State reports 105 additional coronavirus deaths including 43 in Palm Beach County; cases up 2,145

First-time daily positivity rate increases to 6.74% in state but drops to 4.59% in PBC
Posted at 6:44 PM, Oct 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-22 00:24:43-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida reported an additional 105 coronavirus deaths, including 43 in Palm Beach County, as cases increased by 2,145, compared with 3,662 the day before, the state Health Department announced late Wednesday afternoon. Also, Florida's first-time daily first-time coronavirus rate increased from 6.15 percent to 6.74 though Palm Beach County decreased from 5.47 percent to 4.59.

Data normally data are released at 11 a.m. but Wednesday's reports were not issued until after 5 p.m. The dashboard was updated until late Wednesday night. Earlier Wednesday, governor's office spokesman Fred Piccolo posted on Twitter the health agency will not be scaling back the daily reports soon despite reports reports could be reduced to once a week.

On Oct. 10, the state released no data for the first time since the pandemic. The agency originally reported private laboratory Helix Laboratory contained 400,000 previously reported test results but one day later the agency said the lab's submissions "were significantly lower than 400,000" and the duplicates were from "an unforeseen technical issue" that were "not the fault of Helix or the Department of Health."

Also Wednesday, Florida's Surgeon General, Dr. Scott A. Rivkees, announced the Department of Health will conduct a more thorough review of all fatalities reported to the state. A news release noted of the 95 fatalities, including 50 in Palm Beach County, reported to the state Tuesday, 16 had more than a two-month separation from when the person tested positive and died, and 11 of the deaths occurred more than a month ago.

Palm Beach County's death toll increase of 43 surpassed the previous record increase of 27 on Aug. 7 for a total 1,553, passing Broward for second in the state behind Miami-Dade, after an increase of 13 the day before. Twenty-nine of those Palm Beach County's deaths were residents of long-term care facilities.

On the Treasure Coast, St. Lucie rose by 1 to 321, Martin increased by 6 to 164, Indian River remained 123. Okeechobee stayed at 37 deaths with its first two fatalities on July 25.

Broward increased by 2 and Miami-Dade by 11.

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 229 days, the death toll has reached 16,210, with an average of 71 per day, and the total including nonresidents is 16,413, which remained at 203.

Tuesday's increase was 84 and last Wednesday's was 64. The last time deaths were in triple digits was 141 on Thursday.

Florida's first-time daily infection rate of tests reported to labs Tuesday increased from the day before, which was the highest since 6.8 percent on Sept. 21, not including 7.87 on Oct. 9 when there was the data dump from one lab. The two-week low was 4.11 on Oct. 8. Palm Beach County's rate one day ago 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 rose to 8.03 percent on 34,718 tests received Tuesday, which tied for highest on Sept. 4, one day after 7.69 on 63,421 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.

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.

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 2,883 last Wednesday.

In one week cases have risen by 20,902 for an average of 2,986 at 2.8 percent. The previous week they rose by 18,925, which averages 2,704 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 615, an average of 88, compared with 691 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 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: 62 on Sept. 22.

The state report Wednesday identified 97 deaths, including 48 in Palm Beach County, with 8 previously cases added as fatalities for a net increase of 105.

With a net increase of 63 deaths in South Florida of the 105 state total, which is 60.0 percent, there are 7,289, which is 45.0 percent of the state figure though the population only comprises 30 percent.

Florida's total of 762,534 cases is 9.1 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 102 one day after 230. On Sept. 28, the rise was 27.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 227 compared with 72 the day before. The state reported Wednesday there are currently 2,125 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is 46 more than Tuesday.


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 a U.S.-high 114 deaths Wednesday after a state-record 324 on Aug. 11, for a total of 17,201. California reported 35 and is in third place with 17,027, which is 174 behind Texas. New Jersey, which had been second throughout the pandemic, is in fourth place with 16,245, adding 18 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 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 88 deaths over seven days for 6.0 percent. The U.S. figure is 2.4 percent with the world at 3.6 percent.

