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Florida's coronavirus cases more than double in past week to 28,841; deaths' increase 194 after 325

First-time positivity rates soars to 5.4% from 2.6%
Posted at 7:15 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 23:19:54-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's coronavirus situation worsened dramatically in one week with cases and the first-time positivity rate more than doubling, hospitalizations up about 10% though fatalities' increase was less than one week ago, according to data released by the State Department of Health on Friday.

Case rose 28,841 in one week to 3,739,348, including 8,785 new ones posted Friday, which is the most since 10,122 Sept. 21. This contrasts with 12,984 last week, which is a little more than 2,000 from the past week. Florida's deaths increased by 194 one week to 62,220 after 325 and two weeks ago 153, which is the lowest since early in the pandemic last year.

The new cases in the state over one week were 29,568, one week after 13,530, two weeks after 10,892 and three weeks after 9,663, the lowest since the state week to weekly reports, which is different than the increase because of revisions.

The CDC or state doon't break down cases by the variant, including omicron, the highly contagious strain that apparently isn't as severe andwas reported less than one month ago in South Africa or delta, which has been the dominant strain since the summer. State data isn't broken down by break-through cases (those vaccinated) or reinfections.

The 1,584 hospitalizations are 201 more than one week ago and 356 more than a record-low 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 surged to 5.4% compared with 2.6% the week earlier, 2.5% previously and back-to-back all-time lows of 2.4% earlier. The last time it was above the 5% target rate was 6.6 on Sept. 24.

The state reported 12.0% of youths 5-11 have been vaccinated, up from 11% the week earlier. The state listed vaccination data for those 5-11 is 208,421 compared with 185,556 one week earlier. Nearly six of seven adults (85.0%) have at least one vaccination shot, a rise of 0.5 percentage one week ago, and those 12 and older at 83.1%.


On Nov. 30 the 9,792 increase the lowest since the state went to weekly reports on June 4.

In the past week, new cases have risen from 1,976 Monday to 3,067 Tuesday to 4,127 Wednesday to 6,846 Thursday.

The seven-day moving average is 4,225, the most since 4,404 Oct. 4. On Nov. 24, it was 1,224 with the previous fewest 1,1191 June 9, 2020.

On Nov. 30 the 9,792 increase the lowest since the state went to weekly reports on June 4.

Increased cases this past week are 18.9% of a record 152,760 14 weeks ago.

In the past few weeks all South Florida counties were below the target 5% rate. Now it's only Okeechobee at 2.1% (3.3% last week), Indian River at 3.4% (3.2%). St. Lucie at 3.5% (2.3% last week). Others are Palm Beach County 6.5% (2.6% last week), Broward 6.9% (2.6% last week), Miami-Dade 7.0% (1.8%), with the later having the most deaths in the state at 9,208 in a report posted this week by the CDC.

The 20-29 group has the most new cases at 6,976 one week after 2,133 and the highest positivity rate at 9.0. The 30-39 age group is 6,367, plus a 7.3% rate, and was the most last week with 2,223. The 5-11 group has 1,500 new cases with a 4.5% first-time positivity rate. In the 12-19 age group there are 2,356 new cases and only 58% fully vaccinated (the youngest age recently to get the shots). Cases for those under 5 are 673. Conversely, the positivity rate is 2.4% for those 65 and older with 90% fully vaccinated.

The daily cases record is 27,696 reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Aug. 26.

On Sept. 1 the new cases were 21,520, the last time it was above 21,000.

On Nov. 7, there were 271 cases, the lowest since 176 March 23, 2020.

The CDC lists the seven-day moving average record 2`1,644 on Aug. 16.

Cases weekly reached 109,816 (`15,688 daily) on Jan. 10 until the spike.


Two weeks ago the 153 rise was the lowest since it rose from 63 in one week to 208 in the weekend ending April 2,020, less than one month after the first fatality. It rose 172 to 37,985 in the weekend ending July 8.

Six weeks ago, Florida became the third state to pass 60,000 residents' deaths from coronavirus. Florida is behind California and Texas, each with more than 70,000, but ahead of New York in third place. Florida is among three states with at least 3 million cases, also ahead of California and Texas.

