State's death toll rises by 178, cases by 5,570 over 2 days after data problems

Health Department says it needed to reconcile information after massive dumping of test results from non-affiliated lab
Posted at 12:08 PM, Oct 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-12 00:08:36-04

One day after not reporting data because of a massive dumping of test results from a private lab not affiliated with the state, the Florida Health Department announced U.S.-high 178 additional deaths and 5,570 more cases over two days as the state's first-time positivity rate was 4.24 percent, including 3.17 in Palm Beach County during that time.

On Saturday, the agency said it needed to reconcile information after approximately 400,000 previously reported COVID-19 test results from Helix Laboratory – a private lab that is not affiliated with the state of Florida – were dumped into the state.

"The massive size of the data file and the need to de-duplicate hundreds of thousands of results prevented the Department of Health's automatic reporting system from processing yesterday's results as it normally does," the department said in a news release.

On Sept. 1, the state severed all ties with Quest Diagnostics after 75,000 tests, including nearly 4,000 cases, were dumped into the system, mostly in mid-June to late July. On Aug. 12, the state announced a backlog of tests from Niznik Lab Corp. in Miami Gardens. It skewed the positivity rate, mainly in Miami-Dade County.

Saturday's data dump also affected positivity rates.

"A data dump of previously reported lab results prevented the reporting system from normal processing of lab results on Oct. 9, causing an inaccurate representation of data for Oct 9 and 10." The state said a better representation is a two-day average.

Florida's first-time daily infection rate of tests reported to labs was 7.88 Friday and 3.47 Saturday from 4.55 percent two days ago, a low of 3.74 seven days ago and a previous high of 5.25 five days ago. Palm Beach County's rate was 2.39 two days ago then 8.83 and 2.32. The low was 2.14 on Sept. 27 that was among the lowest in several months and the previous two-week high was 4.17 on Sept. 30.

The state's total daily positivity rate for all tests was 9.24 percent on 24,585 tests received Friday, then 4.4 on 114,674 tests Saturday after 5.12 on 75,574 Thursday. The previous highest percentage was 6.82 five days ago. Only 20,987 tests were reported Sept. 27 and the record test total was 144, was 142,964 July 11. Palm Beach County had 201 positive tests over two days.

The state report noted 58 deaths were added on Saturday, including 7 in Palm Beach County and 1 in Martin with no mention of the day before.

The two days' worth of cases are more than one week ago: 74 deaths Saturday and 43 Sunday for a total of 117 and 2,811 cases Saturday and 1,844 Sunday for a total of 3,655. Statistics are traditionally lower on Sunday and Monday from weekend data.

On Friday, Florida's additional coronavirus deaths decreased by 46 to 118 in one day as cases dropped by nearly 400 to 2,908 and the state's first-time daily positivity rate diminished to 4.13 percent.

Since the first two deaths were announced on March 6, which is 219 days, the death toll has reached 15,364, with an average of 70 per day, with the total including nonresidents 15,552, which increased by 2 to 188.

It took 12 days for the death toll to pass 15,000 Thursday, nine days 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: 63 on Sept. 11.

Palm Beach County's death toll increased by 21 to 1,446, third highest in the state behind Miami-Dade and Broward, after an increase of 9 Friday. On the Treasure Coast, St. Lucie rose by 5 to 303, Martin increased by 2 to 147, Indian River remained at 119. Okeechobee stated at 32 deaths with its first two fatalities on July 25.

Broward increased by 22 and Miami-Dade by 30.

With a net increase of 80 deaths in South Florida of the 178 state total, which is 44.9 percent, there are 6,963, which is 45.3 percent of the state figure though the population only comprises 30 percent.

Thursday's cases' increase of 3,306 was the most in one day since 3,573 on Sept. 19. The last time cases were more than 4,000 was 4,684 on Aug. 22.

One Monday ago, 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.

Florida's total of 734,491 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.

Cases in Florida have been trending lower, including in South Florida.

Palm Beach County's daily cases increased by 307 after 264 two days ago. On Sept. 28, the rise was 27.

