State coronavirus cases drop 33% to 3,689 in one day, deaths up 73

First-time daily positivity rates drop significantly to 4.0% in Florida, 3.19% in Palm Beach County
Posted at 12:06 PM, Oct 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-24 09:10:36-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.  — Florida's coronavirus cases increased by 3,689, more than one-third less than the day before, and additional deaths remained under triple digits, 73, the state Health Department announced Friday. Also, Florida's daily first-time positivity rate declined dramatically from 5.59 percent to 4.0 and Palm Beach County went from 5.54 percent to 3.19.

On Thursday, deaths rose by 57 as Florida moved to No. 4 in the United States for most fatalities, passing New Jersey. Last Friday's increase was 94. Deaths rose by 105 Wednesday and one week ago Thursday's increase of 141 was the last time deaths were in triple digits. The record was 276 deaths on Tuesday, Aug. 11.

Cases on Thursday rose by 5,557, which was 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 Friday's new cases were 3,449. 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 increased by 9 to 1,558, which is second to Miami-Dade and ahead of Broward, after a reduction of 4 Thursday and an increase of 43 Wednesday.

On the Treasure Coast, St. Lucie rose by 7 to 330, Martin increased by 1 to 164 and Indian River declined from 123 to 122. Okeechobee reported a 29-year-old woman died, the youngest in the county (previous was a 30-year-old man) to rise to 38 with its first two fatalities on July 25.

Broward didn't change for the second day in a row and Miami-Dade rose by 12.

With a net increase of 29 deaths in South Florida of the 73 state total, which is 39.7 percent, there are 7,328, which is 44.8 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. Since the first two deaths were announced on March 6, which is 231 days, the death toll has reached 16,340 for an average of 71 per day. Florida's total including nonresidents is 16,544, which increased by 1 to 204.

Florida's first-time daily infection rate of tests reported to labs Thursday decreased by more than 1 percentage point to 4.0, the lowest in two weeks not counting the day after the data dump on Oct. 10 of 3.44. The high was 6.71 percent two days ago not including the data dump of 7.88 percent.

Palm Beach County went from a two-week high of 5.54, not including the dump, to back in the 4 percent range. Only three times over 14 days has the range between above the 4 percent range. 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 4.78 percent on 100,179 tests received Thursday from 6.95 on 106,016 tests. The two-week high was 7.69 four days ago, not including the data dump and the 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 23,343 for an average of 3,335 at 3.1 percent. The previous week they rose by 19,516, which averages 2,788 per day.

The number of deaths over one week is 510, an average of 73, compared with 644 the previous week.

State and county increases represent fatalities received by the state Thursday 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: 67 on Sept. 23.

The state report Friday identified 95 deaths, including 10 in Palm Beach County, with 22 previously reported cases decreased as fatalities for a net increase of 73.

Florida's total of 771,780 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 129 one day after 379. On Sept. 28, the rise was 27.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 188 compared with 137 the day before. The state reported Friday there are currently 2,120 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is 49 more than Thursday.


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

Texas is in second place with the addition of a U.S.-high 89 deaths after a state-record 324 on Aug. 11, for a total of 17,375. California reported 73, which was the same as Florida, and is in third place with 17,262, which is 113 behind Texas. New Jersey, which had been second throughout the pandemic, is in fifth place with 16,273, adding 10 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. More than 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 80 deaths over seven days for 5.4 percent. The U.S. figure is 2.5 percent with the world at 3.7 percent.

Miami-Dade rose to 3,597 with 77 more in seven days. Broward remained at 1,519 with an increase of 19. St. Lucie has gone up by 15 deaths compared with Martin by 11, Indian River didn't change and Okeechobee by 1.

Palm Beach County's death count is higher than 20 states, including Kentucky's 1,396 with 16 added Friday.

