State's 4,044 new coronavirus cases highest in 2 months; deaths rise by 87

Florida's daily first-time positivity rate back above 5%, Palm Beach County remains under 4%
Posted at 11:45 AM, Oct 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-18 02:23:09-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's coronavirus cases rose by 4,044, the first time in nearly two months they were more than 4,000 in one day, as additional deaths remained under triple digits for the second day in a row, a U.S.-high 87, the Florida Department of Health announced Saturday. Also, the state's first-time daily positivity moved into the 5 percent range with Palm Beach County remaining under 4 percent.

Florida was nearing 16,000 deaths of residents, a milestone achieved by four other states. Since the first two deaths were announced on March 6, which is 225 days, the death toll has reached 15,917, with an average of 71 per day, and the total including nonresidents 16,118, which increased by 1 to 201.

Infections in Florida are trending upward like in 31 other states in the nation. But new cases are exponentially lower than Florida's U.S. daily high of 15,300 in July

In one week, cases have averaged 2,998 compared with 2,576 the week before

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

Cases have risen by at least 3,000 for three days in a row. They climbed by 3,356 Thursday then 3,449 Friday. Last Saturday no data was released because the health department was dealing with a data dump of previously released tests from one lab with Sunday's increase over two days 5,570.

Florida's first-time daily infection rate of tests reported to labs 5.21 percent compared with 3.46 the day before. The two-week low of 3.75 was Oct. 3 and the high of 5.37 three days ago not including a data dump over the weekend. Palm Beach County's rate increased to 3.82 percent from 3.33, a two-week high three days ago of 4.57, not including the data dump, and five days ago at 1.92, which was the lowest since 1.5 percent on May 19.

The state's total daily positivity rate for all tests was 6.39 percent on 83,567 tests received Friday after 5.30 on 84,496 tests. The highest percentage was 9.23 percent seven days ago and the lowest 4.42 six days ago. Only 20,987 tests were reported Sept. 27 and the record test total was 142,964 July 11. Palm Beach County had 205 positive tests.

The number of deaths over six days is 553, an average of 92 average, compared with 87 the previous week.

In the state, fatalities rose by 94 Friday and 178 over two days on Sunday.

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.

It took 12 days for the death toll to pass 15,000 residents Oct. 15, 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.

State and county increases represent fatalities received by the state Friday 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.

In the state report Friday, 97 deaths were added with 3 cases changed for a net increase of 94. Saturday's list hadn't been released.

Palm Beach County's death toll increased by 9 to 1,478, third highest in the state behind Miami-Dade and Broward, after an increase of 6 the day before. On the Treasure Coast, St. Lucie rose by 1 to 316, Martin increased by 1 to 154, Indian River stayed at 122. Okeechobee remained at 37 deaths with its first two fatalities on July 25.

Broward increased by 6 and Miami-Dade by 17.

With a net increase of 34 deaths in South Florida of the 87 state total, which is 39.0 percent, there are 7,159, which is 45.0 percent of the state figure though the population only comprises 30 percent.

Cases have been trending up this week.

Monday's increased cases were 1,533 but it rose to 2,725 Tuesday, then 2,883 Wednesday. One Monday ago, 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.

Florida's total of 752,481 cases is nearly 10 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 196 after 178. On Sept. 28, the rise was 27.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 134 compared with 169 the day before. The state reported Saturday there are currently 2,046 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is 40 less than Friday.


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 81 deaths Saturday after a state-record 324 on Aug. 11, for a total of 16,984. California reported 69 and is in third place with 16,899, which is 85 behind Texas. New Jersey, which had been second throughout the pandemic, is in fourth place with 16,204, adding 2 fatalities.

Deaths rose by 553 in Florida over six days (a daily average of 92) for 3.5 percent, a figure tally that had been more than 1,200 deaths recently. Before that, the one-week figure was in the mid 200s.

Palm Beach County increased by 41 over six days for 2.8 percent. The U.S. figure is 2.3 percent with the world at 3.4 percent.

