First-time daily positivity rates surge to 6.17% in state, 5.50% in Palm Beach County

Florida's cases doubles in one day to 3,662; death rise by 84
Posted at 1:36 PM, Oct 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-21 00:28:34-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's first-time daily first-time coronavirus rates surged to the highest levels in a few months, from 4.84 percent to 6.17 in one day in the state and Palm Beach County from 2.62 percent to 5.50. Also, cases more than doubled in one day to 3,662 but deaths' increase remained under triple digits, a U.S.-high 84, the Florida Department of Health announced Tuesday.

Data after the weekend traditionally spike.

Florida's first-time daily infection rate of tests reported to labs was the highest since 6.8 percent on Sept. 21, not including 7.87 on Oct. 9 when there was a data dump from one lab. The two-week low was 4.1 on Oct. 6. Palm Beach County's rate was the highest since 6.8 percent on Sept. 21, which also was the last time it wasn't below 5 percent, not including 8.68 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 spiked to 7.69 percent on 63,420 tests received Monday, which is the highest since 8.03 on Sept. 4, after 6.0 on 39,723 tests. The highest percentage was 9.23 percent on Oct. 9 and the lowest 4.42 Oct. 10. Only 20,987 tests were reported Sept. 27 and the record test total was 142,964 July 11. Palm Beach County had 232 positive tests.

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 228 days, the death toll has reached 16,105, with an average of 71 per day, and the total including nonresidents is 16,308, which increased by 2 to 203.

Tuesday's case increase was the most since 4,044 on Saturday, which was the highest since July. Infections dropped to 2,539 Sunday and then to 1,707 Monday.

Monday's increase was more than 1,533 seven days earlier. On Monday, Sept. 29, the 738 cases were fewest since June 2 when there were 617 additional infections. Then, they then increased to 3,266 on Tuesday, Sept. 30.

Infections rose 2,725 last Tuesday.

In one week cases have risen by 21,640 for an average of 3,091 at 2.9 percent. The previous week they rose by 18,624, which averages 2,661 per day.

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.

The previous time cases were more than 4,000 was 4,684 on Aug. 22.

The number of deaths over one week is 574, an average of 82, compared with 764 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 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: 59 on Sept. 22.

The state report Tuesday identified 74 deaths, including 4 in Palm Beach County, with 10 previously cases added as fatalities for a net increase of 84.

Palm Beach County's death toll increased by a net 13 to 1,510, third highest in the state behind Miami-Dade and Broward, after an increase of 7 the day before. On the Treasure Coast, St. Lucie rose by 2 to 320, Martin remained at 158, Indian River increased by 1 to 123. Okeechobee remained at 37 deaths with its first two fatalities on July 25.

Broward increased by 2 and Miami-Dade by 14.

With a net increase of 32 deaths in South Florida of the 84 state total, which is 38.1 percent, there are 7,226, which is 44.9 percent of the state figure though the population only comprises 30 percent.

Cases have been trending up this week.

Florida's total of 760,389 cases is 9.2 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 230 one day after 57. On Sept. 28, the rise was 27.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 227 compared with 72 the day before. The state reported Tuesday there are currently 2,079 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is 24 more than Monday.


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

Texas is in second place with the addition of 65 deaths Tuesday after a state-record 324 on Aug. 11, for a total of 17,087. California reported 22 and is in third place with 16,992, which is 95 behind Texas. New Jersey, which had been second throughout the pandemic, is in fourth place with 16,227, adding 13 fatalities.

It took 12 days for the death toll to pass 16,000, the same to surpass 15,000 residents 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 month 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 49 over seven days for 3.4 percent. The U.S. figure is 2.3 percent with the world at 3.5 percent.

Miami-Dade rose to 3,561 with 96 more in seven days. Broward increased to 1,517 with an increase of 36. St. Lucie has gone up by 11 deaths compared with Martin by 7, Indian River by 4 and Okeechobee by 3.

Palm Beach County's death count is higher than 20 states, including Kentucky's 1,342 with 16 added Tuesday.

