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State's new cases surge by 5,557, deaths subside to 57 but toll rises to fourth in nation

First-time daily positivity rate drops to 5.62% in state, Palm Beach County up to 5.58%
Posted at 12:26 PM, Oct 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 23:54:29-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida coronavirus cases increased by 5,557, among the most in two months, as additional deaths diminished to 57, including a net decrease in Palm Beach County, but the toll moved into fourth overall in the nation, the state Health Department announced Thursday. Also, as testing surged, Florida's daily first-time rate declined dramatically from 6.73 percent to 5.62 but the county rose to 5.58 percent from 4.54.

Thursday's data release was around the normal time of 11 a.m. one day after information wasn't out until 5 p.m. when 2,145 additional cases and 105 deaths were reported.

New cases were the most since 6,352 on Aug. 15, not including two days worth of data on Oct. 11 and 7,569 for one day on Sept. 1, which were both because of infection dumps.

Last Thursday's new cases were 3,356. Since August, cases only once before exceeded 4,000 on Saturday with 4,044 except for the two days involving data dumps. Infections dropped to 2,539 Sunday and then to 1,707 Monday.

Although infections in Florida are trending upward like in most other states in the nation, new cases are exponentially lower than its U.S. daily high of 15,300 in July.

On Monday, Sept. 29, the 738 cases were fewest since June 2 when there were 617 additional infections. Then, they increased to 3,266 on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Palm Beach County's deaths had a reduction of 4 to 1,549, which is second to Miami-Dade and ahead of Broward. The state sometimes deletes fatalities after determining they weren't caused by COVID-19. On Wednesday, the net death increase was 43, surpassing the previous record increase of 27 on Aug. 7. Twenty-nine of those Palm Beach County's deaths were residents of long-term care facilities.

On the Treasure Coast, St. Lucie rose by 2 to 323, Martin decreased by 1 to 163 and Indian River stayed at 123. Okeechobee remained at 37 deaths with its first two fatalities on July 25.

Broward also didn't change and Miami-Dade rose by 13.

With a net increase of 10 deaths in South Florida of the 57 state total, which is 17.5 percent, there are 7,299, which is 44.9 percent of the state figure though the population only comprises 30 percent.

On Monday, Florida became the fifth state in the nation to pass 16,000 deaths among residents with an increase of 54. Since the first two deaths were announced on March 6, which is 230 days, the death toll has reached 16,267, which is 4 more than New Jersey and in fourth place, for an average of 71 per day. Florida's total including nonresidents is 16,470, which remained at 203.

Wednesday's increase was 105 and last Thursday's was 141, the last time deaths were in triple digits.

Florida's first-time daily infection rate of tests reported to labs Wednesday decreased by more than 1 percentage point in a day that was the highest since 6.8 percent on Sept. 21, not including 7.87 on Oct. 9 when there was the data dump. The two-week low was 4.11 on Oct. 8. Palm Beach County's rate was a two-week high and more than 1 percentage point above one day ago. Two days ago the 5.46 percent was the highest since 6.8 percent on Sept. 21, which also was the last time it wasn't below 5 percent, not including 8.69 from the data dump. The two-week low was 1.92 on Oct. 11, which was the smallest since 1.5 percent on May 19.

The state's total daily positivity rate for all tests decreased to 6.97 percent on a two-week high of 98,647 tests received Wednesday from 8.03 percent on 34,718 tests. That percentage the day before tied for the highest on Sept. 4 not counting the data dump on Oct. 9 of 9.23 percent. The two week low was 4.42 Oct. 10. Only 20,987 tests were reported Sept. 27 and the record test total was 142,964 July 11.

In one week cases have risen by 23,103 for an average of 3,300 at 3.1percent. The previous week they rose by 18,975, which averages 2,710 per day.

The number of deaths over one week is 531, an average of 76, compared with 668 the previous week.

The one-day increase of 164 Thursday, Oct. 8 was the most since 174 on Wednesday, Sept. 30. The record was 276 deaths on Tuesday, Aug. 11.

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: 66 on Sept. 23.

The state report Thursday identified 38 deaths, including none in Palm Beach County, with 19 previously reported cases added as fatalities for a net increase of 57.

Florida's total of 768,091 cases is around 9 percent of the total infections in the U.S. though the state only comprises 6.5 percent of the population.

On Sunday, Sept. 27, cases passed 700,000 after surpassing 600,000 more than one month ago, Aug. 23.

Palm Beach County's daily cases increased by 379 one day after 102. On Sept. 28, the rise was 27.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 137 compared with 227 the day before. The state reported Thursday there are currently 2,071 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is 54 less than Wednesday.


Since June 16, Florida has climbed seven spots from 11th place in the nation.

Texas is in second place with the addition of 85 after a state-record 324 on Aug. 11, for a total of 17,286. California reported a U.S.-high 162 and is in third place with 17,189, which is 97 behind Texas. New Jersey, which had been second throughout the pandemic, is in fourth place with 16,263, adding 18 fatalities.

