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State's corovovirus cases soar by 7,569 after 75,000 tests dumped by Quest in one day

Florida's death toll spikes to 187 one day after rise of 68
Posted at 2:35 PM, Sep 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-11 09:07:45-04

Florida’s newly reported coronavirus cases spiked to 7,569 Tuesday but nearly 4,000 of them were dumped into the system by Quest Diagnostics in one day among 75,000 tests, leading to the state to sever all ties with the private lab. Meanwhile, new deaths surged by 187, including a county-record 100 in Miami-Dade.

The new cases and deaths were the highest in the nation.

Exactly six months after the first two coronavirus cases were announced by the state on March 1, the Health Department said 3,870 cases came from tests processed by Quest dating back to April, with the majority in mid-June to late July.

In all, there are 632,040 cases, 4,682,883 people tested and 6,428,982 total tests.

“The law requires all COVID-19 results to be reported to DOH in a timely manner,” Gov. Ron DeSantis said in a Department of Health news release. “To drop this much unusable and stale data is irresponsible. I believe that Quest has abdicated their ability to perform a testing function in Florida that the people can be confident in. As such I am directing all executive agencies to sever their COVID-19 testing relationships with Quest effective immediately.

The daily first-time positivity rate is 6.81 percent with the private lab and 5.89 percent without. The rate the day before was 5.40 percent.

In Palm Beach County, the first-time rate was 4.26 percent with all tests after 3.95 the day before but lowered to 3.28 without the Quest data.

The total daily positivity rate was 10.33 on 114,768 tests compared with 8.02 the day before on 36.328 tests.

In Tuesday’s state report, there were 27 entries for the company among 2,000 labs. The highest is Quest Diagnostics – Tampa with 892,235 tests and 112,753 positive. Next highest is Quest Diagnostics Nichols Institute with 66,130 tests and 7,756 positive.

In statement, Quest said approximately 1.4 million COVID-19 tests were reported to the state.

“Quest Diagnostics takes seriously our responsibility to report laboratory data to public health authorities in a timely manner to aid pandemic response," the company said in a statement. "Due to a technical issue, our reporting of a subset of public health COVID-19 test data to the Florida Department of Health was delayed. ...

"We apologize for this matter and regret the challenge it poses for public health authorities in Florida. The issue has since been resolved. Importantly, the issue did not affect or delay reporting of test results to providers and patients."

DeSantis, during a round-table on nursing homes, said there are options to direct more business to other labs, including smaller ones.

“There’s a lot of these companies that are making huge, huge amounts of money,” he said. “The problem is when you’re sloppy with it, it ends up impacting people's lives.”

On Aug. 12, the state announced a backlog of tests from Niznik Lab Corp. in Miami Gardens. It skewed the positivity rate, mainly in Miami-Dade County.

On Monday, the state reported 1,885 positive cases, the lowest since 1,758 on June 15.

Florida's cases have been under 3,000 for only four times since late June, including 2,583 on Sunday. In all the cases had been under 5,000 for 16 days in a row.

The data dumping did not affect the death data.

Monday's death increase was 68 after Sunday's 14, which was the lowest since 12 on June 22. Saturday's rise was 148 after trending down for four days: 183 Tuesday, 153 Wednesday, 135 Thursday, 89 Friday. Deaths traditionally are lower from weekend data,.

Palm Beach County's death total rose by 9 to 1,128, second highest in the state behind Miami-Dade and ahead of Broward, after 2 deaths were reported Monday.

On the Treasure Coast, St. Lucie increased by 1 to 236, Indian River rose by 4 to 102 and Martin stayed at 118. Okeechobee remained at 15 after reporting its first two deaths on July 25.

Broward climbed by 3.

In South Florida, there were 117 of the 187 deaths, 62.6 percent, for a total of 5,323 at 46.8 percent though the population only comprises 30 percent.

Pinellas rose by 5 to 663 deaths in fourth place and Hillsborough remained at 551 in fifth place. Polk climbed by 4 to 447 in sixth and Lee increased by 3 to 426.