Pinellas increased by 2 to 803 deaths in fourth place and Hillsborough up by 3 to 754 in fifth place, Polk by 3 to 592 in sixth, Orange decreased by 2 to 532 in seventh and Lee by 3 to 497.

The state report Tuesday identified 4 deaths in Palm Beach County though the increase was 13 in one day: 2 men (71, 82) and 2 women (72, 88). St. Lucie County added 2 men (72, 88). Indian River didn't have any deaths identified Tuesday though the net increase was 1.


Since the first two cases were announced on March 1, Florida's total has surged to 3.5 percent of the state's 21.48 million population with 760,389, third in the nation and sixth in cases per million. The average over 233 days is 3,264 per day.

California has the most cases in the U.S. at 874,077 with 3,286 more Tuesday. Texas had a U.S.-high 4,856 and is second overall with 833,557. New York, which was the leader during much of the pandemic, is in fourth at 486,480 with an additional 1,201. Wisconsin had a state-record 4,591 new cases and is in 13th overall with Illinois adding 3,714 in fifth.

In Palm Beach County, new cases have been much lower since the record 1,171 July 5. The total now is 49,298, including residents and nonresidents.

Miami-Dade's cases were 560 compared with 372 the day before and Broward's increase was 260 vs. 170. In the Treasure Coast area, the rise over one day was Martin 8 both days, St. Lucie 47 vs. 17, Indian River 18 vs. 9 and Okeechobee 14 vs. 1.


Florida's total number of people tested is 5,775,214, which is 26.9 percent of the state's population behind No. 1 California, No. 2 New York, No. 3 Texas and No. 4 Illinois. Florida is ninth lowest in the nation in tests per million: 268,893.

The overall Florida positive rate remained at 13.17 percent over two days.

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 5.05, not including the data dump, compared with 4.16 the day before and a two-week low of 3.87 on Oct. 6. The rate hit 26.4 on July 8. Broward's rate was 4.39 percent after 3.73, a two-week high of 4.70 two days ago and a two-week low of 2.28 on Oct. 11.

Elsewhere, St. Lucie's rate was a two-week high of 6.67 percent not including the data dump after 4.76 and a low of 2.36 Oct. 8 not including the day after the data dump. Martin's rate was 2.73 percent after 5.23, a two-week low of 1.03 two days ago and a two-week high of 6.90 percent three days ago. Indian River's rate was 3.53 percent after 4.09, a two-week high of 6.21 two days ago and a two-week low of 2.07 seven days ago, not including the data dump. Okeechobee's rate was a two-week high of 16.67 on 70 tests not including the data dump after 3.23 on 30 negative tests, zero on 22 tests Oct. 11.

Palm Beach County has 49,298 cases out of 399,498 total tested for 12.34 percent overall, not including those awaiting tests and inconclusive.

Miami-Dade leads with 179,286 positive cases out of 996,533 tested for 17.99 percentage, and Broward is second with 81,537 cases and 619,120 tested for 13.17 percentage.

In Martin County, it's 5,189 of 40,787 for 12.72 percent. In St. Lucie, it's 8,663 out of 68,573 for 12.63 percent, Indian River with 3,569 of 40,391 for 8.84 percent and Okeechobee 1,680 of 11,906 for 14.11 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, compared with 2.7 percent in the United States and 2.8 percent worldwide, which neared 1,129,000 deaths and passed 41.0 million cases Tuesday, according to

Palm Beach County's rate is 3.1 percent 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, 3.5 percent in Indian River and Okeechobee 2.2 percent, which is the highest ever.

Florida has 750 deaths per 1 million people, which ranks 10th in the nation, including District of Columbia, compared with the U.S. average of 683 per million. New York, which represents 15.1 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,722 per million. Worldwide, the figure is 144.8 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 5,151 people 85 and older have died in the state from the virus, an increase of 25 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 12,733 cases of infants to 4 years old, an increase of 40, and 307 were hospitalized, which went up by 3. From ages 5-14, there are 32,685, an increase of 184, with 287 in the hospital at one time, which increased by 4.