Pinellas increased by 3 to 815 deaths in fourth place and Hillsborough by 2 to 757 in fifth place, Polk by 9 to 602 in sixth, Orange by 5 to 537 in seventh and Lee by 4 to 500.

The state report Friday identified 10 deaths in Palm Beach County though the increase was 9 of 7 men (75, 76, 86, 86, 87 89, 92) and 3 women (65, 69, 88). St. Lucie reported 3 men (66, 76, 91) and a 49-year-old woman. Martin's newly reported death was an 84-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 771,780, third in the nation and sixth in cases per million. The average over 235 days is 3,284 per day.

California has the most cases in the U.S. at 886,865 with a U.S.-high 6,141 more Friday. Texas had 5,760 and is second overall with 851,572. New York, which was the leader during much of the pandemic, is in fourth at 491,771 with an additional 1,637. Wisconsin reported 4,378 cases and is 13th overall and Illinois gained 3,874 in fifth overall. Tennessee had 3,606 new cases and is in eighth overall.

In Palm Beach County, new cases have been much lower since the record 1,171 July 5. The total now is 49,988, including residents and nonresidents.

Miami-Dade's cases were 520 compared with 853 the day before and Broward's increase was 456 vs. 546. In the Treasure Coast area, the rise over one day was Martin 16 vs. 26 the day before, St. Lucie 45 vs. 53, Indian River 35 vs. 31 and Okeechobee 3 vs. 12.


Florida's total number of people tested is 5,873,041, which is 27.3 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 273,448.

The overall Florida positive rate decreased to 13.14 percent from 13.18 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 went from the highest percentage over two weeks of 5.16, not including the data dump, to the lowest at 3.11, the only time under 4 percent. The rate hit 26.4 on July 8. Broward's rate was 4.56 percent after 4.86, a two-week high of 5.86 two days ago and a two-week low of 2.26 on Oct. 11.

Elsewhere, St. Lucie's rate was 5.24 percent after 4.74 one day ago, a two-week high of 9.32 two days ago and a low of 2.6 Oct. 12 not including the data dump. Martin's rate was 3.56 percent after 3.76, a two-week low of 1.03 five days ago and a two-week high of 7.11 percent six days ago. Indian River's rate was a two-week high of 7.33 percent after 4.69 percent and a two-week low of 2.07 on Oct. 12, not including the data dump. Okeechobee's rate was 1.71 percent on 172 tests after 5.02 on 227 negative tests, a two-week high of 15.66 on 70 tests three days ago not including the data dump and zero on 22 tests Oct. 11.

Palm Beach County has 49,988 cases out of 407,073 total tested for 12.28 percent overall, not including those awaiting tests and inconclusive.

Miami-Dade leads with 181,017 positive cases out of 1,014,679 tested for 17.84 percentage, and Broward is second with 82,706 cases and 630,925 tested for 13.11 percentage.

In Martin County, it's 5,243 of 41,374 for 12.67 percent. In St. Lucie, it's 8,798 out of 69,599 for 12.64 percent, Indian River with 3,649 of 41,096 for 8.88 percent and Okeechobee 1,698 of 12,046 for 14.1 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 2.6 percent in the United States and 2.7 percent worldwide, which neared 1,149,000 deaths and neared 42.5 million cases Friday, 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 3.8 percent in St. Lucie (up 0.1), 3.1 in Martin, 3.4 percent in Indian River and Okeechobee 2.2 percent, which is the highest ever.

Florida has 761 deaths per 1 million people, which ranks 11th in the nation compared with the U.S. average of 691 per million. New York, which represents 14.9 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,724 per million. Worldwide, the figure is 147.4 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 5,225 people 85 and older have died in the state from the virus, an increase of 28 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 12,904 cases of infants to 4 years old, an increase of 67, and 312 were hospitalized, which went up by 1. From ages 5-14, there are 33,323, an increase of 223, with 2890 in the hospital at one time, which was reduced by 1.

