State's coronavirus cases drop to 2,539 after 2-month high; deaths rise 50

Florida's daily first-time positivity rate back below 5%, Palm Beach County up to 4%
Posted at 12:35 PM, Oct 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-18 23:46:10-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's coronavirus cases rose by 2,539, one after the largest increase in two months, 4,044 as deaths subsided in one day from 87 to a U.S.-high 50, the Florida Department of Health announced Sunday. Also, the state's first-time daily positivity dropped below 5 percent with Palm Beach County climbing to 4.0 percent.

Data from the weekend are traditionally lower.

Florida is only 33 deaths from a total toll of 16,000 residents, a milestone achieved by four other states. Since the first two deaths were announced on March 6, which is 226 days, the death toll has reached 15,967, with an average of 71 per day, and the total including nonresidents 16,168, which remained at 201.

Cases had risen by at least 3,000 for three days in a row. They climbed by 3,356 Thursday then 3,449 Friday. On Sunday 5,570 cases were announced but they were for two days because the health department was dealing with a data dump of previously released tests from one lab.

In one week cases have risen by 20,529 for an average of 2,933 at 2.8 percent. The previous week they rose by 18,032, which averages 2,576 per day, at 2.5 percent.

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

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

Florida's first-time daily infection rate of tests reported to labs was 4.68 percent compared with 5.19 the day before. The two-week low was 3.89 on Oct. 4 and the high of 5.38 four days ago not including a data dump over the previous weekend. Palm Beach County's rate increased to 4.0 percent from 3.82, a two-week high four days ago of 4.59, not including the data dump, and six 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 5.94 percent on 57,765 tests received Saturday after 6.38 on 83,563 tests. The highest percentage was 9.23 percent on Oct. 9 and the lowest 4.42 seven days ago. Only 20,987 tests were reported Sept. 27 and the record test total was 142,964 July 11. Palm Beach County had 139 positive tests.

The number of deaths over one week is 603, an average of 86 average, compared with 693 the previous week.

In the state, fatalities rose by 94 Friday and 178 over two days on Sunday. Two Sundays ago, 43 additional deaths were reported.

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 Saturday 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 identified 55 deaths with 5 previously reported fatalities removed for a net increase of 50.

Palm Beach County's death toll increased by 3 to 1,490, third highest in the state behind Miami-Dade and Broward, after an increase of 9 the day before. On the Treasure Coast, St. Lucie rose by 1 to 317, Martin increased by 1 to 155, Indian River stayed at 122. Okeechobee remained at 37 deaths with its first two fatalities on July 25.

Broward increased by 4 and Miami-Dade by 3.

With a net increase of 12 deaths in South Florida of the 50 state total, which is 24.0 percent, there are 7,171, which is 44.9 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 755,020 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 141 one day after 196. On Sept. 28, the rise was 27.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 77 compared with 134 the day before. The state reported Sunday there are currently 2,009 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is 37 less than Saturday.


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 30 deaths Sunday after a state-record 324 on Aug. 11, for a total of 17,014. California reported 44 and is in third place with 16,943, which is 71 behind Texas. New Jersey, which had been second throughout the pandemic, is in fourth place with 16,211, adding 7 fatalities.

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 44 over seven days for 3.0 percent. The U.S. figure is 2.3 percent with the world at 3.4 percent.

Miami-Dade rose to 3,540 with 101 more in seven days. Broward increased to 1510 with an increase of 43. St. Lucie has gone up by 14 deaths compared with Martin by 8, Indian River by 3 and Okeechobee by 5.

Palm Beach County's death count is higher than 20 states, including Kentucky's 1,317 with 5 added Sunday.

Pinellas increased by 2 to 800 deaths in fourth place and Hillsborough up by 5 to 750 in fifth place, Polk by 4 to 588 in sixth, Orange stayed at 530 in seventh and Lee remained at 492.

The state report Sunday identified 5 deaths in Palm Beach County though the increase was 3 in one day: 3 women (81, 81, 89) and 2 men (70, 71). St. Lucie added a 77-year-old man and Martin a 59-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 755,020, third in the nation and sixth in cases per million. The average over 231 days is 3,268 per day.

California has the most cases in the U.S. at 867,779 with 3,048 more Sunday. Texas had 3,048 and is second overall with 823,779. New York, which was the leader during much of the pandemic, is in fourth at 484,281 with an additional 1,390. Illinois had a U.S.-high 4,245 and is in fifth overall.

In Palm Beach County, new cases have been much lower since the record 1,171 July 5. The total now is 49,011, including residents and nonresidents.

Miami-Dade's cases were 461 compared with 554 the day before and Broward's increase was 287 vs. 377. In the Treasure Coast area, the rise over one day was Martin 4 vs. 32, St. Lucie 63 vs. 41, Indian River 22 vs. 25 and Okeechobee 2 vs. 3.


Florida's total number of people tested is 5,729,634, which is 26.7 percent of the state's population behind No. 1 California, No. 2 New York, No. 3 Texas and No. 4 Illinois. Florida is nine lowest in the nation in tests per million: 266,711.

