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State's new coronavirus deaths spike to 202, highest in 13 days; cases up 2,590

State's daily first-time positivity rate drops to 5.3%; Palm Beach County down to 4.36%
Posted at 11:27 AM, Sep 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-24 00:11:43-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's newly reported coronavirus deaths increased by a U.S.-high 202, the largest change in 13 days and more than double from the day before, as cases rose by 2,590, just 120 more than the previous day, and positivity rates declined, the Florida Department of Health announced Wednesday.

The state's first-time daily cases rate decreased from a two-week high of 5.85 percent of all tested to 5.30 and a two-week low of 3.84 Sept. 13 with every day over 14 days under 6 percent. Palm Beach County rate dropped from 6.74 percent, the highest in two weeks, to 4.36 and much higher than 2.96 on Sept. 13. The county's rate has been under 4 percent five times over 14 days.

The state's total daily positivity rate for all tests decreased to 7.21 percent on 54,483 tests reported by labs to the state Tuesday from a two-week high of 7.54 on 44,908. The two-week low was 5.16 percent on Sept. 13. The record test total was 142,964 July 11. In Palm Beach County there were 143 positive tests reported to the state on 3,278 total tested.

The last time at least 200 more deaths were reported deaths was 211 on Sept. 10 after 200 the previous day. Before that, the last 200-plus increase was Aug. 18. The record is 276 on Aug. 11.

Tuesday's rise was 99 after low data from the weekend: 9 reported Sunday and then 21 on Monday. Last Wednesday, the deaths climbed by 152.

Since the first two deaths were announced on March 6, which is 201 days, the death toll has climbed to 13,618 among residents, with an average of 68 per day, and 13,782 including 164 nonresidents, which went up by 1.

On Sept. 9, the death toll passed 12,000 to 12,115 and eight days later passed 13,000 on Thursday,

It took 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. Less than two months ago, July 20, there were 5,075 deaths.

Palm Beach County increased by 22 to 1,308, third highest in the state behind Miami-Dade and Broward, after 9 the previous day but below the record of 27 on Aug. 7. On the Treasure Coast, St. Lucie increased by 2 to 271, Martin rose by 6 to 138, Indian River went up by 2 to 115. Okeechobee went up by 1 to 24 with its first two deaths on July 25.

Broward increased by 15 and Miami-Dade by 42.

In South Florida, there were 90 of the 202 deaths, which is 44.6 percent, for a total of 6,326 at 46.5 percent though the population only comprises 30 percent.

Cases in Florida are much lower than three months ago.

On Tuesday cases rose by 2,470 and Monday cases by 1,685, which was the lowest since 1,371 on June 10. Then, on June 15 they hit 1,758.

The last time cases were above 4,000 was 4,684 on Aug. 22.

Palm Beach County's daily cases increased by 241 after 177 the day before and the previous low 100 two weeks ago.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 170 compared with 228 the day before. The state reported Wednesday there are currently 2,254 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is 75 less than the day before.


Florida is in fifth place in the United States. On June 16, Florida was in 11th place in the nation.

Texas is in fourth place with the addition of 135 deaths Wednesday after a state-record 324 on Aug. 11, for a total of 15,129. California reported 133 new deaths and is in third place overall with 15,204, just 75 ahead of Texas.

State and county increases represent fatalities received by the state Tuesday 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: 106 on Aug. 26.

In a state report Wednesday, 209 deaths were added from the last day's report and 7 removed after determining they weren't related to COVID-19.

Deaths rose by 679 in the state over seven days (a daily average of 97) for 5.4 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 increased by 74 for 6.0 percent. The U.S. figure is 2.6 percent with the world at 3.9 percent.

Miami-Dade rose to 3,127, which is 172 more in one week. Broward increased to 1,343 with a rise of 46 in one week. St. Lucie has risen by 12 deaths in one week compared with Martin by 7, Indian River by 7 and Okeechobee by 2.

Palm Beach County's death count is higher than 23 states, including Iowa's 1,286 after adding 7 Wednesday.

Pinellas increased by 7 to 736 deaths in fourth place and Hillsborough went up by 9 to 614 in fifth place. Polk rose by 2 to 514 in sixth and Lee increased by 2 to 462.

