Record daily positivity rates with fewer tests: 22.75% in state, 19.50 in Palm Beach County

Florida's coronavirus cases rise by 12,075, deaths by 101
Posted at 5:21 PM, Dec 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 11:19:58-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Daily first-time positivity rates surged to records -- 22.75 percent in Florida and 19.5 in Palm Beach County -- with only 62,303 statewide test results received from labs Monday after Christmas, which the Health Department said Tuesday has resulted in the high numbers. Also, Florida's coronavirus cases rose by 13,075, one day after 8,198 infections, and deaths increased by 101, which was 5 more than than the previous day.

Tests reported were the lowest in two weeks one day after 84,552 and five days after a record 187,529. The state's daily first-time positivity rate surpassed the mark of 18.29 on July 13 and was one day after 11.09 percent, which was the highest since July 31 not including a data dump from one lab on Aug. 11. Palm Beach County's rate surpassed the previous high of 15.7 on July 6 with the previous day 10.47 and the low 6.09 three days ago.

The state began reporting first-time positivity rates in July.

The state's total daily positivity rate was 26.29 percent one day after 13.61 percent with a two-week low of 9.91 five days ago. The previous high was 24 percent on April 15. Only 20,987 tests were reported Sept. 27.

The state considers anything above 5 percent in the danger threshold.

The Florida Department of Health said the high rates "should be interpreted with caution due to reduced hours and closures at doctor’s offices, public testing sites, and laboratories for the holidays. These reduced hours and closures have resulted in less people tested and delays in result processing and reporting which have impacted Florida’s daily testing number by nearly half. As we continue to experience office closures and holidays through January 4, 2021, it is possible that data may continue to be impacted over the coming days."

State testing sites also were closed Thursday and Friday.

Florida was among 13 states reporting triple-digit increases of deaths as the U.S. set a record for most fatalities reported in one day, 3,708, surpassing the mark of 3,682 on Dec. 16. The last time Florida's death increase for one day was in triple figure was 121 on Wednesday.

On Sunday, the state reported 7,391 infections, which were the fewest since 6,659 on Nov. 30 and the 77 deaths were the lowest since 74 on Tuesday.

On Saturday, the state reported 17,042 additional cases for two days (8,521 average each day) and 140 deaths (70 per day).

Last Tuesday's cases were 10,434. The previous day, cases were the most for a Monday since 12,624 on July 13.

Florida's cases reached 1,292,252 with only No. 1 California and No. 2 Texas also reporting more than 1 million. On Thursday, California passed 2 million.

One Sunday, ago cases in Florida passed 1.2 million, taking 9 days to record more than 100,000, 10 days to pass 1.1 million, 12 days to surpass 1 million, 13 days to exceed 900,000. The first 100,000 was on June 22.

Thursday's increase the day before Christmas was 13,147, which was one less than the previous Thursdays 13,148 and the most since 13,995 on July 16. The record was 15,300 on Sunday, July 12.

Over seven days, cases have risen by 69,237 for an average of 9,891 at 5.7 percent. The previous week the increase was 79,221 for an average of 11,317. The average since the first case, which was 304 days ago, is 4,251 day.

A total of 23.4 percent of the additional cases were in Miami-Dade: 2,825. Much fewer were Palm Beach County with 525 after 636, with Broward 1,102, St. Lucie 109, Martin 28, Indian River 52 and Okeechobee 19.

Florida's cases are 6.6 percent of the total infections in the U.S., which passed 19 million Sunday after 18 million Monday. The state 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 6.0 percent of the state's 21.48 million population, 27th in cases per million. In average cases per 100,000 over the last seven days, Florida has risen to 24th at 45.7 with California No. 1 at 97, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After the first two deaths in Florida were announced on March 6, which is 298 days, the death toll has reached 21,409 for an average of 72 per day -- fourth behind No. 1 New York, Texas and California. Florida's total including nonresidents is 21,718 which rose by 4 to 309.

It took 9 days to increase 1,000 to pass 20,000 residents' deaths one Monday ago, 12 days to pass 19,000 deaths of residents on Dec. 5 from 18,000 and on Monday, Nov. 23, the state surpassed 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.

The increase of 137 on Monday, Dec. 14 was the most since 141 on Oct. 15. They then declined to 79 the next day.

Until Florida's increase of 120 deaths Dec. 14, 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.

Palm Beach County increased by 7 to 1,873 after 6 reported Monday. First-place Miami-Dade increased by 9 to 4,164 and Broward is third at 1,830 with 2 more.

St. Lucie rose by 4 to 397, Martin by 2 to 209 and Indian River remained at 156. Okeechobee stayed at 51 with its first two fatalities on July 25.

With a net increase of 24 deaths in South Florida of the 101 state total, there are 8,627, which is 40.3 percent of the state figure though the population only comprises 30 percent.

