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Florida's 13,147 new cases among highest in 5 months; deaths rise by 121

Daily first-time positivity rates drop: Florida from 8.61% to 7.84, Palm Beach County from 7.39% to 6.74
Posted at 3:01 PM, Dec 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-25 17:41:59-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's coronavirus cases rose by 13,147, which was just one infection below last week's total that was the highest since mid-July, as deaths rose by 121, one more than the day before, with the total toll of residents only 5 from 21,000, the Florida Department of Health announced Thursday afternoon.

Tests reported from labs Wednesday were a record 187,535, surpassing the mark of 147,060 on Nov. 25, one day before Thanksgiving, and 147,047 the day before. The state's daily first-time positivity decreased from 8.61 percent to 7.84, the only time in two weeks it was below 8 percent with the high 9.80 on Dec. 14 , which is the most since 10.03 on Nov. 13. Palm Beach County's rate dropped from 7.39 percent to 6.74, among seven days under 7 percent, including a low of 5.76 on Dec. 13, and a high of 8.39 Dec. 15 that was the biggest figure since 10.04 percent on Nov. 30. The low was 5.76 on Dec. 13.

The state considers anything above 5 percent in the dangers threshold.

Florida didn't report data on Christmas and plans resume information Saturday. State testing sites have been closed Thursday and Friday.

Florida had the fifth-most deaths with six in triple digits and many states not reporting date on the day before Christmas. California also reported 39,070 cases, which is higher than all foreign countries except Brazil.

Florida's cases reached 1,247,546 with only No. 1 California and No. 2 Texas also reporting more than 1 million. On Thursday, California passed 2 million.

On Sunday, cases in Florida passed 1.2 million, taking 9 days to record more than 100,000, 10 days to pass 1.1 million, 12 days to surpass 1 million, 13 days to exceed 900,000. The first 100,000 was on June 22.

Cases have been above 10,000 for all but one day in the past 7 days: 8,401 on Sunday, the lowest in 12 days.

Monday's cases were the most for that day of the week since 12,624 on July 13. Tuesday's rise was 10,434.

Last Thursday's increase was 13,148, which was the most since 13,995 on July 16. Friday's figure was 13,000. The record was 15,300 on Sunday, July 12.

The last time cases were under 8,000 was 7,985 on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

On the day after Thanksgiving, there were 17,344 more cases for two days of data.

Over seven days, cases have risen by 79,063 for an average of 11,295 at 6.8 percent. The previous week the increase was 73,786 for an average of 10,540. The average since the first case, which was 298 days ago, is 4,186 day.

A total of 17.5 percent of the additional cases were in Miami-Dade: 2,303. Much fewer were Palm Beach County with 665 one day after 444, with Broward 1,081, St. Lucie 134, Martin 68, Indian River 112 and Okeechobee 10.

Florida's cases are 6.7 percent of the total infections in the U.S., which passed 18 million on Monday, which was four days after surpassing 17 million and five days to reach 16 million. The state comprises 6.5 percent of the U.S. population.

Since the first two cases were announced nine months ago on March 1, Florida's total has surged to 5.8 percent of the state's 21.48 million population, 27th in cases per million. In average cases per 100,000 over the last seven days, Florida is ranked 35th at 51.7 with Tennessee No. 1 at 119.1, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After the first two deaths in Florida were announced on March 6, which is 293 days, the death toll has reached 20,995 for an average of 72 per day -- fourth behind No. 1 New York, Texas and California. Florida's total including nonresidents is 21,295, which rose by 1 to 300.

It took 9 days to increase 1,000 to pass 20,000 residents' deaths one Monday ago, 12 days to pass 19,000 deaths of residents on Dec. 5 from 18,000 and on Monday, Nov. 23, the state surpassed the 18,000 death milestone, taking 17 days to increase more than 1,000. It was 49 days for Florida's death toll of residents to reach the first 1,000 yet it was only 40 days to more than double. On July 20, there were 5,075 deaths.

Last Monday's increase of 137 was the most since 141 on Oct. 15. They then declined to 79 the next day one Tuesday ago.