Miami-Dade rose to 3,537 with 98 more in 6 days. Broward increased to 1,506 with an increase of 39 in 6 days. St. Lucie has gone up by 13 deaths compared with Martin by 7, Indian River by 3 and Okeechobee by 5.

Palm Beach County's death count is higher than 20 states, including Kentucky's 1,312 with 12 added Saturday.

Pinellas increased by 5 to 798 deaths in fourth place and Hillsborough up by 7 to 745 in fifth place, Polk by 4 to 582 in sixth, Orange by 2 to 530 in seventh and Lee remained at 492.

On Friday, the state identified 6 deaths in Palm Beach County, 3 men (65, 82, 86) and 3 women (88, 89, 90). St. Lucie reported 2 men (84, 90) and 2 women (89, 92). Indian River's newly reported death was a 78-year-old woman.


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 752,481, third in the nation and fifth in cases per million. The average over 230 days is 3,272 per day.

California has the most cases in the U.S. at 864,455 with 2,979 more. Texas had a U.S.-high 4,581 and is second overall with 820,563. New York, which was the leader during much of the pandemic, is in fourth at 481,891, with an additional 1,784. Illinois 3,629 in fifth overall and Wisconsin, which reported 3,861 Friday had no data Saturday.

In Palm Beach County, new cases have been much lower since the record 1,171 July 5. The total now is 48,870, including residents and nonresidents.

Miami-Dade's cases were 554 compared with 530 the day before and Broward's increase was 377 vs. 331. In the Treasure Coast area, the rise over one day was Martin 32 vs. 22, St. Lucie 41 vs. 35, Indian River 25 vs. 19 and Okeechobee 3 vs. 2.


Florida's total number of people tested is 5,711,339, which is 26.6 percent of the state's population behind No. 1 California, No. 2 New York, No. 3 Texas and No. 4 Illinois. Florida is 10th lowest in the nation in tests per million: 265,919.

The overall Florida positive rate was 13.18 percent from 13.17 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 4.76 percent compared with 4.13 the day before, a two-week high 6.02 on Oct. 5 not including the day of the data dump and a two-week low of 3.05 on Oct. 4. The rate hit 26.4 on July 8. Broward's rate was a two-week high of 4.86 after 3.82 and a two-week low of 2.09 on Oct. 4.

Elsewhere, St. Lucie's rate was 4.68 percent after 3.74 percent, a two-week high of 5.58 not including the data dump two days ago and a low of 2.36 Oct. 8 not including the day after the data dump. Martin's rate was a two-week high of 6.90 percent after 4.19, a two-week low of 1.11 five days ago. Indian River's rate was 4.17 percent after 4.4, a two-week low of 2.07 four days ago, not including the data dump, and two-week high of 4.82 on Oct. 8. Okeechobee's rate was 1.87 percent on 163 negative tests after 1.47 on 134 negative tests, zero on 22 tests five days ago and a two-week high of 10.26 on Oct. 4, not including the data dump.

Palm Beach County has 48,870 cases out of 395,329 total tested for 12.36 percent overall, not including those awaiting tests and inconclusive.

Miami-Dade leads with 177,893 positive cases out of 984,278 tested for 18.07 percentage, and Broward is second with 80,820 cases and 612,195 tested for 13.2 percentage.

In Martin County, it's 5,169 of 40,356 for 12.81 percent. In St. Lucie, it's 8,562 out of 67,716 for 12.64 percent, Indian River with 3,520 of 39,868 for 8.83 percent and Okeechobee 1,663 of 11,814 for 14.08 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 passed 1,114,000 deaths and passed 39.9 million cases Saturday, 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, 3.0 in Martin, 3.5 percent in Indian River and Okeechobee 2.2 percent, which is the highest ever.

Florida has 741 deaths per 1 million people, which ranks 11th in the nation, compared with the U.S. average of 676 per million. New York, which represents 15.2 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,720 per million. Worldwide, the figure is 142.9 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 an increase of 3.