The number of increased deaths over one week is 655, an average of 94 and 3.2 percent, compared with 672 the previous week. Palm Beach County increased by 38 deaths over seven days for 2.1percent. The U.S. figure is 4.9 percent with the world at 4.2 percent.

State and county increases represent fatalities received by the state Sunday 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: 107 on Dec. 5.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 479 compared with 204 the day before. The state reported Tuesday there are currently 6,280 6,104 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is the first time it reached 6,000 since Aug. 13 and 186 more in one day. It passed 5,000 on Dec. 15. The high of 9,520 was 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 20th in deaths per million.

The 21 deaths reported 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 1,760.

Fourth-place Hillsborough County remained 1,064, Pinellas rose by 5 to 1,040 in fifth place, Polk by 13 to 780 in sixth, Orange by 1 to 733 in seventh, Duval by 2 to 724 in eighth and Lee by 1 to 653 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 15,407,980 total tests behind No. 1 California and No. 2 New York with Texas fourth and Illinois fifth.

Florida first-time daily infection percentage has been below 10 percent just the past two day over two weeks. The only days the rate has been 8 percent or below were 7.91 five days ago, then 7.9 then 8.0

Palm Beach County's rate of 5.78 Dec. 13 was the first time it was under 6 percent since 5.78 on Nov. 27. The two-week low was 6.09 three days ago. The rate was 1.92 on Oct. 11, which was the smallest since 1.5 percent on May 19.

Miami-Dade's rate was 23.97 percent one day after 10.81 and a two-week low of 6.82 five days ago then 6.85. The rate hit 26.4 on July 8. Broward's rate was 24.30 percent one day after 8.42 percent and a two-week low of 5.95 five days ago.

St. Lucie's rate was 33.78 percent one day after 9.29 and a low of 8.69 three days ago. Martin's rate was9.31 percent one day after 7.05, a two-week high of 11.92 Dec. 15 and a two-week low of 5.41 five days ago. Indian River's rate was 23.9 percent one day after 14.52 and a two-week low of 6.43 Dec. 16 a. Okeechobee's rate of 72.73 percent on 6 negative tests was one day after 12.12 on 29 negative tests with a low of 1.96 on 200 negative tests Dec. 16. On Nov. 1 it was zero percent on 31 negative tests.


The mortality rate compares positive cases against deaths. The state's rate was 1.7 percent for all deaths and cases, including nonresidents, compared with 1.7 percent in the United States and 2.2 percent worldwide, which neared 1,796,000 deaths and passed 82.3 million cases Tuesday, according to

County rates: Palm Beach County 2.4 percent, Broward 1.4, Miami-Dade 1.4, St. Lucie 2.9, Martin 2.8, Indian River 2.4 and Okeechobee 2.2.

Deaths per million: Florida 997, U.S. 1,047, world 230.3. In the U.S., that means roughly 1 in 1,000 people died from a coronavirus cause. New York, which represents 11.1 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,937 per million. Six months ago New York was 25.6 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 34 deaths in the 15-24 class, including a 16-year-old girl in Miami-Dade. The class increased by one after being 33 since Sept. 25.

Ages 25-34: 117 people with no change.

55 and older: 94 percent of fatalities with 62 percent 75 and older. A smaller percentage tested positive – 28 percent age 55 and older and 7 percent 75 and older.

85 and older: 6,796 people 85 and older, an increase of 30 in one day.

Infant to 4: `22,832 cases, an increase of 514, and 415 were hospitalized, which rose by 1. Ages 5-14: 66,919 cases, an increase of 798, with 376 in the hospital at one time, which rose by 4.

Infant to 54 age group: 912,434 of the 1,270,063 residents' cases. In that group, 1,334 have died with an increase of 1 for a 0.15 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 1,078,601 cases. A total of 3,675 have died, with 12 more, for a 0.34 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities at 19,610 with an increase of 103. No. 2 Boca Raton rose by 107 to 13,814. No. 3 Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, went up by 57 to 12,163. No. 4 Boynton Beach is at 7,653 from 7,611. No. 5 Delray Beach at 5,932 vs. 5,882.

Port St. Lucie leads the Treasure Coast with 9,018, rising 74, followed by Fort Pierce at 4,819, with an increase of 42, and Stuart at 3,642, a rise of 7.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, rose by 4 to 633 with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 62,142 people in the state have been hospitalized compared with 60,471 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

Palm Beach County: 4,999 with 45 more compared with 17 the day before. Martin rose by 16 to 548, St. Lucie by 8 to 1,032, Indian River by 7 to 497 and Okeechobee remained by 1 to 241.


Thirty-eight percent of the deaths, 8,138, are residents and staff of long-term care with increase of 31. Palm Beach County is second at 818, with a rise of 1. Miami-Dade leads with 903.



