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State's 13,148 new cases hit five-month high; deaths increase by 101

Daily first-time positivity rates drop: Florida from 9.28% to 8.84, Palm Beach County from 8.32% to 7.23
Posted at 3:18 PM, Dec 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-18 15:07:57-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's coronavirus cases rose by 13,148, the most in five months, as deaths increased by 101, compared with 122 the day before, the Florida Department of Health announced Thursday afternoon.

Also, total tests in Florida reported from labs Wednesday were 169,326, a two-week high, after 140,298 the day before and a record 170,272 on Nov. 25. The state's daily first-time positivity decreased from 9.28 percent, which was the highest since 10.03 on Nov. 13, to 8.84 percent. Palm Beach County's rate decrease from 8.32 percent, the highest since 10.04 percent on Nov. 30, to 7.23. The state considers anything above 5 percent in the dangers threshold.

Florida was among 10 states reporting triple-digit death increases, including California with a state-record 379 and 52,281 new cases one day after a U.S. record 53,711.

Florida's cases reached 1,168,483 Thursday with only No. 1 California and No. 2 Texas also reporting more than 1 million.

Thursday's new cases were the most since 13,965 on July 16.

Friday's increased cases of 11,699 at the time were the most since 12,199 on July 25. The record was 15,300 on July 12.

Last Thursday's rise was 11,335.

Monday's increased cases were 8,452 and Sunday's was 8,958.

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

Over seven days, cases have risen by 73,786 for an average of 10,540 at 6.7 percent. The previous week the increase was 65,757 for an average of 9,380. The average since the first case, which was 291 days ago, is 4,015 per day.

On Friday, Florida's cases passed 1.1 million, which was 10 days after surpassing 1 million and 13 days after passing 900,000. The first 100,000 was on June 22.

A total of 19.6 percent of the additional cases were in Miami-Dade: 2,582. Much fewer were Palm Beach County with 791 one day after 456, Broward 1,108, St. Lucie 157, Martin 105, Indian River 581 and Okeechobee 32.

Florida's cases are 7.0 percent of the total infections in the U.S., which passed 17 million on Thursday, after 16 million on Saturday and 15 million cases the previous Tuesday . The state only 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 5.4 percent of the state's 21.48 million population, 26th in cases per million. In average cases per 100,000 over the last seven days, Florida is ranked 41st at 47.3 with Tennessee No. 1 at 129.4, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since the first two deaths in Florida were announced on March 6, which is 286 days, the death toll has reached 20,305 for an average of 71 per day -- fourth behind No. 1 New York, Texas and California. Florida's total including nonresidents is 20,594, which increased by 3 to 289.

It took 9 days to increase 1,000 to pass 20,000 deaths, 12 days to pass 19,000 deaths of residents on Dec. 5 from 18,00 and on Monday, Nov. 23, the state passed 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.

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

Before this week the last time deaths rose by triple digits was 129 last Thursday, which at the time was the highest since mid-October.

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 8 deaths to 1,804 after 11 the day before. First-place Miami-Dade rose by 5 to 4,022 and Broward is third at 1,760 with 3 more.

All three Treasure Coast totals remained at the same: St. Lucie at 380, Martin at 188 and Indian River at 150. Okeechobee stayed at 49 with its first two fatalities on July 25.

With a net increase of 16 deaths in South Florida of the 101 state total, there are 8,354, which is 41.1 percent of the state figure though the population only comprises 30 percent.

The number of increased deaths over one week is 714, an average of 102 and 3.6 percent, compared with 717 the previous week. Palm Beach County increased by 40 deaths over seven days for 2.3 percent. The U.S. figure is 6.3 percent with the world at 5.0 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: 87on Nov 27.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 222 compared with 357 the day before. The state reported Thursday there are currently 5,122 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is 34 less in one day. Tuesday 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 19th in deaths per million.

The 21 deaths of 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 1,602 with an increase of 12 reported Thursday.

Fourth-place Hillsborough County increased by 4 to 1,015, Pinellas rose by 24 to 990 in fifth place, Polk by 4 to 739 in sixth, Orange by 13 to 697 and rising one spot to seventh, Duval stayed at 692 in eighth and Lee stayed at 626 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 14,130,578 total tests behind No. 1 California and No. 2 New York with Texas fourth and Illinois fifth.