Florida's new hospitalizations rose by 249 compared with 192 Friday. The state reported Sunday there are currently 2,120 hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, which is 19 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 third place with the addition of 31 deaths Sunday after a state-record 324 on Aug. 11, for a total of 16,557. California reported 64 and is in third place with 16,564 which is 7 ahead of Texas. New Jersey, which had been second throughout the pandemic, is in fourth place with 16,174, adding 3 deaths.

Deaths rose by 693 in the state over seven days (a daily average of 99) for 4.7 percent, a figure tally that had been more than 1,200 deaths recently. Earlier the one-week figure was in the mid 200s. Palm Beach County increased by 52 for 3.7 percent. The U.S. figure is 2.4 percent with the world at 3.1 percent.

Miami-Dade rose to 3,439 with 105 more in one week. Broward increased to 1,467 with an increase of 47 in one week. St. Lucie has gone up by 9 deaths in one week compared with Martin by 4, Indian River by 1 and Okeechobee by 4.

Palm Beach County's death count is higher than 20 states, including Kentucky's 1,252 with 3 reported Sunday.

Pinellas increased by 2 to 782 deaths in fourth place and Hillsborough up by 15 to 706 in fifth place, Polk increased by 5 to 557 in sixth, Orange by 12 to 514 in seventh and Lee rose by 2 to 483.

On Sunday, the state identified 7 deaths in Palm Beach County: 4 women (59, 86, 89, 101) and 3 men (69, 88, 93). Martin added a 96-year-old woman.


Since the first two cases were announced on March 1, Florida's total has surged to 3.4 percent of the state's 21.48 million population with 734,491, third in the nation. The average over 224 days is 3,279 per day.

In one week, cases have risen by 18,032, which averages 2,576 per day, at 2.5 percent.

California has the most cases in the U.S. at 846,579 with the addition of 3,803. Texas had 2,262 and is second overall with 792,478. New York, which was the leader during much of the pandemic, is in fourth at 473,286, with an additional 1,143.

Florida's daily case increases have been below 10,000 since July 26 when they climbed by 12,199.

The record for most cases was 15,300 cases, which was the highest figure ever in the United States.

In Palm Beach County, new cases have been much lower since the record 1,171 July 5. The total now is 47,955, including residents and nonresidents.

Miami-Dade's cases were 1,006 compared with 832 previously and Broward's increase was 537 vs. 521. In the Treasure Coast area, the rise over two days was 22 in Martin, 55 in St. Lucie, 117 in Indian River, 8 in Okeechobee.


Florida's total number of people tested is 5,557,698, which is 25.9 percent of the state's population behind No. 1 California, No. 2 New York, No. 3 Texas and No. 4 Illinois.

The overall Florida positive rate increased to 13.22 from 13.19 Friday.

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 decreased from 4.30 percent two days ago to a two-average of 5.11, a two-week high of 6.83 Sept. 28 and a two-week low of 2.74 on Sept. 27. The rate hit 26.4 on July 8. Broward's two-day rate was 3.82 after 2.65, a two-week low of 1.76 on Sept. 27 and a high of 4.0 on Sept. 30.

Elsewhere, St. Lucie's two-day rate was 2.99 percent from a two-week low of 2.43, a two-week high of 6.73 on Sept. 29. Martin's two-day rate was 2.98 percent after 3.60, a two-week low of 1.80 on Sept. 30 and a high of 3.65 on Sept. 29. Indian River's two-day rate was a 14-day low of 2.10 from 4.81 percent and two-week high of 6.52 on Sept. 30. Okeechobee's two-day rate was 3.4 percent on 227 negative tests after 5.11 on 130 negative tests, a two-week low of 2.45 on 159 negative tests Oct. 3 and a two-week high of 15.28 on 61 negative tests Sept. 29.

Palm Beach County has 47,955 cases out of 385,646 total tested for 12.43 percent overall, not including those awaiting tests and inconclusive.

Miami-Dade leads with 175,118 positive cases out of 957,232 tested for 18.29 percentage, and Broward is second with 79,332 cases and 595,000 tested for 13.33 percentage.