Florida is in fifth place in the United States with 11,374 deaths, and nonresident deaths increased by 3 to 147 for a total of 11,521. On June 16, Florida was in 11th place in the nation.

Texas is in fourth place with the addition of 145 deaths Tuesday after a state-record 324 on Aug. 11, for a total of 12,681. California reported 85 new deaths and is in third place overall with 13,018.

Florida's cases had been under 3,000 for only four times since late June. In all the cases have been under 5,000 for 16 days in a row.

Palm Beach County's daily cases increased by 422 after 100 the day before.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 364 compared with 85 the day before. The state reported Tuesday there are currently 3,624 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is 369 less than the day before.


Deaths in the state have accelerated over nearly six months since the first fatalities were announced on March 6. It took 49 days for the death toll to reach the first 1,000 yet it was only 40 days to more than double with an increase of 6,000. The average number of deaths per day in Florida is 64.

The last time deaths were more than 200 was 212 on Aug. 18. The state record was 276 on Aug. 11.

State and county increases represent fatalities received by the state Monday 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: 185 on Aug. 5.

In a state list of cases and deaths released Tuesday, it reported 189 deaths from the previous report with 2 remove removed after further determining a cause of death for a net increase of 187.

Deaths rose by `794 in the state over seven days (a daily average of 113) for 7.5 percent, a figure tally that had been more than 1,200 deaths recently. Two months ago the one-week figure was in the mid 200s. Palm Beach County rose by 62 for 5.8 percent. The U.S. figure is 3.6 percent with the world at 4.6 percent.

Miami-Dade climbed to 2,537, which is 260 more in one week. Broward increased to 1,187 with a rise of 40 in one week. Indian River has risen by 15 deaths in one week compared with St. Lucie climbing by 12 deaths, Martin by 6 and Okeechobee by 2.

Palm Beach County's death count is higher than 22 states, including Iowa's 1,123 after reporting 7 Tuesday. Wisconsin is 2 ahead of Florida with 1,130, reporting 8 new deaths.

The state on Tuesday identified 9 deaths in Palm Beach County: 6 women (60, 64, 82, 89, 88, 92) and 3 men (71, 72, 94). Indian River reported 2 men (70, 85) and 2 women (92, 93). St. Lucie's newly report death was a 66-year-old woman.


Since the first two cases were announced on March 1, Florida's total has surged to 2.9 percent of the state's 21.48 million population with 631,040, second in the nation. The average over six months is 3,430 per day.

In one week, cases have risen by 25,538, which average 3,648 per day, at 4.2 percent, a percentage that has been steadily decreasing.

Cases passed 600,000 Aug. 23 and 500,000 on Aug. 5.

California has the most cases in the U.S. at 707,797 with the addition of 3,712, the third most in the U.S. on Tuesday. Texas had the second-most new cases, 4,116 and is third overall with 617,333. New York, which was the leader during much of the pandemic, is in fourth at 435,510 with 754 more.

Florida's cases had been under 3,000 for only four times since late June. The last time cases were under 2,000 was June 15 with 1,758.

Florida's daily case increases have been below 10,000 since July 26 when they climbed by 12,199. Early in the pandemic, case were under 1,000 with the last one of three digits 966 on June 8.

The cases record was 15,300 was July 5 – the highest daily figure ever in the United States.

In Palm Beach County, new cases have been much lower since the record 1,171 July 5. The total now is 42,387, including residents and nonresidents.

Miami-Dade's cases were 2,149 compared with 371 and Broward's increase was 1,124 vs. 171. In the Treasure Coast area, the rise over one day was 128 in St. Lucie, 36 in Martin, 23 in Indian River and 9 in Okeechobee.


Florida's total number of people tested is 4,682,883, fourth in the nation, behind No. 1 New York, No. 2 California and No. 3 Texas. That Florida figure is 21.4 percent of Florida's population.

The overall positive rate was 13.48 percent compared with 13.49 the day before.

The daily rate at one time was around 2-3 percent. The two-week high was 11.35 on Aug. 24 and the record is 20.71 percent on July 8.