This Tuesday's increase of 74 was the lowest since 72 on Saturday. The next day's rise was 95, the most ever for a Sunday since 107 on Aug. 16.

Until Florida's increase of 120 deaths one Friday ago, they had remained under 100 since 105 on Oct. 21. The record was 276 deaths on Aug. 11. One day after Thanksgiving, 109 deaths were reported for two days of data.

On Oct. 11, fatalities rose by 178 for two days of information.

Palm Beach County increased by 16 to 1,858 after 7 the day before. First-place Miami-Dade increased by 12 to 4,108 and Broward is third at 1,798 with 2 more.

St. Lucie remained at 387, Martin rose by to 6 to 206 and Indian River stayed at 155. Okeechobee remained at 50 with its first two fatalities on July 25.

With a net increase of 36 deaths in South Florida of the 121 state total, there are 8,562, which is 40.8 percent of the state figure though the population only comprises 30 percent.

The number of increased deaths over one week is 690, an average of 99 and 3.4 percent, compared with 714 the previous week. Palm Beach County increased by 54 deaths over seven days for 3.0 percent. The U.S. figure is 5.9 percent with the world at 4.8 percent.

State and county increases represent fatalities received by the state Wednesday and not the number of deaths that occurred then. The day someone dies and when it is received by the state can lag for several days. The most deaths the past month: 92 on Dec. 5.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 300 compared with 329 the day before. The state reported Thursday there are currently 5,624 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is 34 more in one day. Dec. 15 was the first time it passed 5,000 since 5,040 on Aug. 21 with the the high of 9,520 reported on July 21 though the state didn't begin posting data until July.


Since June 16, Florida has climbed seven spots from 11th place in the nation to fourth. And the state is 20th in deaths per million.

The 21 deaths reported Sunday Nov. 1 were lowest since 20 on Monday, Oct. 26.

Deaths have had upward and lower trends since the pandemic in Florida. A few months ago they were averaging more than 1,200 a week with one-week figures earlier in the mid 200s.

Palm Beach County's death count is higher than 16 states, including Rhode Island at 1,704 with no data Thursday.

Fourth-place Hillsborough County increased by 10 to 1,056, Pinellas rose by 6 to 1,013 in fifth place, Polk by 4 to 764 in sixth, Orange stayed at 726 in seventh, Duval reaine d at 711 in eighth and Lee by 1 to 6456 in ninth.


Cases have been trending up in the state.

On Monday, Sept. 29, the 738 cases were fewest since June 2 when there were 617 additional infections.

The last lowest rise was 6,659 on Nov. 30.

TESTING lists Florida with 14,941,870 total tests behind No. 1 California and No. 2 New York with Texas fourth and Illinois fifth.

Florida first-time daily infection percentage has been below 10 percent except 9.78 Dec. 14 then 9.41 the next day. The state's total daily positivity rate dropped from 10.73 percent to 9.91. The two-week high was 11.98 Dec. 14 and low was 9.57 percent on Dec. 10. During the previous record 170,272 tests on Nov. 25, the rate was 8.42 percent. Only 20,987 tests were reported Sept. 27.

Palm Beach County's high of 10.03 percent on Nov. 30 matches the previous high of Nov. 16. The two-week high was 8.39 Dec. 15. The low of 5.76 Dec. 13 was the first time it was under 6 percent since 5.78 on Nov. 27. The rate was 1.92 on Oct. 11, which was the smallest since 1.5 percent on May 19.

Miami-Dade's rate went from 7.48 percent to below 7 percent for the first time, 6.7, and a high of 9.72 Dec. 12. The rate hit 26.4 on July 8. Broward's rate went from 6.35 to 5.91, the first time in two weeks under 6 percent with a two-week high of 8.13 Dec. 14.

St. Lucie's rate went from 9.72 percent to 9.72 after a two-week high of 16.02 four days ago and a low of 5.6 Dec . 13. Martin's rate went from 9.64 percent to 5.63 after a two-week high of 11.92 Dec. 15 and a two-week low of 5.11 Dec. 12. Indian River's rate went from 8.55 percent to a two-week high of 11.71 and two-week low of 4.55 Dec. 10 a. Okeechobee's rate of 9.35 percent on 126 negative tests was one day after 7.14 on 169 negative tests, a two-week high of 22.68 on 75 tests Dec. 14 and a low of 1.93 on 203 negative tests seven days ago. On Nov. 1 it was zero percent on 31 negative tests.