It took 12 days for Florida's death toll to go from 15,000 milestone to 16,000, the same to surpass that figure Oct. 7, but nine days to surpass 14,000 and eight to go past 12,000. 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. Nearly three months ago, July 20, there were 5,075 deaths.

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 increased by 77 deaths over seven days for 5.2 percent. The U.S. figure is 2.4 percent with the world at 3.6 percent.

Miami-Dade rose to 3,585 with 84 more in seven days. Broward remained at 1,519 with an increase of 27. St. Lucie has gone up by 12 deaths compared with Martin by 11, Indian River by 2 and Okeechobee by none.

Palm Beach County's death count is higher than 20 states, including Kentucky's 1,380 with 17 added Thursday.

Pinellas increased by 7 to 812 deaths in fourth place and Hillsborough remained at 755 in fifth place, Polk stayed at 593 in sixth, Orange decreased by 1 to 532 in seventh and Lee rose by 1 to 500.

The state report Thursday identified in St. Lucie a 75-year-old woman and a 78-year-old man.


Since the first two cases were announced on March 1, Florida's total has surged to 3.6 percent of the state's 21.48 million population with 768,091, third in the nation and sixth in cases per million. The average over 234 days is 3,259 per day.

California has the most cases in the U.S. at 880,729 with 2,940 more Thursday. Texas had a U.S.-high 5,917 and is second overall with 845,100. New York, which was the leader during much of the pandemic, is in fourth at 490,134 with an additional 1,628. Illinois reported 4,942 cases in fifth overall and Wisconsin had 3,413, two days after a state-record 4,591 new cases and is in 13th overall.

In Palm Beach County, new cases have been much lower since the record 1,171 July 5. The total now is 49,759, including residents and nonresidents.

Miami-Dade's cases were 853 compared with 358 the day before and Broward's increase was 546 vs. 167. In the Treasure Coast area, the rise over one day was Martin 26 vs. 6 the day before, St. Lucie 53 vs. 37, Indian River 31 vs. 14 and Okeechobee 12 vs. 3.


Florida's total number of people tested is 5,829,220, which is 27.1 percent of the state's population behind No. 1 California, No. 2 New York, No. 3 Texas and No. 4 Illinois. Florida is eighth lowest in the nation in tests per million at 271,408.

The overall Florida positive rate remained at 13.18 percent from the day before.

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 a two-week high of 5.19, not including the data dump, compared with 5.15 the day before and a two-week low of 4.07 on Oct. 8. The rate hit 26.4 on July 8. Broward's rate was 4.91 percent after a two-week high of 5.85 and a two-week low of 2.28 on Oct. 11.

Elsewhere, St. Lucie's rate was 4.92 percent after a two-week high of 9.32 and a low of 2.36 Oct. 8 not including the data dump. Martin's rate was 3.75 percent after 4.69, a two-week low of 1.03 four days ago and a two-week high of 7.1 percent five days ago. Indian River's rate was 4.69 percent after 4.31, a two-week high of 6.48 four days ago and a two-week low of 2.07 on Oct. 12, not including the data dump. Okeechobee's rate was 5.02 percent on 227 tests after 8.0 on 46 negative tests, a two-week high of 15.66 on 70 tests two days ago not including the data dump and zero on 22 tests Oct. 11.

Palm Beach County has 49,759 cases out of 403,509 total tested for 12.33 percent overall, not including those awaiting tests and inconclusive.

Miami-Dade leads with 180,497 positive cases out of 1,006,294 tested for 17.94 percentage, and Broward is second with 82,250 cases and 625,417 tested for 13.15 percentage.

In Martin County, it's 5,227 of 41,180 for 12.69 percent. In St. Lucie, it's 8,753 out of 69,255 for 12.64 percent, Indian River with 3,614 of 40,876 for 8.84 percent and Okeechobee 1,695 of 11,996 for 14.13 percent.

Mortality rate

The mortality rate compares positive cases against deaths.

The state's rate was 2.1 percent for all deaths and cases, including nonresidents, a drop of one-tenth of 1 percent compared with 2.7 percent in the United States and 2.7 percent worldwide, which neared 1,143,000 deaths and neared 42.0 million cases Thursday, according to

Palm Beach County's rate is 3.1 percent, a drop of 0.1 compared with Broward at 1.9 percent and Miami-Dade with 2.0 percent. With much fewer deaths, the mortality rate is 3.7 percent in St. Lucie, 3.1 in Martin (down 0.1), 3.4 percent in Indian River (down 0.1) and Okeechobee 2.2 percent, which is the highest ever.

Florida has 758 deaths per 1 million people, which ranks 10th in the nation compared with the U.S. average of 690 per million. New York, which represents 15.0 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,724 per million. Worldwide, the figure is 146.5 per million.

Age breakdown

Five deaths are among youths 14 and under, a 6-year-old from Hillsborough, a 9-year-year old from Putnam, two 11-year-olds, a boy in Miami-Dade and a girl in Broward, as well as a 12-year-girl from Duval.

Four other juveniles are among the 31 deaths in the 15-24 class, including 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. This class didn't change.