Miami-Dade rose to 3,572 with 87 more in seven days. Broward increased to 1,519 with an increase of 35. St. Lucie has gone up by 11 deaths compared with Martin by 13, Indian River by 4 and Okeechobee by 2.

Palm Beach County's death count is higher than 20 states, including Kentucky's 1,363 with 21 added Wednesday.

Pinellas increased by 2 to 805 deaths in fourth place and Hillsborough up by 1 to 755 in fifth place, Polk by 1 to 593 in sixth, Orange increased by 1 to 533 in seventh and Lee by 2 to 499.

The state report Wednesday identified 48 deaths in Palm Beach County though the increase was 43 in one day: 20 men ranging from 36 to 95 and 28 women from 59 to 97. Ten of those deaths became case in June or July. Martin reported 4 women (68, 76, 90, 99) and 2 men (75, 76). Indian River's death was an 85-year-old woman and St. Lucie identified no deaths though the 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 762,534, 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 877,784 with 3,707 more Wednesday. Texas had a U.S.-high 4,991 and is second overall with 838,809. New York, which was the leader during much of the pandemic, is in fourth at 488,606 with an additional 2,026, the most since 2,088 on May 21. Illinois reported 4,342 cases in fifth overall and Wisconsin had 4,205, one day 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 49,380, including residents and nonresidents.

Miami-Dade's cases were 358 compared with 560 the day before and Broward's increase was 167 vs. 260. In the Treasure Coast area, the rise over one day was Martin 6 vs. 8 the day before, St. Lucie 37 vs. 47, Indian River 14 vs. 18 and Okeechobee 3 vs. 14.


Florida's total number of people tested is 5,786,305, 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 eighth lowest in the nation in tests per million at 268,893.

The overall Florida positive rate increased to 13.18 percent from 13.17 percent 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 5.15, not including the data dump, compared with 5.05 the day before and a two-week low of 4.08 on Oct. 8. The rate hit 26.4 on July 8. Broward's rate was a two-week high of 5.88 percent after 4.30 and a two-week low of 2.28 on Oct. 11.

Elsewhere, St. Lucie's rate was a two-week high of 9.29 percent after 6.67 and a low of 2.36 Oct. 8 not including the data dump. Martin's rate was 4.72 percent after 2.43 percent, a two-week low of 1.03 three days ago and a two-week high of 7.1 percent four days ago. Indian River's rate was 4.13 percent after 3.33, a two-week high of 6.48 three days ago and a two-week low of 2.07 on Oct. 12, not including the data dump. Okeechobee's rate was 8.0 percent on 46 tests, a two-week high of 15.66 on 70 tests not including the data dump and zero on 22 tests Oct. 11.

Palm Beach County has 49,380 cases out of 399,909 total tested for 12.35 percent overall, not including those awaiting tests and inconclusive.

Miami-Dade leads with 179,644 positive cases out of 998,485 tested for 17.99 percentage, and Broward is second with 81,704 cases and 619,849 tested for 13.18 percentage.

In Martin County, it's 5,201 of 40,830 for 12.74 percent. In St. Lucie, it's 8,700 out of 68,691 for 12.67 percent, Indian River with 3,583 of 40,422 for 8.86 percent and Okeechobee 1,683 of 11,921 for 14.12 percent.

Mortality rate

The mortality rate compares positive cases against deaths.

The state's rate was 2.2 percent for all deaths and cases, including nonresidents, a rise of one-tenth of 1 percent compared with 2.7 percent in the United States and 2.7 percent worldwide, which neared 1,136,000 deaths and passed 41.4 million cases Wednesday, according to

Palm Beach County's rate is 3.2 percent, a rise 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, 3.2 in Martin (up 0.1), 3.5 percent in Indian River and Okeechobee 2.2 percent, which is the highest ever.

