Sept. 2. That’s the fewest since the week that began July 23.

The state’s new-case positivity rate has dropped to 15.2%, the lowest since mid-July. (The full state report can be seen at the bottom of this story.)

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

However, with schools back in session, the age group with the most new cases over the past week was the under-12 population that is ineligible to be vaccinated (23,557 new cases in the past week).

Of Florida’s population eligible for a vaccine, 69% of people have gotten at least one shot, the state says. That’s one percentage point higher than last week.

Miami-Dade has 88% of its eligible population vaccinated (at least one shot); Broward has 78%; Monroe has 77%; Palm Beach County has 72%.

[To find out where you can get a COVID-19 vaccine in South Florida, click here]

No additional COVID-19 deaths were reported by the state Friday after a batch of 1,338 COVID-related fatalities were added a day earlier.

While those fatalities did not all happen over the previous day and span back weeks, their inclusion shows that at least 5,700 people died in Florida in August with COVID-19, an average of about 184 per day. And it’s likely more August fatalities are still to be input.

The state’s weekly report is not reflective of the full picture as far as deaths are concerned.

Last month, the state health department 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.

That’s why the state report shows 433 new deaths from the past week, one day after 1,338 more deaths were added to the all-time total.

There have been 45,909 deaths in Florida connected to COVID-19 and 3,308,731 total cases since the start of the pandemic, according to the CDC metrics.

Like the new cases and positivity rate, hospitalizations have steadily moved downward from their recent peak.

The Florida Hospital Association said that 14,279 COVID-19 patients were admitted across the state on Friday.