Florida back over 70,000 daily COVID cases

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

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida reported 71,742 new COVID-19 cases from Tuesday, a significant jump after two straight days when the increase was fewer than 50,000.

Tuesday’s total, posted by the CDC on Wednesday, represents Florida’s fourth-highest daily case increase since the start of the pandemic. A record 77,156 cases were assigned to Saturday.

According to the latest CDC data, Florida has now verified at least 4,878,524 COVID-19 infections since the start of the outbreak and 62,819 deaths, up six from a day earlier.

The total number of cases does not include people who take at-home tests and don’t report their results to health officials.

On Wednesday, more than 11,000 patients are hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, according to the Florida Hospital Association.

An expert from the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation predicts that Florida has already reached the peak of this omicron variant surge and that by the time this wave is over, about 80% of Floridians will have contracted COVID-19.

The omicron variant is now estimated to account for 98.3% of new cases in the United States as of Jan. 8, according to CDC data. In early December, omicron was estimated to account for just 0.6% of all new cases.

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

Florida reported a record 397,114 new COVID-19 cases for the week of Dec. 31 through Jan. 6, an average of more than 56,000 per day.

The statewide new-case positivity rate last week was 31.2%, by far the highest recorded during the pandemic, rising from 26.6% a week prior. Up until mid-December, that positivity rate sat below 3% for several weeks.

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