Florida first-time daily infection percentage rose had been below 8 percent for seven days in the past two weeks, including a low of 7.40 on Dec. 4. The high was 9.66 two days ago and the second highest was 9.28 one day later -- the only days 9 percent and above.

The state's total daily positivity rate moved from 11.3 percent to `10.51. The low was 9.13 percent on Dec. 4. During the 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 rate has been under 7 percent 6 times over two weeks and 11 times under 8 percent. The rate of 5.72 three days ago was the 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 8.97 percent to 8.97 after a two-week low of 7.79 Dec. 8 and a high of 9.52 four day ago The rate hit 26.4 on July 8. Broward's rate went from 7.47 percent to 7.22 with a two-week high of 8.05 two days ago and a low of 6.29 six days ago.

St. Lucie's rate went from 11.9 percent to 10.9 after a two-week low of 5.66 three days ago and a high of 12.23 seven days ago. Martin's rate was went from a two-week high of 12.22 to 11.27 and a two-week low of 4.06 Dec. 3. Indian River's rate was 6.31 percent one day after 7.18, a two-week low of 4.5 Dec. 3 and a two-week high of 8.52 Dec. 7. Okeechobee's rate of 1.46 percent on 203 negative tests was a two-week high one day after 12.23 on 122 tests and a two-week high of 21.88 on 75 tests two 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 1.8 percent for all deaths and cases, including nonresidents, compared with 1.8 percent in the United States and 2.2 percent worldwide, which neared 1,668,000 deaths and neared 75.3 million cases Thursday, according to

County rates: Palm Beach County 2.4 percent (-0.1), Broward 1.4 (-0.1), Miami-Dade 1.5, St. Lucie 3.1, Martin 2.7, Indian River 2.6 (-0.1), Okeechobee 2.2.

Deaths per million: Florida 945, U.S. 960, world 213.9. New York, which represents 11.6 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,856 per million. Six months ago New York was 29 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 33 deaths in the 15-24 class, including a 16-year-old girl in Miami-Dade. This class rose by 1 Thursday, the first since Sept. 24 and at one time it was 33 then there was a reduction.

Ages 25-34: 116 people with a revision down by 1.

55 and older: 94 percent of fatalities with 62 percent 75 and older. Smaller percentage tested positive – 27 percent age 55 and older and 6 percent 75 and older.

85 and older: 6,425 people 85 and older, an increase of 37 in one day.

Infant to 4: `20,364 cases, an increase of 260 and 400 were hospitalized, which rose by 3. Ages 5-14: 58,932 cases, an increase of 987, with 359 in the hospital at one time, which rose by 1.

Infant to 54 age group: 827,838 of the 1,149,126 residents' cases. In that group, 1,285 have died with an increase of 5 for a 0.16 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 977,615 cases. A total of 3,515 have died, with 9 more, for a 0.36 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities at 18,170 with an increase of 203. No. 2 Boca Raton rose by 140 to 12,602. No. 3 Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, went up by 89 to 11,412. No. 4 Boynton Beach is at 6,971 from 6,887. No. 5 Delray Beach at 5,409 vs. 5,360.

Port St. Lucie leads the Treasure Coast with 8,098, rising 111, followed by Fort Pierce at 4,265, with an increase of 43, and Stuart at 3,392, a rise of 49.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, rose by 4 to 558 with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 59,291people in the state have been hospitalized, a rise from 57,468 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

Palm Beach County: 4,797 with 18 more compared with 26 the day before. Martin rose by 3 to 504, St. Lucie by 6 to 952, Indian River by 2to 472 and Okeechobee by 3 to 236.


Thirty-nine percent of the deaths, 7,836, are residents and staff of long-term care with increase of 36. Palm Beach County second at 794 with a rise of 4. Miami-Dade leads with 885.



Since the first death was reported on Feb. 29, the national toll has risen to 310,699, an increase of 3,270 behind the record of 3,668 one day earlier, according to Johns Hopkins. Twenty-one states reported at least 50 more deaths Thursday.

Weekly changes: Last Thursday there were 2,920 more deaths and 2226,684 cases. The one-week death increase was 18,167 at 6.3 percent.

Top-ranked states: No. 1 New York: had an increase of 125 deaths to rise 36,052 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 266 at 24,660. No. 3 California: increase of a record 379 deaths at 21.860. No. 5: New Jersey: increase of 77 at 18,080.