The state passed 50,000 deaths on Aug. 31.

Deaths can take several days or even weeks to be reported to the state so the figures will fluctuate.

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.

The highest seven-day moving average is 402 daily (2,814 weekly) on Sept. 1. Until the spike, the record was 227 (1,589 weekly) only Aug. 5, 2020.

Last year the highest weekly seven-day increase was 1,589 (227 daily) on Aug. 5, 2020, according to the CDC. The first-time daily positivity rate last year was 9.04%. Earlier this year it was less than 5%.

Until Friday's report 12 weeks ago, deaths had surpassed 2,000 four weeks in a row: 2,340 after 2,468, 2,448, 2,345. Last week's increase was 363 and the previous week 644.

The state listed 39 deaths occurred in the past week with 36 the previous week and 433 12 weeks ago. In newly reported deaths, children under 16 years old remained at 31 since the pandemic, with no changes also for those 16-29 for a total of 433.

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 CDC twice a week had been revising the previous cumulative totals as more data are reported. It was back adjusted Friday.

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

Positivity rate

The weekly first-time infection positivity rate is one-tenth of a record 20.5% during the summer. The lowest daily rate this year was 3.03% on May 25 — when the state was reporting this data. In the week of May 17-30, 2020, before testing ramped up, it was below 3.0% for eight days, including 0.62% one day for an average of 2.82%. It has been under the 5.0% state target rate seven weeks in a row.

The first-time daily positivity rate reached 7.8% this summer. The daily record was 23.38% on Dec. 28.

County data

Palm Beach County: Cases: 231,638 residents (2,445 new, 942 past week). First-time positivity average in past week: 6.5%.

St. Lucie County: Cases: 48,485 residents (191 new, 131 past week). First-daily positivity in past week: 3.5%

Martin County: Cases: 20,602 residents (106 new, 83 past week). First-daily positivity in past week: 3.8%

Indian River County: Cases: 22,470 residents (81 new, 76 past week). First-daily positivity in past week: 3.4%

Okeechobee County: 7,443 residents (8 new, 18 past week). First-daily positivity in past week: 2.1%.

Broward County: Cases: 367,706 residents (4,770 new, 1,524 past week). First-daily positivity in past week: 6.9%.

Miami-Dade County: 695,385 residents (11,689 new, 2,771 past week). First-daily positivity in past week: 7.0%.


On June 4, Florida switched to weekly reports from daily -- the first state in the nation reporting any data every seven days. In addition, the state's dashboard was removed, as well as current hospitalization data. Michigan and Ohio, which are in the top 10 for most deaths, report fatalities only a few days per week.

According to data received by the CDC Thursday, U.S. deaths rose 1,089 and cases were up 156,415 with Florida accounting for 5.6%. On Monday, it hit 193,544, the most since 212,116 Jan. 16.

The state, which is the third most-populous with 16.5% of the population, is third in the nation, behind California with 74,996, including 117 in the past day reported, and Texas with 73,756, including a daily increase of 98 and ahead of New York with 58,465, with a rise of 53 Friday.

Florida is third in cases behind California with 4,909,188, a rise of 7,293 and Texas with 4,397,558 including 5,991 Friday. New York reported a record 21,017 cases for a total of 2,895,808, surpassing the mark of 19,578 on Jan. 8.

The overall first-time positivity rate is 20.3%, with no change.

The state reports don't include nonresidents' deaths and cases.

The weekly reports also don't list deaths for each county though it is now available by the CDC but include other data:

In other data, the state reported there are 31 deaths under 16 (no change) and 505,801 cases (502,798 previous week). At the other extreme, for 65 and older there are 46,390 deaths (46,272 previous week), which is 74.6% of total and 480,808 cases (480,808 previous week), which is 12.9% of total.

The state's mortality rate (cases vs. deaths) was 1.7% (no change) including 9.6% for 65 and older but less than 1% in younger ages except 2.5% for 60-64. It is 1.6% in the United States and 2.0% worldwide.

In deaths per million, Florida is 2,896 (ninth in nation), U.S. 2,496, world 687.6. Mississippi is first at 3,479, Alabama second at 3,333, New Jersey third at 3,228. New York, which had been second for most of the pandemic behind New Jersey, is now sixth at 3,033.

