NewsLocal NewsCoronavirus


Florida coronavirus cases increase 302,179 in week, including record 75,962 new ones

Positivity rate rises to 26.5%, hospitalizations' 4,933 highest in three months
Posted at 2:02 PM, Dec 31, 2021
and last updated 2022-01-09 15:07:42-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's coronavirus situation has taken a dramatic turn for the worst with cases increasing by 130% in one week to a record 302,179, including 75,962 daily reported Friday, shattering the mark for the fourth day in a row. The positivity rate climbed to a record 26.5%, including 30.6% in Palm Beach County and hospitalizations are up 125% to 4,933, the most in three months but far from the record.

Some good news: Deaths rose by 162 in a week, to a cumulative 62,504, just 6.5% of the record during the summer compared with 122 last week, among the lowest since the pandemic began, according to data from the Florida Department of Health.

The cumulative cases total is 4,166,392 behind California with 5,191,438 and Texas with 4,561,037, with the latter through Thursday. On Aug. 19, Florida surpassed 3 million and it was March 27 with 2 million and Dec. 2, 2020 for the first million. The first cases were reported in Florida on March 1, 2020.

The hospitalizations are 2,742 more than a week ago's 2,191. The record low 1,228 was Nov. 29. The hospitalizations are a fraction of record 17,295 on Aug. 19. Last year the lowest was 2,031 on Oct. 17.

The first-time positivity rate rate nearly doubled in one week from 13.8%. It was 2.6% three weeks ago with the record low 2.1% earlier Before the spike, the last time it was above the 5% target rate was 6.6% on Sept. 24. The overall first-time positivity rate is 20.7%, with an increase of 0.1% in a week.

The state reported 15.0% of youths 5-11 have been vaccinated, up from 14% the week earlier. The state listed vaccination data for those 5-11 is 255,362 compared with 234,601 one week earlier. More than six of seven adults (86.1%) have at least one vaccination shot and those 12 and older at 84.1%.

The state reported there are 31 deaths under 16 (no change) and 549,841 cases (518,914 previous week) and 16-29 there have been 438 deaths (no change) and 961,346 cases (879,925 previous week). At the other extreme, for 65 and older there are 46,602 deaths (46,474 previous week), which is 74.5% of total and 520,293 cases (492,264 previous week), which is 12.7% of total.


Generally, at-home rapid tests are not reported to agencies. The state didn't give any details on the processing of tests from labs, including whether there was a backlog because of the holiday weekend.

The state one day earlier reported a record 58,013 infections to the CDC. The state since June 4 has not released daily data, though information goes to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Seven days ago, 32,196 daily cases were reported.

Just 18 days ago the daily increase was 1,947. The record daily change represents 5.6 times the entire 13,452 weekly new cases total three weeks ago. The previous record for increase in the state was 152,760 16 weeks ago.

One week ago the weekly increase was 124,861. On Nov. 30 the weekly 9,792 increase was the lowest since the state went to weekly reports on June 4.

The new cases in the state over one week were 298,455, one week after 125,201, two weeks after 29,568 and five weeks after 9,663, the lowest since the state week to weekly reports, which is different than the increase because of revisions.

During the surge from the delta variant, the daily record was 27,668 on Aug. 26. In revised data from the CDC posted Thursday, that record was broken with 32,196 posted one week ago Friday, then 27,939 Saturday, 20,075 Sunday, 29,129 Monday, record 33,567 Tuesday, 52,995 record Wednesday, 58,013 record Thursday.

With the omicron spreading worldwide in the past month, Florida's cases have climbed exponentially from 1,947 18 days ago to 3,029, 4,104, 6,832, 8,785, 10,144, 10,942, 10,942, 14,978, 21,013, 27,978, 32,197, 27.939, 20,975, 29,129, 33,567, 52,995, 58,013, 95,962. Twice week a CDC revises new daily cases in data provided by the state.

Only 684 cases were reported on Nov. 26.


The state set a record for most deaths in one day: 425 on Aug. 27. Until the recent spike, the record was 242 on Aug. 4, 2020.

The record increase was 276 on Aug. 11 when the state was giving daily reports.

Until Friday's report 14 weeks ago, deaths had surpassed 2,000 four weeks in a row: 2,340 after 2,468, 2,448, 2,345.

The state listed 32 deaths occurred in the past week with 22 the previous week and 433 13 weeks ago.