The mortality rate compares positive cases against deaths. The state's rate was 1.7 percent for all deaths and cases, including nonresidents, compared with 1.8 percent in the United States and 2.2 percent worldwide, which neared 1,749,000 deaths and passed 79.7 million cases Thursday, according to

County rates: Palm Beach County 2.4 percent, Broward 1.4, Miami-Dade 1.5, St. Lucie 2.9, Martin 2.8 (+0.1), Indian River 2.5, Okeechobee 2.2.

Deaths per million: Florida 978, U.S. 1,018, world 224.3. New York, which represents 11.3 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,903 per million. Six months ago New York was 25.6 percent of the U.S. deaths.


Five deaths are among youths 14 and under, including a 6-year-old from Hillsborough, two 11-year-olds, a boy in Miami-Dade and a girl in Broward. The class hasn't changed since Sept. 26.

Four other juveniles are among the 34 deaths in the 15-24 class, including a 16-year-old girl in Miami-Dade. The class increased by one after being 33 since Sept. 25.

Ages 25-34: 117 people with no change.

55 and older: 94 percent of fatalities with 62 percent 75 and older. A smaller percentage tested positive – 28 percent age 55 and older and 7 percent 75 and older, gaining 0.1 in one day for each.

85 and older: 6,662 people 85 and older, an increase of 55 in one day.

Infant to 4: `22,009 cases, an increase of 276, and 409 were hospitalized, which rose by 1. Ages 5-14: 64,216 cases, an increase of 854, with 370 in the hospital at one time, which went up by 1.

Infant to 54 age group: 882,355 of the 1,226,530 residents' cases. In that group, 1,322 have died with an increase of 3 for a 0.15 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 1,042,540 cases. A total of 3,615 have died, with 13 more, for a 0.35 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities at 19,045 with an increase of 146. No. 2 Boca Raton rose by 110 to 13,367. No. 3 Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, went up by 86 to 11,884. No. 4 Boynton Beach is at 7,420 from 7,353. No. 5 Delray Beach at 5,723 vs. 5,669.

Port St. Lucie leads the Treasure Coast with 8,676, rising 81, followed by Fort Pierce at 4,621, with an increase of 52, and Stuart at 3,578, a rise of 33.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, rose by 17 to 602 with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 61,100 people in the state have been hospitalized, a rise from 59,291 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

Palm Beach County: 4,912 with 2913 more compared with 29 the day before. Martin rose by 3 to 524, St. Lucie by 7 to 1,004, Indian River by 1 to 484 and Okeechobee by 1 to 240.


Thirty-eight percent of the deaths, 8,021, are residents and staff of long-term care with increase of 51. Palm Beach County is second at 813 with a rise of 5. Miami-Dade leads with 900.



Since the first death was reported on Feb. 29, the national toll has risen to 320,023, an increase of 2,899 behind the record of 3,682 on Dec. 16, according to Johns Hopkins. Twenty states reported at least 50 more deaths.

Weekly changes: The one-week death increase was 18,234 at 5.9 percent. Last Thursday's increase was 3,346.

Top-ranked states: No. 1 New York: had an increase of 152 deaths to rise 37,028, the same as Wednesday and the most since 186 on May 27 with a daily high of 799 in April, according to Johns Hopkins tracking. Hopkins includes probable deaths, meaning there was no positive coronavirus test, with New York state only using confirmed deaths but New York City probable ones. No. 2 Texas: increase of 308 at 26,208. No. 3 California: increase of U.S.-high 351 seven days after state-record 379 deaths at 23,635. No. 5: New Jersey: increase of 80 at 18,542.

Among states in top 10: No. 6 Illinois 96, No. 7 Pennsylvania 276, No. 8 Michigan no data, No. 9 Massachusetts 76, No. 10 Georgia 54.

