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State's daily positivity rate drops to 7.09%; deaths up 106, cases rise 4,311

First-time cases rate is even lower, 4.89; Palm Beach County at 4.12%
Posted at 11:45 AM, Aug 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-23 00:23:12-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's daily positive testing rates dropped dramatically to the lowest percentages since early June, 7.09 for all results and 4.89 for first-time cases, as the death increase subsided to 106 and cases remained steady at 4,311, the Florida Department of Health announced Saturday.

On Friday, the death increase was 119, and the cases rose by 4,684.

Total daily tests have remained under 100,000 for more than two weeks with the latest, 98,633. The daily positivity rate of tests received from labs Friday was much less than the previous rates of 9.98 for 77,177 tests and 9.77 for 79,257 tests when it was the first time in two weeks it was below the target 10 percent.

The first-time cases positivity has been under 8 percent five days in a row: 6.81 Thursday after 6.74, 7.04, 7.88.

In Palm Beach County, the first-time positivity rate also dropped significantly to 4.12 percent after three days under 6: 5.64, then 5.10 and 5.24. The rate has been under 8 percent for all but one day over two weeks, 8.8 percent on Aug. 10. The number of negative tests reported Friday was 5,239 with people who previously tested positive excluded.

The county daily cases increased by 230 compared with 271 the day before. The death toll rose by 11 to 1,059, including the youngest in the county, a 20-year-old man, after 9 the day before in third place behind Broward.

St. Lucie County increased by 2 to 214 as Indian River went up by a record 6 to 78 and Martin remained at 112. Okeechobee increased with the death of a 82-year-old woman to 13 after 12 days in a row of no increases.

Broward increased by 20 and Miami-Dade rose by 19 deaths.

In South Florida, there were 59 of the 106 deaths – 51.4 percent – for a total of 4,802 at 46.7 percent though the population only comprises 30 percent.

Florida is in fifth place in the United States with 10,274 deaths, and nonresident deaths rose by 1 to 137 for a total of 10,411. On June 16, Florida was in 11th place in the nation.

Texas is in fourth place with the addition of a U.S.-high 215 deaths Saturday after a state-record 324 on Aug. 11, for a total of 11,266. California reported 167 new deaths, which was the second most, and is in third place overall with 11,988.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 332 compared with 347 the day before.


The first two deaths were announced on March 6. It wasn't until April 24 the toll surpassed 1,000.

For four days in a row, deaths have been under 200 with Thursday's fatalities 117 and Wednesday's 174.

Tuesday's death increase of 212 was the ninth time they surpassed 200. The state record was 276 on Tuesday, Aug. 11. The previous record was 257 on July 31. Last Saturday's rise was 204. Others in the 200s were 228, 212, 225, 245, 252, 216.

The deaths from the weekend were lower: 87 Monday and 107 Sunday.

State and county increases represent fatalities received by the state Friday 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. So far, the most deaths occurred on July 25 with 180

In the state report Saturday it reported 108 deaths but 2 removed after further determining a cause of death for a net increase of 106.

Pinellas rose by 4 to 595 deaths in fourth place and Hillsborough remained at 519 in fifth place. Polk rose by 5 to 404 in sixth and Lee increased by 1 to 398.

Deaths rose by `929 in the state over seven days (a daily average of 133) for 10.0 percent, a figure that had been more than 1,200 recently. Two months ago the one-week figure was in the mid 200s. Palm Beach County rose by 70 for 7.1 percent. The U.S. figure is 4.1 percent with the world at 5.1 percent.

Miami-Dade climbed to 2,238, which is 191 more in one week. Broward increased to 1,088 with a rise of 148 in one week.

Palm Beach County's death count is higher than 22 states, including Iowa's 1,031 after reporting 9 Saturday and Rhode Island's 1,030 with no data reported.

The state on Saturday identified 11 deaths from Palm Beach County: 6 women, including a `second 103-year-old woman as well as ones 88, 89, 89, 89, 98, and 5 men (20, 66, 76, 90, 95). Indian River's increases were 6 women, including the oldest in the county, 101, as well as ones 64, 88, 89, 91, 92. St. Lucie reported an 82-year-old man and a 91-year-old woman.


Since the first two cases were announced on March 1, Florida's total has surged to 2.8 percent of the state's 21.48 million population with 597,597, second in the nation.