On Wednesday, the state identified 22 deaths in Palm Beach County: 13 men (57, 60, 66, 70, 70, 72, 72, 78, 80 81, 83, 85, 97) and 9 women (67, 67, 74, 79, 81, 89, 90, 98, 98). Martin reported 4 women (54, 71, 89, 95) and 2 men (41, 84). St. Lucie's new deaths were two men (56, 74) and Indian River reported a 76-year-old man and a 105-year-old woman, the oldest death in the county. Okeechobee's death was a 77-year-old man.


Since the first two cases were announced on March 1, Florida's total has surged to 3.2 percent of the state's 21.48 million population with 690,499, third in the nation. The average over 206 days is 3,352 per day.

In one week, cases have risen by 19,298, which averages 2,757 per day, at 2.9 percent.

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

California has the most cases in the U.S. at 787,470 with the addition of a U.S.-high 3,146. Texas had 2,977 second overall with 719,252. New York, which was the leader during much of the pandemic, is in fourth at 451,892 with 665 more.

Florida's daily case increases have been below 10,000 since July 26 when they climbed by 12,199. Early in the pandemic, cases 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 45,743, including residents and nonresidents.

Miami-Dade's cases were 365 compared with 362 and Broward's increase was 202 vs. 143. In the Treasure Coast area, the rise over one day was 27 in Martin, 29 in St. Lucie, 18 in Indian River, 12 in Okeechobee.


Florida's total number of people tested is 5,163,125, which is 24.0 percent of the state's population. behind No. 1 California, No. 2 New York, No. 3 Texas and No. 4 Illinois, which recently surpassed Florida.

The overall Florida positive rate decreased to 13.37 percent from 13.38 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 decreased from 5.51 percent to 5.02 with previously 11 days in a row under the 5 percent threshold, including a two-week low of 3.59 five days ago and a two-week high 5.53 on Sept. 9. The rate hit 26.4 on July 8. Broward's rate for the first time in two weeks rose above 5 percent at 5.17 after 3.49 the day before, a two-week low of 2.34 on Sept. 13 and a high of 3.80 on Sept. 14.

Elsewhere, St. Lucie's rate has been under 5 percent for eight days in a row, including most recently 3.97 after 4.77, a two-week low of 2.4 on Sept. 12 with a two-week high of 7.23 on Sept. 14. Martin's rate was 8.57 percent after 8.26, a two-week low of 1.59 one week ago and a high of 9.84 four days ago. Indian River's rate was 5.29 percent after a two-week high of 5.94, a two-week low of 2.09 on Sept. 11, which was among three days under 3 percent. Okeechobee's rate dropped to 11.57 percent on 107 tests after a two-week high of 36.23 percent on 44 tests and a low of 6.12 on 46 negative tests on Sept. 12.

Palm Beach County has 45,743 cases out of 359,517 total tested for 12.72 percent overall, not including those awaiting tests and inconclusive.

Miami-Dade leads with 167,880 positive cases out of 896,925 tested for 18.72 percent, and Broward is second with 76,146 cases and 555,749 tested for 13.7 percentage.

In Martin County, it's 4,807 of 34,686 for 13.86 percent. In St. Lucie, it's 7,875 out of 59,882 for 13.15 percent, Indian River with 3,129 of 34,918 for 8.96 percent and Okeechobee 1,501 of 10,900 for 13.77 percent.

Mortality rate

The mortality rate compares positive cases against deaths.

The state's rate increased to 2.0 percent for all deaths and cases, including nonresidents, compared with 2.9 percent in the United States and 3.1 percent worldwide, which passed 981,000 deaths and passed 32.0 million cases Wednesday, according to

Palm Beach County's rate was 2.9 percent, compared with Broward at 1.8 percent and Miami-Dade with 1.9 percent. With much fewer deaths, the mortality rate is 3.5 percent in St. Lucie, 2.9 percent in Martin, 3.7 percent in Indian River and 1.6 percent in Okeechobee.

Florida has 625 deaths per 1 million people compared with the U.S. average of 623 per million. New York, which represents 16.5 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,706 per million. Worldwide, the figure is 125.9 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. This class did not change.

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 have any additions.

Ninety people from 25 to 34 also have died from the virus, which went up by 1.

A total of 4,391 people 85 and older have died in the state from the virus, an increase of 49 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 11,657 cases of infants to 4 years old, an increase of 29, and 273 were hospitalized, which went up by 1. From ages 5-14, there are 28,733, an increase of 130 with 248 in the hospital at one time, with 1 more.