The overall Florida positive rate remained at 13.18 from 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 4.38 percent compared with 4.73 the day before, a two-week high 6.03 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 4.83 percent 4.78, after 3.82 and a two-week low of 2.09 on Oct. 4.

Elsewhere, St. Lucie's rate was 6.46 percent, not including the data dump, after 4.58 and a low of 2.36 Oct. 8 not including the day after the data dump. Martin's rate was 1.37 percent after two-week high of 6.90 percent, a two-week low of 1.11 six days ago. Indian River's rate was a two-week high of 5.95 percent after 4.33 and a two-week low of 2.07 five days ago, not including the data dump. Okeechobee's rate was 4.08 percent on 47 negative tests after 1.81 on 163 negative tests, zero on 22 tests six days ago and a two-week high of 10.26 on Oct. 4, not including the data dump.

Palm Beach County has 49,011 cases out of 396,277 total tested for 12.37 percent overall, not including those awaiting tests and inconclusive.

Miami-Dade leads with 178,354 positive cases out of 987,118 tested for 18.07 percentage, and Broward is second with 81,107 cases and 614,329 tested for 13.2 percentage.

In Martin County, it's 5,173 of 40,479 for 12.78 percent. In St. Lucie, it's 8,559 out of 67,956 for 12.65 percent, Indian River with 3,542 of 40,018 for 8.85 percent and Okeechobee 1,665 of 11,829 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 1,118,000 deaths and neared 40.3 million cases Sunday, 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 744 deaths per 1 million people, which ranks 11th in the nation, compared with the U.S. average of 678 per million. New York, which represents 15.2 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,721 per million. Worldwide, the figure is 143.5 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 5,100 people 85 and older have died in the state from the virus, an increase of 6 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 12,664 cases of infants to 4 years old, an increase of 30, and 304 were hospitalized, which didn't change. From ages 5-14, there are 32,382, an increase of 135, with 283 in the hospital at one time, which went up by 1.

From the infant to 54 age group, there are 537,340 of the 745,492 residents' cases. In that group, 1,066 have died, with an increase of 2, for a 0.20 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 634,250 cases. A total of 2,830 have died, an increase of 8 for a 0.45 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities with 11,921 with an increase of 35. Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, increased by 12 to 8,124, followed by Boca Raton at 7,318 up from 7,295, Boynton Beach went to 4,320 from 4,306 and Delray Beach at 3,340 vs. 3,335. A total of 1,305 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 5,071, an increase of 21, followed by Fort Pierce at 2,941, up 9, and Stuart with 2,399, which rose by 1.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, increased by 2 to 423 compared with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 47,053 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 3,977 in Palm Beach County, with a increase of 11 compared with 19 the day before. The Treasure Coast area didn't change: Martin at 413, St. Lucie at 737, Indian River at 324 and Okeechobee at 190.

Long-term care

Forty-one percent of the deaths, 6,475 are residents and staff of long-term care, including 672 in Palm Beach County, which is second most in the state behind 834 in Miami-Dade. The state increase was 20 and Palm Beach County went up by 1.


Since the first death was reported six months ago on Feb. 29, the national toll has risen to 219,669, a rise of 383, according to Johns Hopkins. has tabulated 224,730 deaths with an increase of 448.

Cases rose to 8,151,973, including 45,689 Sunday. 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 Sunday in the U.S., there were 400 more deaths and 44,614 cases.

The one week U.S. death increase was 4,901 at 2.3 percent.

New York has the most deaths in the nation at 33,357, 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 14, No. 7 Illinois 22, No. 8 Pennsylvania 20, No. 9 Georgia 31 and No. 10 Michigan no data.

Also, No. 11 Arizona reported 3 deaths, as well as an additional 742 cases. No. 25 Washington, the original epicenter in the United States, reported none.


The U.S. represented 11.3 percent of 3,971 additional deaths Sunday 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 36,685 at 3.4 percent.

Last Sunday's death increase was 3,957.

Cases increased by 324,927 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 tending down in deaths and cases. The nation, which is second behind the United States for deaths, reported 215 deaths to rise to 153,905. Brazil's record is 1,554 on July 29. The nation added 10,982 cases at 5,235,344 in third place.

India reported 61,871 cases, compared with a world-record 97,894, for second-place behind the U.S. with 7,494,551. Also, India recorded 1,033 deaths, behind a national-record 1,299, to rise to 114,031 and in third place.

Mexico announced 108 more deaths late Sunday compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 86,167 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 67 additional deaths for 43,646 in fifth place with the daily high 1,172, as well as 16,982 cases, four 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 69 deaths and a record 11,705 cases. No. 7 Spain is 16 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 85 deaths, as well as 29,837 cases, one day after a record 32,427.

No. 8 Peru announced 57 and leads France by 282. No. 10 Iran reported 252 deaths.

Russia is in fourth place in the world in cases with 1,399,334, including 15,099 two days after a record 15,150. The nation gained 185 deaths and is in 13th.

No. 21 Canada reported 14 deaths for a total of 9,760 and 1,827 cases, five 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 over the weekend and is at 5,918. Neighboring Norway reported no deaths for the third day in a row to remain 278, as well as 88 more cases.

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