Among states in top 10: No. 6 Illinois 181, No. 7 Pennsylvania 224, No. 8 Michigan 190, No. 9 Massachusetts 44, No. 10 Georgia 56.

Other states with at least 50 more, including records by No. 16 Tennessee with 177 and No. 31 Kentucky 54. Others were No. 12 Arizona 147, No. 11 Ohio 117, No. 27 Iowa 97, No. 15 North Carolina 86, No. 21 Minnesota 83, No. 13 Indiana 79, No. 26 Colorado 70, No. 24 Alabama 56, No. 25 Wisconsin 51. No. 28 Washington, the original epicenter in the U.S., added 75 Thursday, one day after a record 89.


Cases increased to 17,206,647 with a rise of 233,271 behind the mark of 247,403 Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins.

Top-ranked states: No. 1 California at 1,723,362 with 52,281 one day after U.S.-record 53,711. No. 2 Texas 1,371,223 with record 16,864. No. 4 Illinois at 879,428 with 8,828 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 815,469, with an increase of 10,914.

Thirty-two states reported at least 2,000 cases, including a state record by No. 32 Arkansas with 3,039. High numbers were No. 6 Ohio 11,412, No. 8 Pennsylvania 9,966, No. 9 Tennessee 8,828, No. 13 Indiana 6,458, No. 7 Georgia 5,835, No. 14 Arizona 5,817, No. 11 North Carolina 5,786, No. 19 Massachusetts 4,985, No. 18 Alabama 4,695, No. 15 New Jersey 4,319, No. 10 Michigan 4,024, No. 21 Virginia 3,853, No. 20 Colorado 3,698, No. 17 Missouri 3,659, No. 12 Wisconsin 3,357, No. 28 Kentucky 3,349, No. 22 Louisiana 3,275, No. 27 Utah 3,203, No. 29 Washington 3,117.


The U.S. represented 25.5 percent of 12,859 deaths, behind the record of 13,579 Wednesday, and 19.1 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 79,134 at 5.0 percent.

Cases: Increased by a record 731,703, surpassing the mark the day before of 725,890 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: 1,054 deaths, the first time in four digits since September, for a total of 184,876 compared with record of 1,554 on July 29. Cases: 68,832, behind a record 70,869 on July 29, with total third at 7,111,527.

No. 3 India: 355 deaths, behind a national-record 1,299, to rise to 144,541 and in third place. Cases: 24,010 compared with a record 97,894, and is second in the world behind the U.S. with 9,956,557.

No. 4 Mexico: 718 deaths compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 116,487 in fourth place. Cases: 11,779 five days after record 12,253.

Europe: Coronavirus is surging at record cases levels and deaths that are the highest since the spring with nations instituting lockdowns. The continent reported 5,241 new deaths and 245,386 cases.

Five European nations are in the top 10. No. 5 Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter, reported 683 deaths after a record 993 Dec. 3 and 18,236 cases after record 40,896 on Nov. 13. No. 6 United Kingdom 532 deaths, behind the record 1,166 April 21, as well as a record 35,383 cases after the former marks of 33,470 on Nov. 12. No. 7 France 258 deaths after 932 on Nov. 13 that was the most since a record of 1,437 in April, as well as 18,254 cases after a record 86,852 on Oct. 31. No. 9 Russia 587 deaths six days after record 613, moving ahead of Spain, and 28,214 cases after record 29,039 Dec. 6 and fourth overall with 2,762,668. No. 10 Spain 181 deaths and 11,081 cases.

Also in Europe, No. 14 Germany 724 deaths two days after a record 805 with the highest early in the pandemic 333 in April, and record 30,951 cases. No. 15 Poland 605 deaths and 12,454 cases.

No. 8 Iran: 212 deaths after a record 486 on Nov. 16. Cases: 7,453 after a record 14,051 Nov. 27.

No. 24 Canada: 117 deaths for a total of 13,916 and 7,008 cases, three days after record 8,119.

Sweden, which has been doing "herd immunity" with no lockdown, 23 deaths and is at 7,893. Neighboring Norway reported 2 deaths to increase to 404, as well as 464 more cases.

China: the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26 and dropped to 40th. China added 7 cases Thursday.

Japan: 38 deaths after record 53 each Tuesday and Wednesday for a total of 2,768, including 13 on a ship, and record 3,211 cases.