From the infant to 54 age group, there are 491,451 of the 682,370 residents' cases. In that group, 921 have died, with an increase of 18, for a 0.19 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 580,199 cases. A total of 2,409 have died, an increase of 51, for a 0.42 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities with 11,252, with an increase of 35. Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, rose by 19 to 7,814 followed by Boca Raton at 6,594 up from 6,563, Boynton Beach at 4,048 from 4,039 and Delray Beach at 3,111 vs. 3107. A total of 1,062 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 4,646, an increase of 16, followed by Fort Pierce at 2,768, up 6, and Stuart with 2,241, which increased by 14.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, remained at 410 compared with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 42,941 people in the state have been hospitalized, a rise from 41,851 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

The number is 3,596 in Palm Beach County, with an increase of 18 compared with 16 the day before; 388 in Martin, which went up by 2; St. Lucie at 647 with an increase of 2, Indian River rose by 4 to 294 and Okeechobee went from 164 to 168.

Long-term care

Forty-one percent of the deaths, 5,503 are residents and staff of long-term care, including 558 in Palm Beach County, which is second most in the state behind 778 in Miami-Dade. The state increase was 44 and Palm Beach County went up by 4.


Since the first death was reported six months ago on Feb. 29, the toll has risen to 201,930, a gain of 1,144, according to Johns Hopkins. Worldometers reported an increase of 1,112 to 206,593.

Cases reached 6,943,071 with an increase of 46,853. They have exceeded 70,000 seven times, including a record 78,446 on July 24 and the last time was July 31.

Last Wednesday in the U.S., there were 982 more deaths and 37,709 cases.

The one week U.S. death increase was 5,167 at 2.6 percent.

New York has the most deaths in the nation at 33,090 with no change Wednesday, after a high of 799 in April.

Among other states in the top 10 for deaths: No. 2 New Jersey 7, No. 6 Massachusetts 19, No. 7 Illinois 22, No. 8 Pennsylvania 25, No. 9 Michigan 16, No. 10 Georgia 96.

Also, No. 11 Arizona reported 27 deaths, as well as an additional 439 cases. Missouri added 83 deaths, which are mostly older ones, according to the state, and moved into No. 23, ahead of Washington, the original epicenter in the United States, adding 11 Wednesday.


The U.S. represented 17.6 percent of the 6,333 additional deaths Wednesday and 21.1 percent of the world total though its population is only 4.3 percent of the global total. The one week world death increase was 36,565 at 3.9 percent.

Last Wednesday's death increase was 6,091.

Cases increased by a record 315,717, surpassing the mark of 315,101 Friday, according to

Brazil, which is second behind the United States for deaths, reported 906 deaths to rise to 139,065. Brazil's record is 1,554 on July 29. The nation added 32,445 cases at 4,627,780 in third place.

India reported 83,347 cases after a world-record 97,894 five days before to rise to 5,646,011, which is second in world behind U.S. Also, India recorded a world-high 1,085 deaths, seven days after a national-record 1,299, to rise to 88,935 and in third place.

Mexico announced 601 more deaths late Wednesday compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 74,949 in fourth place.

Four European nations are in the top 11 as cases are surging on the continent in record daily numbers. The United Kingdom reported 37 additional deaths for 41,862 in fifth place with the record daily high 1,172, as well as 6,178 cases, beating the record of 5,086 on May 7. No. 6 Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter and reached 919 in one day, reported 20 deaths. No. 8 France announced 43 deaths, as well as 13,072 cases four days after record 13,498. Spain also reported a record number of cases, 11,289, and 130 deaths for ninth place, just 425 behind France.

No. 7 Peru announced 98 deaths and is 411 ahead of France. No. 10 Iran reported 184 deaths.

Russia is in fourth place in the world in cases with 1,122,241, including an additional 6,431. The nation gained 150 deaths and is in 12th.

No. 20 Canada reported 8 deaths for a total of 9,242 and 1,090 cases.

Sweden, which has been doing "herd immunity" with no lockdown, reported 5 deaths and is at 5,876. Neighboring Norway reported no deaths for the fifth day in a row to remain 267, as well as 124 more cases.

No. 30 China, the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26, and added 7 cases Thursday.