Florida has 755 deaths per 1 million people, which ranks 10th in the nation compared with the U.S. average of 686 per million. New York, which represents 15.0 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,723 per million. Worldwide, the figure is 145.7 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 5,184 people 85 and older have died in the state from the virus, an increase of 33 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 12,760 cases of infants to 4 years old, an increase of 27, and 310 were hospitalized, which went up by 3. From ages 5-14, there are 32,815, an increase of 130, with 289 in the hospital at one time, which increased by 2.

From the infant to 54 age group, there are 542,657 of the 752,845 residents' cases. In that group, 1,075 have died, with an increase of 3, for a 0.20 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 640,520 cases. A total of 2,858 have died, an increase of 14 for a 0.45 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities with 11,990 with an increase of 11. Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, increased by 7 to 8,185, followed by Boca Raton at 7,390 up from 7,372, Boynton Beach went to 4,358 from 4,352 and Delray Beach at 3,372 vs. 3,367. A total of 1,347 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 5,133, an increase of 21, followed by Fort Pierce at 2,962, up 4, and Stuart with 2,409, which rose by 3.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, rose by 1 to 424 compared with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 47,628 people in the state have been hospitalized, a rise from 46,482 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

The number is 4,043 in Palm Beach County, with an increase of 32 compared with 27 the day before. Martin went up by 1 to 416, St. Lucie by 8 to 757, Indian River by 2 to 328 and Okeechobee remained at 191.

Long-term care

Forty-one percent of the deaths, 6,577 are residents and staff of long-term care, including 705 in Palm Beach County, which is second most in the state behind 838 in Miami-Dade. The state increase was 59 and Palm Beach County went up by 29.


Since the first death was reported six months ago on Feb. 29, the national toll has risen to 222,063, a rise of a world-high 1,011, according to Johns Hopkins. The last time it was four digits was Sept. 23 at 1,099. has tabulated 227,409 deaths with an increase of 1,225.

Cases rose to 8,333,591, including 60,005 Wednesday. 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 Wednesday in the U.S., there were 985 more deaths and 59,494 cases.

The one week U.S. death increase was 5,191 at 2.4 percent.

New York has the most deaths in the nation at 33,371, with Johns Hopkins reporting 5 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 22, No. 7 Illinois 68, No. 8 Pennsylvania 39, No. 9 Georgia no data and No. 10 Michigan 35.

Also, No. 11 Arizona reported 17 deaths, as well as an additional 975 cases. No. 13 Ohio reported 66 and No. 34 Kansas 56 though the latter is now only updating data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. No. 25 Washington, the original epicenter in the United States, reported 4.


The U.S. represented 17.9 percent of 6,855 additional deaths Wednesday 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 39,217 at 3.7 percent.

Last Wednesday's death increase was 6,084.

Cases increased by a record 437,441 after rising by more than 400,000 Friday for the first time, 412,917, 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 571 deaths to rise to 155,459. Brazil's record is 1,554 on July 29. The nation added 25,832 cases at 5,300,649 in third place.

India reported 54,044 new cases compared with a world-record 97,894, for second-place behind the U.S. with 7,651,108. Also, India recorded 717 deaths, behind a national-record 1,299, to rise to 115,914 and in third place.

Mexico announced 522 more deaths late Wednesday compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 87,415 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 191 deaths with the daily high 1,172 for 43,967 in fifth place, as well as a record 26,688 cases. No. 6 Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter and reached 919 in one day, reported 127 deaths and a record 15,199. No. 7 Spain reported 156 deaths and a record 16,973. No. 8 France announced 163 deaths as well as 26,676 cases, four days after a record 32,427.

No. 9 Peru announced 62 deaths and is 111 behind France. No. 10 Iran reported 312 deaths two days after a record 337 deaths.

Russia is in fourth place in the world in cases with 1,447,335, including 15,770 one day after a record 16,319. The nation gained a record 317 deaths and is in 13th.

No. 21 Canada reported 32 deaths for a total of 9,826 and 2,266 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 5,929. Neighboring Norway reported 1 death to remain 279, as well as 193 more cases.

No. 33 China, the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26, added 14 cases Thursday.