The CDC is now only reflecting the date of occurrence for cases and deaths rather than when reported to the Florida Department of Health. It can take several days or even weeks for the state to receive a report of a death.

The state has never listed increases on its since disbanded website and reports as media outlets, including WPTV, did the math each day.


All seven South Florida counties' level of coronavirus transmission are listed as high, according to the CDC.

Broward had the highest positive rate at 31.7% in the past week.

Here is South Florida information, according to the state report:

Palm Beach County: Cases: 268,242 residents (24,488 new, 11,860 past week). First-time positivity in past week: 30.6% (17.1 past week, 6.5% two weeks ago).

St. Lucie County: Cases: 52,135 residents (2,763 new, 853 new past week). First-time positivity in past week: 29.0% (past week 11.8%, two weeks ago 3.5%).

Martin County: Cases: 22,355 residents (1,292 new, 443 past week). First-time positivity in past week: 23.4% (10.9% previous week, two weeks ago 3.8%).

Indian River County: Cases: 23,344 residents (659 new, 217 past week). First-time positivity in past week: 18.6% (previous 7.1%, 3.4% two weeks ago).

Okeechobee County: 7,685 residents (209 new, 39 past week). First-time positivity in past week: 25.1% (previous week 7.1%, 2.1% two weeks ago).

Broward County: Cases: 439,975 residents (48,018 new, 23,575 past week). First-time positivity in past week: 31.7% (previous week 19.1%, 6.9% two weeks ago).

Miami-Dade County: 847,746 residents (98,437 new, 52,468 past week). First-daily positivity in past week: 27.3% (previous 16.6%, 7.0% two weeks ago).

Earlier this week, the CDC released the weekly death for each of the counties. Palm Beach County rose by 1 to 4,322, Martin by 2 to 523, St. Lucie by 1 to 1,047, Indian River none to 570, Okeechobee none to 163, Broward 12 to 4,978 and Miami-Dade 26 to a state-high 9,234.


Florida has reported 46,409,540 tests with California No. 1 at 104,689,086. Some people have taken more than one test.

In one week, there were 946,279 tests, which is 135,283 daily. Last week it was 587,991. On Dec. 23 there were a record 150,587 tests in one day. Rapid tests are not included in the statistics.

Florida reached 946,279 tests in the past week through Thursday, which comes to 135,283 daily. The record was 150,587 on Dec. 23 of last year.

The state doesn't include test data in its weekly reports.


The state's mortality rate (cases vs. deaths) was 1.6% (down 0.1) including 9.4% for 64 and older but less than 1% in younger ages except 2.5% for 60-64. It is 1.5% in the United States and 1.9% worldwide.

In deaths per million, Florida is 2,903 (13th in nation), U.S. 2,559, world 699.4. Mississippi is first at 3,511, Alabama second at 3,356, Arizona third at 3,329, New Jersey fourth 3,269.New York, which had been second for most of the pandemic behind New Jersey, is now sixth at 3,085.

Florida's deaths are 7.6% of the total in the U.S. total and 7.7% of the cases. The state comprises 6.6% of the U.S. population.

Since the first two cases were announced on March 1, 2020, Florida's total has surged to 19.4% of the state's 21.48 million population, ninth in cases per million behind No. 1 North Dakota. In cases per 100,000 for seven days, Florida is fifth at 1,186,4 (one week after 11th at 476.5) with New York City No. 1 at 2,485.7, District of Columbia 2,038.1, Puerto Rico 1,549.5, New Jersey at 1,375.1, according to the CDC. The rest of New York is 1,027.7.

In the past week in data through Thursday, Florida cases are second behind New York's 322,382 including 208,769 in the city and 113,613 elsewhere. California is third with 148,200, New Jersey fourth with 122,142, Illinois fifth with 116,802, Texas sixth with 100,554.

On Friday, New York reported a national-record 76,555, which is only 793 ahead of second-place Florida. California's state record is 61,016 on Jan. 1 with 56,367 reported Friday. Texas' mark is 34,425 on Sept. 8 with an additional 15,600 Thursday.

Other states setting records Friday were New Jersey (28,512), Pennsylvania (23,268), Massachusetts (21,397), Ohio (20,598) North Carolina (19,174), Virginia (17,618), Tennessee (14,750), Colorado (10,163)), South Carolina (8,882), Delaware (3,503) in research by WPTV. With some states not reporting Friday, these broke records Thursday: Illinois (30,386), Georgia (24,420), Maryland (14,316), Louisiana (12,467), Indiana (12,020), Wisconsin (8,905), Alabama (8,256), Missouri (8,143), Connecticut (7,704), Arkansas (4,978), Rhode Island (3,918), Hawaii (3,484), Vermont (1,371).