In one week, cases have risen by 27,960 at 4.9 percent, a percentage that has been steadily decreasing.

Seventeen days ago, Florida became the second state to pass 500,000 cases.

California has the most cases in the U.S. at 656,892 with the addition of 6,556, most in the U.S. on Saturday. Texas had the second-most new cases, 4,943 and is third overall with 573,139. New York, which was the leader during much of the pandemic, is in fourth at 429,165 with 653 more.

Florida's daily case increases have been below 10,000 since July 26 when they climbed by 12,199.

For the past week, the state's cases have been below 5,000: 3,779 Sunday, 2,678 Monday, 3,858 Tuesday, 4,115 Wednesday, 4,555 Thursday. The last time cases were lower were 2,610 on June 17 and 1,758 on June 15.

Cases in Florida had stayed below 2,000 until June 13 with 2,581 and they often 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. The second highest is 13,965 on July 16.

In Palm Beach County, new cases have been much lower since the record 1,171 July 5. The total now is 40,387 including residents and nonresidents.

Miami-Dade's cases dipped to three digits, 909, for the first time in several weeks ago compared with 1,243 the day before. Broward's increase was 339 vs. 474. In the Treasure Coast area, the rise over one day was 40 in St. Lucie, 21 in Martin, 15 in Indian River and 12 in Okeechobee.


Florida's total now is 4,408,611 fourth in the nation, behind No. 1 New York, No. 2 California and No. 3 Texas. That Florida figure is 20.5 percent of Florida's population, though some people tested more than once.

The overall positive rate was 13.56 percent Saturday, which was the same as Friday.

The daily rate at one time was around 2-3 percent but has risen to 7.09. The two-week high was 16.44 on Aug. 11. The record is 20.71 percent on July 8 when there were 51,686 tests.

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. The two week high was 8.80 on Aug. 10.

Miami-Dade's figure also dropped significantly to 6,76 after three days under 10 percent the only time in two weeks, 9.72, then 9.63, 9.56. The highest was 26.4 on July 8. In Broward, the percentage was 4.74 compared with 6.59 the day before.

Elsewhere, St. Lucie's rate dropped to a two-week low of 3.65 after four days under 8: 6.64, then 6.77, 7.77, 7.88. Those numbers are much lower than 15.9 last Saturday and 14.2 Sunday. Martin dropped to 4.53 from 8.89 with a 14-day low of 2.59 on Aug. 14. Indian River's 2.00 was a two-week low after 5.78 the day before though the previous four days were under 4. Okeechobee's rate was 5.29 among 197 negative tests after a two-week low of 1.79 on only 338 tests and a high of 30.2 on Aug. 6 among only 60 positive tests.

Palm Beach County has 40,387 cases out of 306,049 total tested for 13.2 percent overall, not including those awaiting tests and inconclusive. Anything 10.0 percent and above is considered out of "target range" by the health department.

Miami-Dade leads with 151,214 positive cases out of 775,595 tested for 19.5 percent, and Broward is second with 68,891 cases and 481,166 tested for 14.32 percentage.

In Martin County, it's 4,067 of 27449 for 14.82 percent. In St. Lucie, it's 6,585 out of 47,682 for 13.81 percent, Indian River with 2,736 of 29,425 for 9.3 percent and Okeechobee 1,195 of 9,547 for 12.5 percent.

Mortality rate

The mortality rate compares positive cases against deaths.

It is 1.7 percent in the state for all deaths and cases, including nonresidents, compared with 3.1 percent in the United States and 3.5 percent worldwide, which neared 808,000 deaths and neared 23.4 million cases Saturday.

Palm Beach County's rate was 2.6 percent, compared with Broward at 1.6 percent and Miami-Dade with 1.5 percent. With much fewer deaths, the mortality rate is 3.3 percent in St. Lucie, 2.8 percent in Martin, 2.9 percent in Indian River and 1.1 percent in Okeechobee.

Florida has 479 deaths per 1 million people compared with the U.S. average of 544 per million. New York, which represents 18.3 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,694 per million. Worldwide, the figure is 103.7 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, among 4 in the 5-14 age class.

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 additions in the age group were the 20-year-old man from Palm Beach County and a 23-year-old man from Osceola. The previous youngest in Palm Beach County was a 22-year-old woman.