Others with at least 50: No. 12 Arizona 115, No. 11 Ohio 95, No. 23 Alabama 89, No. 13 Indiana 85, No. 20 Minnesota 79, No. 27 Iowa 71, No. 26 Colorado 69, No. 24 Wisconsin 60, No. 19 Maryland 60, No. 17 Connecticut 55, No. 15 Tennessee 51. No. 29 Washington, the original U.S. epicenter, reported 22.


Cases increased to 18,650,454 with a rise of 192,081, behind the mark of 249,709 Friday, according to Johns Hopkins. Last Thursday, there were 236,211 cases.

Top-ranked states: No. 1 California at 2,003,146 with 39,070 after U.S.-record 53,711 Dec. 16. No. 2 Texas 1,464,556 with `12,783 one day after record 19,185. No. 4 Illinois at 925,107 with 7,037 after what was a U.S. record 15,415 on Nov. 13. No. 5 New York, which was the leader during much of the pandemic, is in fifth at 891,270, with 12,570 six days after record 12,697.

Twenty-eight states reported at least 2,000 cases, including records by No. 7 Georgia with 7,958 and No. 20 Virginia with 4,782. States with high numbers: No. 8 Pennsylvania 9,230, No. 6 Ohio 8,828, No. 13 Arizona 7,046, No. 12 Indiana 6,288, No. 18 Massachusetts 5,655, No. 9 Tennessee 5,257, No. 15 New Jersey 4,871, No. 19 Alabama 4,234, No. 25 Oklahoma 3,277, No. 17 Missouri 3,231, No. 32 Arkansas 3,204, No. 21 Colorado 3,030.


The U.S. represented 24.0 percent of 11,836 deaths Thursday, behind the record of 13,783 seven days ago, and 19.3 percent of the world total though its population is only 4.3 percent of the global total.

Weekly changes: The one-week death increase was 79,991 at 4.8 percent.

Cases: Increased by 673,260, behind the record of 736,079 last Thursday with 600,000 passing for the first time Nov. 5, 500,00 for the first time Oct. 28 and 400,000 for the first time on Oct. 15.

No. 2 Brazil: 768 deaths for a total of 190,032 compared with record of 1,554 on July 29. Cases: 57,753, behind a record 70,869 on July 29, with total third at 7,424,430.

No. 3 India: 312 deaths, behind a national-record 1,299, to rise to 146,756 and in third place. Cases: 24,712, the 10th day in a row under 30,000, compared with a record 97,894, and is second in the world, with 10,123,778.

No. 4 Mexico: 861 deaths, compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 121,172 in fourth place. Cases: record 12,485

Europe: Coronavirus is surging at record cases levels and deaths that are the highest since the spring with nations instituting lockdowns. The continent reported 4,643 new deaths and 248,102 cases.

Five European nations are in the top 10. No. 5 Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter, reported 505 deaths after a record 993 Dec. 3 and 18,040 cases after record 40,896 on Nov. 13. No. 6 United Kingdom 574 deaths, behind the record 1,166 April 21, as well as 39,066 cases, one day after record 39,237. No. 7 France 290 deaths after 932 on Nov. 13 that was the most since a record of 1,437 in April, as well as 21,634 cases after a record 86,852 on Oct. 31. No. 9 Russia record 635 deaths and record 29,935 and fourth overall with 2,963,688. No. 10 Spain 126 deaths and 10,967 cases.

Also, No. 14 Germany reported 554 deaths two days after a record 944 deaths and 26,418 cases, behind the record of 31,553 Friday. And No. 15 Poland with 497 deaths and 13,115 cases.

No. 8 Iran: 152 deaths after a record 486 on Nov. 16. Cases: 6,178 after a record 14,051 Nov. 27.

No. 23 Canada: 122 deaths for a total of 14,719 and 6,858 cases after record 8,119 Dec. 14.

Sweden, which has been doing "herd immunity" no data and is at 8,279. Neighboring Norway remained at 421 deaths, as well as 354 more cases.

China: the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26 and recently dropped to 42nd, behind Guatemala. China added 14 cases Friday.

Japan: 54 deaths one day after 56 for a total of 3,136, including 13 on a cruise ship, and record 3,740 cases.