The U.S. overall reported a record 486,428 cases Thursday, according to the CDC.

World figures are also skyrocketing, including 1,473,143 a day after a record 1,891,956, according to Several world powers set records Friday: France 232,200 (population 65.5 million), Britain at 189,846 (population 68.4 million), Italy at 144,243 (population 603 million). Spain, which didn't report data Friday, one day earlier set the mark at 161,688 (population 46.8 million), And Canada had a record 39,826 Thursday (population 38.2 million).


Hospitalizations also are rising. In one day in Florida, they went up 500 to 4,933, the most since 4,973 Oct. 3. The previous day the rise was 597, two days ago 688 and 842 three days ago. One week ago there were 2,191 so the amount has gone up about 2.5 times.

The record low is 1,228 Nov. 29 with the highest 17,295 Aug. 29.

Of the 260 hospitals reporting, 8.69% of the available beds are occupied with coronavirus patients. The total beds in use: 44,971 (78.02%). The previous day 257 hospitals reported.

In the U.S.. hospitalizations rose to 95,450 (12.63%) from 90,732 in one day. During the height of the delta surge hospitalizations surpassed 100,000.

Florida is seventh in U.S. with covid hospitalizations with New York first with 8,260 (17.26%), Texas second with 6,420 (9.74%), Ohio third with 5,932 (19.35%), Illinois fourth with 5,733 (18.84%), California fifth with 5,663 (8.9%), Pennsylvania sixth with 5,630 (19.22%).


In state vaccination data from the CDC through Thursday, 86.1% of Florida's population 18 and older has had at least one dose (14,842,093) and 73.7% fully vaccinated (12,713,720. President Joe Biden had set a nationwide goal of 70% vaccinated by July 4 with at least one dose by adults and the current figure is 85.5%. Totally vaccinated is 72.8%.

In addition, the CDC is now capping percentages at 95%.

Forty-five states achieving the 70% standard (Tennessee added in past week) are New Hampshire (95.0%), Massachusetts (95.0%), Connecticut (95.0%), Hawaii (95.0%), Vermont (95.0%), Rhode Island (95.0%), New Jersey (95.0%), Maine (95.0%), California (95.0%), New York (95.0%), New Mexico (93.5%), Maryland (91.9%), Pennsylvania (90.4%), Virginia (90.2%), North Carolina (89.9%), Delaware (88.7%), Washington (87.2%), Florida (86.1%), Colorado (85.4%), South Dakota (85.3%), Oregon (84.3%), Illinois (82.7%), Kansas (82.6%), Minnesota (82.6%), Nevada (82.3%), Utah (82.0%), Oklahoma (80.0%), Texas (79.6%), Wisconsin (79.1%), Nebraska (79.0%), Arizona (78.2), Alaska (77.0%), Iowa (76.7%), North Dakota (74.9%), Arkansas (74.4%), South Carolina (74.1%), Kentucky (74.0%), Michigan (73.9%), Missouri (73.6%), Georgia (73.3%), Montana (72.4%), West Virginia (72.0%), Ohio (71.0%), Alabama (70.3%), Tennessee (70.0%).

The five worst percentages: Wyoming 67.2%, Mississippi at 67.0%, Indiana at 69.0%, Idaho 69.3%, Louisiana 69.5.

Also reaching the benchmark are Guam (95.0%), Republic of Pau (95.0%), District of Columbia (95.0%), Puerto Rico (95.0), American Samoa (95.0%), Northern Mariana Islands (95.0%).

The CDC is now listing percentages for those 5 and older: In Florida one shot 15,993,295 (78.6%) and fully vaccinated 13,605,792 (66.9%) in Florida

For those 12 and older in Florida, 84.1% had at least one dose (15,731,042 and the complete series is 71.9% (13,448,769).

For the total population, the percentage is 74.5% (16,001,140,) and the complete series is 63.4% (13,607,439).

The state considers fully vaccinated two doses for Pfizer and Moderna and one for Johnson & Johnson.

In boosters, 33.4% of adults in Florida (4,242,383 and 36.3% in the United States (68,810,709) have been vaccinated.