Here are the deaths in the past week, according to the CDC: Pennsylvania 824, Ohio 583, Arizona 490, California 447, Texas 431, Michigan 395.

Florida's deaths are 7.8% of the total in the U.S. total and 7.4% 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 17.4% of the state's 21.48 million population, 15th in cases per million behind No. 1 North Dakota. In cases per 100,000 for seven days, Florida is 38th at 137.7 (one week after 63.1 at 47th) with Rhode Island No. 1 at 1,332.7, New Hampshire No. 2 at 630.4, Wisconsin No. 3 at 548.9, Connecticut No. 4 at 504.3, Massachusetts No. 5 at 500.2, according to the CDC.

Here are the cases in the path week: Pennsylvania 58,566, Illinois 56,078, Ohio 52,422, New York (not city) 51,377, Michigan 45,518, California 44,143.. Florida's 29,577 is 12th.

The CDC has directed states to generally count one case per person unless the virus was contracted again more than 90 days. Florida doesn't report re-infections.

Florida is third in total tests at 44,926,197 with California No. 1 at 98,907,364. Some people have taken more than one test.

In one week, there were 492,684 tests, which is 70,383 daily. Last week it was 467,283. On Dec. 23 there were a record 150,587 tests in one day.


Of the 257 Florida hospitals reporting, 2.6% are occupied with COVID-19 patients and 79.6% (47,046) with all patients of the 59,105 total beds. The day before 256 hospitals reported data.

The record low was 1,228 on Nov. 29.

Florida is 15th in U.S. with covid hospitalizations with Pennsylvania first with 5,169 (17.08%), Ohio second with 5,155 (16.58%), Michigan third with 4,459 (19.98%), New York fourth with 4,296 (8.97%), California fifth with 3,969 (6.1%), Illinois sixth with 3,686 (12.12%), Texas seventh with 3,511 (5.31%).

The U.S. coronavirus occupancy is 68,900 at 8.99% compared with 54,147one week ago.


In state vaccination data from the CDC, 85.0% of Florida's population 18 and older has had at least one dose (14,662,238) and 73.2% fully vaccinated (12,622,720. 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 84.8%. Totally vaccinated is 72.3%.

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

Forty-three states achieving the 70% standard are New Hampshire (95.0%), Massachusetts (95.0%), Connecticut (95.0%), Pennsylvania (95.0%), Hawaii (95.0%), Vermont (95.0%), Rhode Island (95.0%), West Virginia (95.0%), New Jersey (94.9%), Maine (94.6%), California (94.2%), New York (94.1%), New Mexico (91.1%), Maryland (90.7%), Virginia (89.0%), Delaware (87.6%), Washington (86.2%), North Carolina (87.3%), Florida (85.0%), Colorado (84.3%), South Dakota (83.9%), Oregon (83.5%), Minnesota (82.0%), Illinois (81.9%), Utah (81.6%), Kansas (81.5%), Nevada (81.1%), Oklahoma (78.8%), Texas (78.7%), Nebraska (78.3%), Wisconsin (78.2%), Arizona (77.3), Alaska (76.4%), Iowa (75.9%), North Dakota (74.1%), Arkansas (73.6%), Kentucky (73.3%), South Carolina (73.2%), Michigan (73.1%), Missouri (72.7%), Georgia (72.4%), Montana (71.8), Ohio (70.4%).

West Virginia jumped significantly from three weeks being listed at 64.6%.

The three worst percentages: Wyoming 66.5%, Mississippi at 66.9%, Indiana at 68.4%.

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 (93.9%).

The CDC is now listing percentages for those 5 and older: one shot 15,759,209 (77.5%) and fully vaccinated 13,471,006 (66.2%) in Florida

For those 12 and older in Florida, 83.1% had at least one dose (15,540,082) and the complete series is 71.4% (13,349,805).

For the total population, the percentage is 73.4% (15,766,979) and the complete series is 62.4% (13,472,644).

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

In boosters, 26.4% of adults in Florida (3,366,315) and 31.3% in the United States (58,063,905) have been vaccinated.