Sixty-nine people from 25 to 34 also have died from the virus, which was no change.

A total of 3,321 people 85 and older have died in the state from the virus, an increase of 38in 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 10,064 cases of infants to 4 years old, an increase of 72, and 233 were hospitalized, which was an increase of 3. From ages 5-14, there are 24,137, an increase of 244 with 203 in the hospital at one time, which rose by 1.

From the infant to 54 age group, 426,743 of the 591,283residents tested. In that group, 736 have died, an increase of 9, for a 0.17 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 500,435 cases. A total of 1,835 have died, an increase of 22, for a 0.36 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities with 10,008, an increase of 57. Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, rose 36 to 7,031, followed by Boca Raton at 5,507, up from 5,477, Boynton Beach at 3,611 from 3,593 and Delray Beach at 2,754 vs. 2,725. A total of 866 in the county not designated by a city.

Port St. Lucie leads the Treasure Coast with 3,859, an increase of 25 followed by Fort Pierce at 2,394 up 13, and Stuart with 1,939, which was an increase of 7.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, increased by 1 to 385 compared with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 36,329 people in the state have been hospitalized, a rise from 33,928 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

The number is 3,150 in Palm Beach County, an increase of 21 compared with 15 the day before; 366 in Martin, which was an increase of 1; 421 in St. Lucie with a rise of 6, Indian River increased by 4 to 239 and Okeechobee went from 123 to 124.

Long-term care

Forty-two percent of the deaths, 4,325 are residents and staff of long-term care, including 446 in Palm Beach County, which is second most in the state behind 673 in Miami-Dade. The state increase was 49 and in Palm Beach County it went up by 7.


Since the first death was reported five months ago on Feb. 29, the toll has risen to 180,174, an increase of 974 on Saturday, according to It was the first time the figure was three digits other than from weekend data on Sunday and Monday when it was 926 on July 25.

Johns Hopkins reports 176,345, a gain of 982.

Cases reached 5,841,428 with an increase of 43,829, according to They have exceeded 70,000 seven times, including a record 78,446 on July 24.

Last Saturday in the U.S., there were 1,108 more deaths and 53,580more cases.

The one week U.S. death increase was 7,017 at 4.1 percent.

New York has the most deaths in the nation at 32,950, with 13 reported Saturday, after a high of 799 in April.

Among other states in the top 10 for deaths: No. 2 New Jersey 1, No. 6 Massachusetts 20, No. 7 Illinois 17, No. 8 Pennsylvania 13, No. 9 Michigan 21, No. 10 Georgia 94.

No. 11 Arizona reported 68 deaths and 996 cases. No. 23 Washington, the original epicenter in the United States, had 7.


The U.S. represented 18.2 percent of the 5,343 additional deaths Saturday and 22.3 percent of the world total though its population is only 4.3 percent of the global total. The one week world death increase was 39,632 at 5.2 percent.

Last Saturday's death increase was 5,482.

Cases increased by 261,622, behind a record 289,648 on July 24.

Brazil, which is second behind the United States for deaths, reported 823 after a record 1,554 on July 29 at 113,454. Brazil added 46,210 cases for a total of 3,582,698 and only behind the U.S.

Mexico reported 644 more deaths late Saturday compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 556,216 in third place.

India added 918 deaths to rise to 56,846 in fourth place. The Asian nation also reported a record 70,068 cases for a third-place total of 3,043,436, behind the U.S. and Brazil.

Four European nations are in the top 10. The United Kingdom reported an additional 18 deaths for 41,423 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 3 deaths. No. 7 France added 9 and No. 8 Spain reported no data.

No. 9 Peru gained 208 and No. 10 Iran had 126.

Russia is in fourth place in the world in cases with 951,897, including an additional 4,921. The nation gained 112 deaths and is in 12th.

No. 17 Canada reported 7 deaths to rise to 9,071, as well as 257 cases.

Sweden, which has been doing "herd immunity," reported no data Saturday and has 5,810 deaths. Neighboring Norway announced zero deaths for the second day in a row to remain at 264 deaths, as well as 24 more cases.

No. 27 China, the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26 and added 12 cases Sunday.

Japan reported 14 deaths for a total of 1,169 Saturday.