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State's cases rise by 13,000, among highest in 5 months; deaths up 96 after 2 days of triple digits

Daily first-time positivity rates up slightly: Florida from 8.7% to 8.75, Palm Beach County from 7.27% to 7.33
Posted at 3:11 PM, Dec 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-19 11:13:52-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's coronavirus cases rose by 13,000, which was 148 less than the day before but among the highest in 5 months, as deaths' increased by 96, after back-to-back days of triple digits, 122 then 101, the Florida Department of Health announced Friday afternoon.

Also, total tests in Florida reported from labs Thursday were 169,137, one day after a two-week high of 169,277 and a record 170,272 on Nov. 25. The state's daily first-time positivity increased from 8.7 percent to 8.75 with the rate of 9.69 three days ago the highest since 10.03 on Nov. 13. Palm Beach County's rate increased from 7.27 percent to 7.33 with 8.35 two days ago highest since 10.04 percent on Nov. 30. The state considers anything above 5 percent in the dangers threshold.

Seven states had more deaths reported Friday than Florida, all in double digits headed by California with 300, one day after a record 379. California also reported 41,012 cases, which is higher than than all foreign countries except Brazil.

Florida's cases reached 1,181,483 with only No. 1 California and No. 2 Texas also reporting more than 1 million.

Thursday's 13,148 new cases were the most since 13,965 on July 16.

The previous 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.

The last time cases were below five digits: 9,411 on Tuesday. 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 75,087 for an average of 10,723 at 6.8 percent. The previous week the increase was 67,189 for an average of 9,598. The average since the first case, which was 292 days ago, is 4,0465 per day.

One week ago 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 18.9 percent of the additional cases were in Miami-Dade: 2,461. Much fewer were Palm Beach County with 783 one day after 791, Broward 1,347, St. Lucie 177, Martin 93, Indian River 106 and Okeechobee 13.

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 5.5 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 40th at 48. with Tennessee No. 1 at 135.6, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Since the first two deaths in Florida were announced on March 6, which is 287 days, the death toll has reached 20,401 for an average of 71 per day -- fourth behind No. 1 New York, Texas and California. Florida's total including nonresidents is 20,690, which remained at 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.

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 12 deaths to 1,804 after 8 the day before. First-place Miami-Dade rose by 12 to 4,034 and Broward is third at 1,763 with 3 more.

St. Lucie remained at 380, Martin rose by 2 to 190 and Indian River up 1 to 151. Okeechobee stayed at 49 with its first two fatalities on July 25.

With a net increase of 30 deaths in South Florida of the 96 state total, there are 8,384, 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 687, an average of 98 and 3.5 percent, compared with 727 the previous week. Palm Beach County increased by 50 deaths over seven days for 2.8 percent. The U.S. figure is 6.1 percent with the world at 5.0 percent.

State and county increases represent fatalities received by the state Thursday 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: 86 on Nov 27.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 312 compared with 222 the day before. The state reported late Friday there are currently 5,172 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is 50 more 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 1,625 with an increase of 23 reported Friday.

Fourth-place Hillsborough County increased by 6 to 1,021, Pinellas rose by 5 to 995 in fifth place, Polk by 6 to 745 in sixth, Orange by 6 to 703 in seventh, Duval stayed at 692 in eighth and Lee up by 4 to 630 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 14,262,140 total tests behind No. 1 California and No. 2 New York with Texas fourth and Illinois fifth.

Florida first-time daily infection percentage had been below 8 percent for eight days in the past two weeks, including a low of 7.41 on Dec. 4. Only two days have been 9 percent or more: 9.69 three days ago then 9.32. The state's total daily positivity rate moved from 10.38 percent to ``10.62. The high was 11.97 three days ago and 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 5 times over two weeks and 11 times under 8 percent. The rate of 5.732 four 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 8.84 percent to 8.16 after a two-week low of 7.81 Dec. 8 and a high of 9.56 five day ago. The rate hit 26.4 on July 8. Broward's rate went from 7.15 percent to 7.252 with a two-week high of 8.06 three days ago and a low of 6.31 seven days ago.

St. Lucie's rate went from 11.01 percent to 12.1 after a two-week low of 5.67 four days ago and a high of 12.26 Dec. 9. Martin's rate was went from 10.9 percent to 9.73 after a two-week high of 11.88 two days ago and a two-week low of 5.08 five days ago. Indian River's rate was a two-week high of 9.78 percent one day after 6.12 and a two-week low of 4.49 Dec. 10. Okeechobee's rate of 6.15 percent on 168 negative tests was one day after 1.93 on 203 negative tests, a two-week high of 21.88 on 75 tests three days ago and a low of 1.52 on 259 negative tests Dec. 6. 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 passed 1,680,000 deaths and neared 76.0 million cases Friday, according to

County rates: Palm Beach County 2.4 percent (-0.1), Broward 1.4, Miami-Dade 1.5, St. Lucie 3.0 (-0.1), Martin 2.7, Indian River 2.6, Okeechobee 2.2.

Deaths per million: Florida 950, U.S. 969, world 215.6. New York, which represents 11.5 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,861 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. That is the same number since Sept. 25.

Ages 25-34: 117 people with an increase of 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: 6,466 people 85 and older, an increase of 41 in one day.

Infant to 4: `20,609 cases, an increase of 245 and 402 were hospitalized, which rose by 2. Ages 5-14:59,843 cases, an increase of 911, with 361 in the hospital at one time, which rose by 2.