The record test total was 142,964 July 11.

In Palm Beach County, the last time the first-time rate has been above 10.0 percent was 10.2 percent on Aug. 4.

Miami-Dade's rate was 9.59 percent (8.02 without Quest data) after going under 7 percent for the second time in two weeks, at 6.54 after 6.62, and 6 days in a row under 8 percent. The highest was 26.4 on July 8.

Broward's rate was 6.6 percent (5.18 without Quest) after going under 5 percent for four successive days: 4.77, then 4.21 then 4.18, 4.47 and most recently 4.19, and a two-week high of 7.55 on Aug. 17.

Elsewhere, St. Lucie's rate was 6.55 percent (4.26 without Quest) after a two-week low of 3.19 percent and 3.97 in back-to-back days with the high 13.98 last Monday. Martin's rate dropped from 9.18 percent to 6.65 (6.55 without Quest) with a two-week low of 4.40 on Aug. 23. Indian River's rate was 4 percent on 552 negative tests (3.77 without Quest) after a two-week low of 1.28 on 154 negative tests and three other times under 2 percent with the high 6.78 on Aug. 24. Okeechobee's rate was 13.04 percent on 40 negative days (14.29 without Quest) one day after 14.81 percent on 23 negative tests and a two-week high of 11.96 Aug. 22 on 81 negative tests and 0 percent Aug. 23 on 28 tests.

Palm Beach County has 42,387 cases out of 328,572 total tested for 12.9 percent overall, not including those awaiting tests and inconclusive.

Miami-Dade leads with 156,910 positive cases out of 811,036 tested for 19.35 percent, and Broward is second with 72,245 cases and 512,101 tested for 14.11 percentage.

In Martin County, it's 4,533 of 31,244 for 14.51 percent. In St. Lucie, it's 71,20 out of 52,413 for 13.58 percent, Indian River with 2,858 of 31,151for 9.17 percent and Okeechobee 1,248 of 9,920 for 12.58 percent.

Mortality rate

The mortality rate compares positive cases against deaths.

The state's rate is 1.8 percent for all deaths and cases, including nonresidents, compared with 3.0 percent in the United States and 3.3 percent worldwide, which passed 860,000 deaths and neared 25.9 million cases Tuesday.

Palm Beach County's rate was 2.7 percent, compared with Broward at 1.7 percent and Miami-Dade with 1.6 percent. With much fewer deaths, the mortality rate is 3.3 percent in St. Lucie, 2.6 percent in Martin, 3.6 percent in Indian River and 1.2 percent in Okeechobee.

Florida has 530 deaths per 1 million people compared with the U.S. average of 571 per million. New York, which represents 17.5 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,698 per million. Worldwide, the figure is 110.4 per million.

Age breakdown

The median age for all deaths in Florida is 79.

Four deaths are among youths 14 and under: a 6-year-old from Hillsborough, a 9-year-year old from Putnam and two 11-year-olds, a boy in Miami-Dade and a girl in Broward.

Four other juveniles are among the 27 deaths in the 15-24 class: a 16-year-old girl in Miami-Dade, a 16-year-old girl in Lee, a 17-year-old boy in Pasco and a 17-year-old boy in Manatee.

The two classes had no additions.

Seventy-five people from 25 to 34 also have died from the virus, with no changes.

A total of 3,657 people 85 and older have died in the state from the virus, an increase of 59 in one day.

Ninety-three percent of the fatalities are 55 and older and 61 percent are 75 and older. A smaller percentage of older people have tested positive – 28 percent age 55 and older and 7 percent 75 and older.

At the other end of the age spectrum, there are 10,645 10,528 cases of infants to 4 years old, an increase of 117, and 245 were hospitalized, which rose by 1. From ages 5-14, there are 25,839, an increase of 339 with 220 in the hospital at one time, with an addition of 1.