Since the first death was reported on Feb. 29, the national toll has risen to 38,561, an increase of a record 3,725, surpassing the mark of 3,682 on Dec. 16, according to Johns Hopkins. Twenty-three states reported at least 50 more deaths.

Weekly changes: The one-week death increase was 15,796 at 4.9 percent. Last Tuesday's increase was 3,410.

Top-ranked states: No. 1 New York: had an increase of 138 deaths to rise 37,686 compared 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 241 at 26,762. No. 3 California: increase of 242 after state-record 379 death Dec. 17 at 24,526. No. 5: New Jersey: increase of 127, the most since May, at 18,777.

Among states in top 10: No. 6 Illinois 106, No. 7 Pennsylvania U.S.-high 267, No. 8 Michigan 193, No. 9 Massachusetts 58, No. 10 Georgia 40.

Also with at least 50, including state records by No. 29 Washington, the original U.S. epicenter, with174 (processing error from day before), No. 12 Arizona with 171 and No. 18 Arkansas 67, plus No. 13 Indiana 164, No. 11 Ohio 151, No. 15 Tennessee 122, No. 18 Missouri 117, No. 25 Mississippi 85, No. 23 Wisconsin 72, No. 27 Iowa 67, No. 19 Maryland 63, No. 14 Louisiana 61, No. 22 Virginia 59, No. 26 Colorado 56.


Cases increased to 19,510,836 with a rise of 201,555 behind the mark of 249,709 Dec. 18 according to Johns Hopkins. Last Tuesday's increase was 194,710.

Top-ranked states: No. 1 California at 2,187,221 with U.S.-high 31,245 after U.S.-record 53,711 Dec. 16. No. 2 Texas 1,518,499 with record 26,990 six days after former mark of 19,185. No. 4 Illinois at 948,006 with 5,644 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 943,990, with 11,448 after record 12,697 Dec. 18.

Twenty-five states reported at least 2,000 cases, including No. 8 Pennsylvania 8,545, No. 6 Ohio 7,526, No. 7 Georgia 5,853, No. 9 Tennessee 4,797, No. 20 Virginia 4,122, No. 13 Indiana 4,028, No. 22 Louisiana 3,946, No. 19 Alabama 3,907, No. 14 New Jersey 3,675, No. 10 North Carolina 3,563, No. 11 Michigan 3,414.


The U.S. represented 24.6 percent of 13,791 deaths Tuesday, behind the record of 13,808 Dec. 16, and 19.3 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 72,299 at 4.2 percent. Last Tuesday, the deaths were 10,853.

Cases: Increased by 624,091 behind the record of 736,116 Dec. 17 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. Last Tuesday, the cases were 612,766..

No. 2 Brazil: 1,075 deaths for a total of 192,716 compared with record of 1,554 on July 29. Cases: 57,227, behind a record 70,869 on July 29, with total third at 7,564,117.

No. 3 India: 252 deaths, compared with a national-record 1,299, to rise to 148,153 and in third place. Cases: 16,432, the lowest since June and compared with a record 97,894, and is second in the world, with 10,224,303.

No. 4 Mexico: 990 deaths, compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 123,845 in fourth place. Cases: 12,099 five days after record 12,485.

Europe: Coronavirus is surging at record cases levels and deaths that are the highest since the spring with nations instituting lockdowns. The continent reported 5,539 new deaths and 204,558 cases.

Five European nations are in the top 10. No. 5 Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter, reported 659 deaths after a record 993 Dec. 3 and 11,212 cases after record 40,896 on Nov. 13. No. 6 United Kingdom 414 deaths, behind the record 1,166 April 21, as well as record 53,135, one day after the mark of 41,385. No. 7 France 468 deaths after 932 on Nov. 13 that was the most since a record of 1,437 in April, as well as 11,395 cases after a record 86,852 on Oct. 31. No. 8 Russia 562 deaths five days after record 635 and 27,002 cases five days after record 29,935 and fourth overall with 3,105,037. No. 10 Spain 320 deaths and 11,985 cases

Also, No. 14 Germany reported 935 deaths seven days after a record 944 and 15,960 cases, behind the record of 31,553 Dec.18.

No. 9 Iran: 132 deaths after a record 486 on Nov. 16. Cases: 6,108 after a record 14,051 Nov. 27.

No. 23 Canada: record 257 deaths for a total of 15,378 and 10,299 cases two days after record 10,404.

Sweden, which has been doing "herd immunity" 25 deaths and is 8,484. Neighboring Norway 4 deaths to rise to 433, as well as 693 more cases.

China: the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26 and dropped to 43rd behind Greece. China added 24 cases Wednesday.

South Korea:20 deaths one day after record 40 deaths Tuesday for a total of 879 plus 1,048 new cases, behind the record of 1,241 Friday.

Japan: 59 deaths three days after record 63 for a total of 3,397, including 13 on a cruise ship, and 3,609 cases two days after record 3,881