A total of 5,094 people 85 and older have died in the state from the virus, an increase of 29 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 12,634 cases of infants to 4 years old, an increase of 32, and 304 were hospitalized, which went up by 1. From ages 5-14, there are 32,247, an increase of 172, with 282 in the hospital at one time, which didn't change.

From the infant to 54 age group, there are 535,563 of the 743,018 residents' cases. In that group, 1,064 have died, with an increase of 3, for a 0.20 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 632,150 cases. A total of 2,822 have died, an increase of 12 for a 0.45 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities with 11,886 with an increase of 30. Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, increased by 26 to 8,022, followed by Boca Raton at 7,295 up from 7,247, Boynton Beach went to 4,306 from 4,287 and Delray Beach at 3,335 vs. 3,321. A total of 1,301 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 5,050, an increase of 28, followed by Fort Pierce at 2,932, up 8, and Stuart with 2,398, which rose by 14.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, remained at 421 compared with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 46,976 people in the state have been hospitalized, a rise from 45,924 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

The number is 3,966 in Palm Beach County, with a increase of 19 compared with 17 the day before; 413 in Martin, which went up by 2; St. Lucie at 737 with an increase of 2, Indian River stayed at 324 and Okeechobee from 188 to 190.

Long-term care

Forty-one percent of the deaths, 6,455 are residents and staff of long-term care, including 671 in Palm Beach County, which is second most in the state behind 834 in Miami-Dade. The state increase was 39 and Palm Beach County went up by 4.


Since the first death was reported six months ago on Feb. 29, the national toll has risen to 219,286, a rise of 711, according to Johns Hopkins. has tabulated 224,282 deaths with an increase of 638.

Cases rose to 8,106,384, including 58,519 Saturday. 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 Saturday in the U.S., there were 618 more deaths and 54,639 cases.

The one week U.S. death increase was 4,916 at 2.3 percent.

New York has the most deaths in the nation at 33,347, with Johns Hopkins reporting an increase of 10 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 21, No. 7 Illinois 27, No. 8 Pennsylvania 10, No. 9 Georgia 51 and No. 10 Michigan no data.

Also, No. 11 Arizona reported 18 deaths, as well as an additional 921 cases. No. 25 Washington, the original epicenter in the United States, reported 4.


The U.S. represented 11.5 percent of 5,568 additional deaths Saturday and 20.1 percent of the world total though its population is only 4.3 percent of the global total.

The one week world death increase was 36,672 at 3.4 percent.

Last Saturday's death increase was 5,235.

Cases increased by 372,651 after rising by more than 400,000 Friday the first time, 412,917, according to The world has been gaining 1 million cases every three days.

Brazil, which is second behind the United States for deaths, reported 461 deaths to rise to 153,690. Brazil's record is 1,554 on July 29. The nation added 22,792 cases at 5,224,362 in third place.

India reported 62,212 cases, compared with a world-record 97,894, for second-place behind the U.S. with 7,432,681. Also, India recorded 837 deaths, behind a national-record 1,299, to rise to 112,998 and in third place.

Mexico announced 355 more deaths late Saturday compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 86,059 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 150 additional deaths for 43,579 in fifth place, the most since 159 on June 10 with the daily high 1,172, as well as 16,171 cases, three days after a record 19,724. No. 6 Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter and reached 919 in one day, reported 47 deaths and a record 10,925 cases. No. 7 Spain moved is 73 ahead of Peru, reporting no data after 222 deaths and 12,169 cases, behind the record 14,087 on Sept. 18. No. 9 France announced 89 deaths, as well as a record 32,427 cases, topping the record of 30,621 two days ago.

No. 8 Peru announced 54 and leads France by 310. No. 10 Iran reported 253 deaths.

Russia is in fourth place in the world in cases with 1,384,235, including 14,922 one day after a record 15,150. The nation gained 279 deaths two days after a record 288 and is in 13th.

No. 21 Canada reported 24 deaths for a total of 9,746 and 2,215 cases, four 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 no data Saturday and is at 5,918. Neighboring Norway reported no deaths for the second day in a row to remain 278, as well as 77 more cases.

No. 32 China, the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26, added 13 cases Sunday.