From the infant to 54 age group, there are 549,409 of the 761,924 residents' cases. In that group, 1,080 have died, with an increase of 3, for a 0.20 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 648,366 cases. A total of 2,880 have died, an increase of 8 for a 0.44 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities with 12,104 with an increase of 38. Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, increased by 30 to 8,254, followed by Boca Raton at 7,515 up from 7,458, Boynton Beach went to 4,419 from 4,390 and Delray Beach at 3,414 vs. 3,398. A total of 1,386 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 5,188, an increase of 25, followed by Fort Pierce at 2,989, up 10, and Stuart with 2,424, which rose by 7.

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


A total of 47,953 people in the state have been hospitalized, a rise from 46,862 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

The number is 4,065 in Palm Beach County, with an increase of 9 compared with 13 the day before. Martin went up by 1 to 418, St. Lucie by 2 to 760, Indian River stayed at 328 and Okeechobee by 2 to 193.

Long-term care

Forty-one percent of the deaths, 6,618 are residents and staff of long-term care, including 710 in Palm Beach County, which is second most in the state behind 839 in Miami-Dade. The state increase was 27 and Palm Beach County went up by 6.


Since the first death was reported six months ago on Feb. 29, the national toll has risen to 223,914, a rise of a world-high 882, according to Johns Hopkins. has tabulated 229,284 deaths with an increase of 903.

Cases rose to 8,491,459, including a record 83,757 Friday, the seventh time they exceeded 70,000 and past the previous record of 77,362 on July 16. COVID Tracking Project lists the case increase as 83,010.

Last Friday in the U.S., there were 883 more deaths and 69,156 cases.

The one week U.S. death increase was 5,439 at 2.5 percent.

New York has the most deaths in the nation at 33,404, with Johns Hopkins reporting 8 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 20, No. 7 Illinois 41, No. 8 Pennsylvania 28, No. 9 Georgia 37 and No. 10 Michigan 20.

Also, No. 11 Arizona reported 6 deaths, as well as an additional 976 cases. Tennessee added a state-record 65 deaths and is 21st overall. No. 25 Washington, the original epicenter in the United States, reported 8.


The U.S. represented 13.8 percent of 6,526 additional deaths Friday 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 40,472 at 3.7 percent.

Last Friday's death increase was 6,183.

Cases increased by a record again, 489,757, after passing 400,000 one week ago Friday for the first time, according to

Brazil has been trending down in deaths and cases. The nation, which is second behind the United States for deaths, reported 566 deaths to rise to 156,528. Brazil's record is 1,554 on July 29. The nation added 23,016 cases at 5,355,650 in third place.

India reported 54,366 new cases compared with a world-record 97,894, for second-place behind the U.S. with 7,776,312. Also, India recorded 690 deaths, behind a national-record 1,299, to rise to 1117,306 and in third place.

Mexico announced 420 more deaths late Friday compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 88,312 in fourth place.

Four European nations are in the top 10 as deaths and cases are surging on the continent. The United Kingdom reported 224 deaths with the daily high 1,172 for 44,571 in fifth place, as well as 20,530 cases two after a record 26,688. No. 6 Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter and reached 919 in one day, reported 91 deaths and a record 18,131 cases. No. 7 Spain reported 233 deaths and 19,851 cases one day after a record 20,986. No. 8 France announced 298 deaths, the most since 482 on May 17, as well as a record 42,032 one dafter the a mark of 41,622.

No. 9 Peru announced 49 deaths and No. 10 Iran reported a record 335 deaths.

Russia is in fourth place in the world in cases with 1,480,646, including a record 17,340. The nation gained 283 deaths two days after a record 317 deaths and is in 13th.

No. 21 Canada reported 26 deaths for a total of 9,888 and 2,584 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 7 deaths and is at 5,933. Neighboring Norway reported no deaths for the second day in a row to remain 279, as well as 173 more cases.

No. 33 China, the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26, added 28 cases Saturday.