From the infant to 54 age group, 449,083 of the 624,116 residents tested. In that group, 791 have died, with an increase of 10, for a 0.18 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 530,779 cases. A total of 2,014 have died, an increase of 32, for a 0.38 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities with 10,576, with an increase of 105. Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, rose 70 to 7,373 followed by Boca Raton at 5,850 up from 5,740, Boynton Beach at 3,771 from 3,749 and Delray Beach at 2,900 vs. 2,873 A total of 940 in the county not designated by a city.

Port St. Lucie leads the Treasure Coast with 4,180, an increase of 80 followed by Fort Pierce at 2,55, up 36, and Stuart with 2,127, which was an increase of 13.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, increased by 3 to 397 compared with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 38,859 people in the state have been hospitalized, a rise from 37,038 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

The number is 3,354 in Palm Beach County, an increase of 15 compared with 7 the day before; 379 in Martin, which increased by 1; 468 in St. Lucie with a rise of 4, Indian River went up by 2 to 256 and Okeechobee went from 132 to 135.

Long-term care

Forty-two percent of the deaths, 4,759 are residents and staff of long-term care, including 485 in Palm Beach County, which is second most in the state behind 714 in Miami-Dade. The state increase was 57 and in Palm Beach County it rose by 5.


Since the first death was reported six months ago on Feb. 29, the toll has risen to 188,900, an increase of 1,164 on Tuesday, according to

Johns Hopkins reports 184,629, a gain of 1,032.

Cases reached 6,257,571 with an increase of 41,979, according to They have exceeded 70,000 seven times, including a record 78,446 on July 24 and the last time was July 31.

Last Tuesday in the U.S., there were 1,290 more deaths and 40,170 more cases.

The one week U.S. death increase was 6,636 at 3.6 percent.

New York has the most deaths in the nation at 33,039, with 9 reported, after a high of 799 in April.

Among other states in the top 10 for deaths: No. 2 New Jersey 5, No. 6 Massachusetts 4, No. 7 Illinois 38, No. 8 Pennsylvania `17, No. 9 Michigan 14, No. 10 Georgia 101.

Also, No. 11 Arizona reported 14 new deaths as well as 507 additional cases. No. 23 Washington, the original epicenter in the United States, reported 16 deaths.


The U.S. represented 19.8 percent of the 5,877 additional deaths Tuesday and 22.0 percent of the world total though its population is only 4.3 percent of the global total. The one week world death increase was 37,738 at 4.6 percent.

Last Tuesday's death increase was 6,053

Cases increased by 259,328, behind a record 289,648 on July 24.

Brazil, which is second behind the United States for deaths, reported a world-high 1,166 deaths, just 2 more than the U.S., to rise to 122,681. Brazil's record is 1,554 on July 29. The nation added 41,889 cases for a total of 3,952,790 and only behind the U.S.

India reported 819 additional deaths to rise to 65,288 and in third place. The Asian nation also reported 78,512 cases, slightly below the record 78,761 the day before for a third-place total of 3,621,245, behind the U.S. and Brazil.

Mexico reported 827 more deaths late Tuesday compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 65,241, just 47 from India, in fourth place.

Four European nations are in the top 10. The United Kingdom reported 3 additional deaths for 41,504 in fifth place with the record daily high 1,172. No. 6 Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter and reached 919 in one day, reported 8 deaths. No. 7 France reported 26 deaths and No. 8 Spain 58 deaths, plus 8,115 cases, which is the highest since 8,471 on March 23.

No. 9 Peru gained 124 deaths and No. 10 Iran had 01.

Russia is in fourth place in the world in cases, passing 1 million with 1,000,048 including an additional 4,729. The nation gained 123 deaths and is in 12th.

No. 17 Canada reported 6 deaths to rise to 9,132, as well as 477 cases.

Sweden, which has been doing "herd immunity," reported 5 deaths and has 5,813 total. Neighboring Norway announced zero deaths for the 12th day in a row to remain at 264 deaths, as well as 89 more cases.

No. 28 China, the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26, and added `8 cases Wednesday.

Japan reported 17 deaths for a total of 1,296 Tuesday. In one month there have been 185 deaths.