Florida COVID cases trend down as deaths rise

U.S. passes 900,000 fatalities as that data lags behind more encouraging metrics

(Rich Pedroncelli, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – For a third straight week, Florida has reported fewer new COVID-19 infections than the week prior as the state pulls further away from the peak of the omicron variant surge.

That comes as the United States on Friday passed 900,000 coronavirus deaths since the start of the pandemic. Florida is among many states where fatalities are rising, reflecting the lag time between when victims become infected and when they succumb.

Florida’s health department logged 132,622 new cases from Jan. 28 to Feb. 3, according to its weekly report released Friday evening. That’s down 33% compared to the week prior.

It amounts to 18,946 new cases per day this week after an average of 28,331 the week before.

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

The statewide new-case positivity rate also dipped to 18%, the lowest since mid-December. (See the full weekly report at the bottom of this page.)

The peak of the omicron wave came the second week of January, when the state reported 429,889 new infections.

Florida’s trend matches that of the country as a whole.

New cases per day have dropped by almost a half-million nationwide since mid-January, the curve trending downward in every state but Maine. And the number of Americans in the hospital with COVID-19 has fallen 15% over that period to about 124,000.

According to the Florida Hospital Association, 7,744 people in this state were admitted with COVID-19 on Friday. That includes patients who went to the hospital for another ailment but tested positive for the virus while there.

Despite those encouraging trends, deaths are still on the rise in at least 35 states. Nationally, deaths running at an average of more than 2,400 a day, back up to where they were last winter, when the vaccine drive was still getting started.

Florida’s COVID deaths have increased by 178% over the past 14 days, according to the New York Times.

The state has verified 66,001 fatalities connected to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic and 5,610,464 total cases, according to the CDC. That case total does not include positive at-home tests of people who don’t report their results to health officials.

Overall, new cases in the U.S. have plummeted from a record-obliterating average of more than 800,000 a day in mid-January to about 357,000.

See the full weekly COVID-19 report from the Florida Department of Health below:

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