Ninety-seven people from 25 to 34 also have died from the virus with no change.

A total of 5,197 people 85 and older have died in the state from the virus, an increase of 13 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 12,837 cases of infants to 4 years old, an increase of 77, and 311 were hospitalized, which went up by 1. From ages 5-14, there are 33,100, an increase of 285, with 290 in the hospital at one time, which increased by 1.

From the infant to 54 age group, there are 546,707 of the 758,306 residents' cases. In that group, 1,077 have died, with an increase of 2, for a 0.20 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 640,520 cases. A total of 2,872 have died, an increase of 14 for a 0.45 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities with 12,066 with an increase of 76. Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, increased by 39 to 8,224, followed by Boca Raton at 7,458 up from 7,390, Boynton Beach went to 4,390 from 4,358 and Delray Beach at 3,398 vs. 3,372. A total of 1,372 in the county not designated by a city. In addition, the list of cities includes separate listings of misspellings and miscoded counties.

Port St. Lucie leads the Treasure Coast with 5,163, an increase of 30, followed by Fort Pierce at 2,979, up 17, and Stuart with 2,417, which rose by 8.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, rose by 3 to 427 compared with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 47,756 people in the state have been hospitalized, a rise from 46,693 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

The number is 4,056 in Palm Beach County, with an increase of 13 compared with 32 the day before. Martin went up by 1 to 417, St. Lucie by 1 to 758, Indian River stayed at 328 and Okeechobee remained at 191.

Long-term care

Forty-one percent of the deaths, 6,591 are residents and staff of long-term care, including 704 in Palm Beach County, which is second most in the state behind 839 in Miami-Dade. The state increase was 14 and Palm Beach County was reduced by 1.


Since the first death was reported six months ago on Feb. 29, the national toll has risen to 223,000, a rise of a world-high 824, according to Johns Hopkins. has tabulated 228,381 deaths with an increase of 973.

Cases rose to 8,404,743, including 68,712 Thursday. Friday's 69,156 was the highest since 71,302 on July 29, according to Hopkins. They have exceeded 70,000 five times, including a record 77,362 on July 16.

Last Thursday in the U.S., there were 904 more deaths and 63,310 cases.

The one week U.S. death increase was 5,308 at 2.4 percent.

New York has the most deaths in the nation at 33,377, with Johns Hopkins reporting 6 more after a high of 799 in April. Hopkins lists confirmed and probable deaths, with the latter not a positive case.

Among other states in the top 10 for deaths: No. 6 Massachusetts 30, No. 7 Illinois 42, No. 8 Pennsylvania 31, No. 9 Georgia 25 and No. 10 Michigan 46.

Also, No. 11 Arizona reported 5 deaths, as well as an additional 994 cases. North Carolina added 50 and is 15th overall. No. 25 Washington, the original epicenter in the United States, reported 3.


The U.S. represented 15.1 percent of 6,464 additional deaths Thursday and 20.0 percent of the world total though its population is only 4.3 percent of the global total.

The one week world death increase was 39,824 at 3.6 percent.

Last Thursday's death increase was 6,112.

Cases increased by a record again, 477,751, one day after the mark of 437,441 and passing 400,000 Friday for the first time, according to The world has been gaining more than 1 million cases every three days.

Brazil has been trending down in deaths and cases. The nation, which is second behind the United States for deaths, reported 503 deaths to rise to 155,962. Brazil's record is 1,554 on July 29. The nation added 31,985 cases at 5,332,634 in third place.

India reported 55,838 new cases compared with a world-record 97,894, for second-place behind the U.S. with 7,706,946. Also, India recorded 702 deaths, behind a national-record 1,299, to rise to 116,166 and in third place.

Mexico announced 479 more deaths late Thursday compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 87,894 in fourth place.

Four European nations are in the top 10 as deaths and cases are surging on the continent, including record fatalities in Spain, Italy and France. The United Kingdom reported 189 deaths with the daily high 1,172 for 44,347 in fifth place, as well as 21,242 cases one day after a record 26,688. No. 6 Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter and reached 919 in one day, reported 137 deaths and a record 16,079 cases. No. 7 Spain reported 155 deaths and a record 20,986 cases. No. 8 France announced 163 deaths as well as a record 41,622 cases, shaking the mark five days ago of 32,427.

No. 9 Peru announced 47 and is 226 behind France. No. 10 Iran reported 304 deaths three days after a record 337 deaths.

Russia is in fourth place in the world in cases with 11,463,306, including 15,971 two days after a record 16,319. The nation gained 290 deaths one day after a record 317 deaths and is in 13th.

No. 21 Canada reported 36 deaths for a total of 9,862 and 3,194 cases after a record 4,042 Oct. 13. Between May 26 and Aug. 30 cases were never more than 1,000.

Sweden, which has been doing "herd immunity" with no lockdown, reported 6 deaths and is at 5,930. Neighboring Norway reported no deaths to remain 279, as well as 161 more cases.

No. 33 China, the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26, added 18 cases Friday.