From the infant to 54 age group, there are 541,148 of the 750,739 residents' cases. In that group, 1,072 have died, with an increase of 3, for a 0.20 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 638,745 cases. A total of 2,844 have died, an increase of 6 for a 0.45 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities with 11,979 with an increase of 41. Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, increased by 41 to 8,178, followed by Boca Raton at 7,372 up from 7,323, Boynton Beach went to 4,352 from 4,320 and Delray Beach at 3,367 vs. 3,348. A total of 1,338 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 5,112, an increase of 34, followed by Fort Pierce at 2,958, up 6, and Stuart with 2,406, which rose by 2.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, remained at 423 compared with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 47,352 people in the state have been hospitalized, a rise from 46,225 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

The number is 4,011 in Palm Beach County, with a increase of 27 compared with 7 the day before. Martin remained at 415, St. Lucie by 11 to 749, Indian River by 1 to 326 and Okeechobee remained at 191.

Long-term care

Forty-one percent of the deaths, 6,518 are residents and staff of long-term care, including 676 in Palm Beach County, which is second most in the state behind 835 in Miami-Dade. The state increase was 22 and Palm Beach County went up by 2.


Since the first death was reported six months ago on Feb. 29, the national toll has risen to 220,955 a rise of a world-high 836, according to Johns Hopkins. has tabulated 226,149 deaths with an increase of 917.

Cases rose to 8,270,573, including 57,592 Tuesday. 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 Tuesday in the U.S., there were 802 more deaths and 52,406 cases.

The one week U.S. death increase was 5,068 at 2.3 percent.

New York has the most deaths in the nation at 33,366, with Johns Hopkins reporting no increase 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. 16 Massachusetts 5, No. 7 Illinois 41, No. 8 Pennsylvania 18, No. 9 Georgia 17 and No. 10 Michigan 20.

Also, No. 11 Arizona reported 7 deaths, as well as an additional 1,040 cases. No. North Carolina 17 added 53. No. 25 Washington, the original epicenter in the United States, reported 20.


The U.S. represented 14.3 percent of 6,145 additional deaths Tuesday 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 38,671 at 3.5 percent.

Last Tuesday's death increase was 4,999.

Cases increased by 381,716 after rising by more than 400,000 Friday for the first time, 412,917, according to The world has been gaining 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 662 deaths to rise to 154,888. Brazil's record is 1,554 on July 29. The nation added 23,690 cases at 5,274,817 in third place.

India reported 46,790 cases, the first time since July 28 it was under 50,000 and compared with a world-record 97,894, for second-place behind the U.S. with 7,597,063. Also, India recorded 587 deaths, behind a national-record 1,299, to rise to 115,197 and in third place.

Mexico announced 555 more deaths late Tuesday compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 86,893 in fourth place.

Four European nations are in the top 10 as cases are surging at record levels and deaths are surging on the continent. The United Kingdom reported 241 deaths, the most since 253 on June 5 with the daily high 1,172 for 43,967 in fifth place, as well as a record 21,331 cases. No. 6 Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter and reached 919 in one day, reported 89 deaths and 10,874 cases two days after a record 11,705. No. 7 Spain reported 218 deaths, the seventh day since September with more than 200, and 13,873 cases, behind the record 14,087 on Sept. 18. No. 8 France announced 262 deaths, the most since 482 on May 17, and passed Peru by 10 deaths and is 325 behind France, as well as 20,468 cases, three days after a record 32,427.

No. 9 Peru announced 55 deaths. No. 10 Iran reported 322 deaths one day after a 337 deaths.

Russia is in fourth place in the world in cases with 1,431,635, including a record 16,319. The nation gained 269 deaths, behind a record 286 on Thursday and is in 13th.

No. 21 Canada reported 16 deaths for a total of 9,794 and 2,251 cases, seven days after a record 4,042. 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 5,922. Neighboring Norway reported no deaths for the fifth day in a row to remain 278, as well as 169 more cases.

No. 32 China, the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26, added 11 cases Wednesday.