Infant to 54 age group: 836,999 of the 1,161,953 residents' cases. In that group, 1,289 have died with an increase of 4 for a 0.15 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 988,487 cases. A total of 3,520 have died, with 5 more, for a 0.36 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities at 18,323 with an increase of 153. No. 2 Boca Raton rose by 179 to 12,781. No. 3 Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, went up by 85 to 11,497. No. 4 Boynton Beach is at 7,071 from 6,971. No. 5 Delray Beach at 5,475 vs. 5,409.

Port St. Lucie leads the Treasure Coast with 8,218, rising 120, followed by Fort Pierce at 4,322, with an increase of 57, and Stuart at 4,4282, a rise of 36.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, rose by 2 to 560 with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 59,602 people in the state have been hospitalized, a rise from 57,728 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

Palm Beach County: 4,824 with 27 more compared with 18 the day before. Martin rose by 1 to 505, St. Lucie by 12 to 964, Indian River by 2 to 474 and Okeechobee stayed at 236.


Thirty-nine percent of the deaths, 7,859, are residents and staff of long-term care with increase of 23. Palm Beach County is second at 798 with a rise of 4. Miami-Dade leads with 886.



Since the first death was reported on Feb. 29, the national toll has risen to 313,588, an increase of 2,827 behind the record of 3,668 one day earlier, according to Johns Hopkins. Seventeen states reported at least 50 more deaths Thursday.

Weekly changes: Last Friday there were 3,283 more deaths and 234,103 cases. The one-week death increase was 18,038 at 6.1 percent.

Top-ranked states: No. 1 New York: had an increase of 125 deaths to rise 36,177 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 294 at 24,954. No. 3 California: increase of 300, one day after state-record 379 deaths at 22,160. No. 5: New Jersey: increase of 44 at 18,124.

Among states in top 10: No. 6 Illinois 181, No. 7 Pennsylvania 216, No. 8 Michigan 66, No. 9 Massachusetts 53, No. 10 Georgia 38.

Other states with at least 50 more: No. 12 Arizona 142, No. 16 Tennessee 115, No. 32 Kansas 88 (no data Thursday), No. 13 Indiana 84, No. 11 Ohio 73, No. 21 Minnesota 65, No. 15 North Carolina 60, No. 24 Wisconsin 60. No. 28 Washington, the original epicenter in the U.S., added 61.


Cases increased to 17,442,180 with a rise of a record 249,709, surpassing the mark of 247,403 Wednesday, according to Johns Hopkins.

Top-ranked states: No. 1 California at 1,764,374 with 41,012 two days after U.S.-record 53,711. No. 2 Texas 1,384,476 with 12,192 one day after record 16,864. No. 4 Illinois at 886,805 with 7,377 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 828,166, with record 12.697.

Thirty-two states reported at least 2,000 cases, including a state record by No. 11 North Carolina with 8,444. Other high numbers: No. 9 Tennessee 10,421, No. 6 Ohio 9,684, No. 8 Pennsylvania 9,320, No. 14 Arizona 7,635, No. 7 Georgia 6,092, No. 12 Indiana 6,088, No. 19 Massachusetts 5,632, No. 30 Kansas 5,857 (no data Thursday), No. 10 Michigan 4,180, No. 15 New Jersey 3,975, No. 17 Missouri 3,723, No. 20 Colorado 3,693, No. 24 South Carolina 3,648, No. 25 Oklahoma 3,556, No. 18 Alabama 3,352, No. 21 Virginia 3,295, No. 13 Wisconsin 3,235, No. 28 Kentucky 3,179, No. 22 Louisiana 3,103.


The U.S. represented 22.6 percent of 12,387 deaths, behind the record of 13,696 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 79,650 at 5.0 percent.

Cases: Increased by 717,264, behind the record of 738,913 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: 811 deaths for a total of 185,687 compared with record of 1,554 on July 29. Cases: 52,385, behind a record 70,869 on July 29, with total third at 7,163,912.

No. 3 India: 338 deaths, behind a national-record 1,299, to rise to 144,789 and in third place. Cases: 22,890 compared with a record 97,894, and is second in the world with 9,979,447.

No. 4 Mexico: 762 deaths compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 1,301,546 in fourth place. Cases: 12,248 six 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 5,426 new deaths and 234,696 cases.

Five European nations are in the top 10. No. 5 Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter, reported 674 deaths after a record 993 Dec. 3 and 17,992 cases after record 40,896 on Nov. 13. No. 6 United Kingdom 489 deaths, behind the record 1,166 April 21, as well as 28,507 cases one day after a record 35,383. No. 7 France 374 deaths after 932 on Nov. 13 that was the most since a record of 1,437 in April, as well as 15,674 cases after a record 86,852 on Oct. 31. No. 9 Russia 611 deaths seven days after record 613 and 28,553 cases after record 29,039 Dec. 6 and fourth overall with 2,762,668. No. 10 Spain 149 deaths and 11,815 cases.

Also in Europe, No. 14 Germany record 838 deaths with the highest early in the pandemic 333 in April, and record 31,553 cases.

No. 8 Iran: 178 deaths after a record 486 on Nov. 16. Cases: 7,121 after a record 14,051 Nov. 27.

No. 23 Canada: 124 deaths for a total of 14,040, moving ahead of Ecuador (10), and 6,708 cases, four days after record 8,119.

Sweden, which has been doing "herd immunity" with no lockdown, 20 deaths and is at 7,993. Neighboring Norway reported no deaths to remain at 404, as well as 192 more cases.

China: the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26 and recently dropped to 41st, behind Austria. China added 17 cases Friday.

Japan: 47 deaths after record 53 each Tuesday and Wednesday for a total of 2,853, including 13 on a ship, and 2,829 cases one day afer a record 3,211.