In Martin County, it's 5,072 of 39,175 for 12.95 percent. In St. Lucie, it's 8,381 out of 65,881 for 12.72 percent, Indian River with 3,433 of 38,655 for 8.88 percent and Okeechobee 1,639 of 11,568 for 14.17 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 2.8 percent in the United States and 2.9 percent worldwide, which passed 1,081,000 deaths and passed 37.7 million cases Sunday, according to

Palm Beach County's rate is 3.0 percent, compared with Broward at 1.9 percent and Miami-Dade with 2.0 percent. With much fewer deaths, the mortality rate is 3.6 percent in St. Lucie, 2.9 percent in Martin, 3.5 percent in Indian River and Okeechobee 2.0 percent.

Florida has 707 deaths per 1 million people compared with the U.S. average of 664 per million. New York, which represents 15.5 percent of the deaths in the nation, has 1,716 per million. Worldwide, the figure is 138.7 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 32 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 people from 25 to 34 also have died from the virus with an increase of 1.

A total of 4,904 people 85 and older have died in the state from the virus, an increase of 640 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 12,408 cases of infants to 4 years old, an increase of 70, and 295 were hospitalized, which went up by 3. From ages 5-14, there are 31,319, an increase of 374, with 372 in the hospital at one time, which increased by 2.

From the infant to 54 age group, there are 522,716 of the 725,415 residents' cases. In that group, 1,033 have died, with an increase of 11, for a 0.20 death percentage. From infant to 64, there are 617,078 cases. A total of 2,725 have died, an increase of 29 for a 0.44 percentage.


West Palm Beach is in first place among Palm Beach County cities with 11,725 with an increase of 61. Lake Worth, which includes the city and county portion, increased by 22 to 8,030 followed by Boca Raton at 7,094 up from 7,033. Boynton Beach went to 4,218 from 4,190 and Delray Beach at 3,270 vs. 3,244. A total of 1,245 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 4,944, an increase of 28, followed by Fort Pierce at 2,888, up 21, and Stuart with 2,355, which rose by 10.

In Indian River County, Fellsmere, which has a population of 5,754, increased by 1 to 419 compared with only 3 on May 31.


A total of 45,924 people in the state have been hospitalized, a rise from 44,671 seven days ago. That means it is a running total and includes people who have been released or died.

The number is 3,857 in Palm Beach County, with a increase of 35 compared with 32 two days before; 408 in Martin, which didn't change; St. Lucie at 714 with an increase of 7, Indian River remained at 322 and Okeechobee stayed at 183.

Long-term care

Forty-one percent of the deaths, 6,238 are residents and staff of long-term care, including 646 in Palm Beach County, which is second most in the state behind 822 in Miami-Dade. The state increase was 69 and Palm Beach County went up by 14.


Since the first death was reported six months ago on Feb. 29, the national toll has risen to 214,764, a gain of 394 Sunday, according to Johns Hopkins. Worldometers reported an increase of 325 to 219,695.

Cases reached 7,761,673 with an increase of 43,742, according to Hopkins. They have exceeded 70,000 seven times, including a record 78,446 on July 24 and the last time was July 31.

Last Sunday in the U.S., there were 337 more deaths and 33,504 cases.

The one week U.S. death increase was 5,043 at 2.4 percent.

New York has the most deaths in the nation at 33,294, with Johns Hopkins reporting an increase of 1 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 17, No. 7 Illinois 9, No. 8 Pennsylvania 5, No. 23 Georgia and No. 10 Michigan no data.

Also, No. 11 Arizona reported no deaths, as well as an additional 597 cases. No. 24 Washington, the original epicenter in the United States, reported none Saturday and Sunday.


The U.S. represented 8.4 percent of 5,075 additional deaths Sunday and 20.3 percent of the world total though its population is only 4.3 percent of the global total.

The one week world death increase was 33,122 at 3.2 percent.

Last Sunday's death increase was 4,086.

Cases increased by 278,03 one day after a record 359,270, according to The world has been gaining 1 million cases every three days.

Brazil, which is second behind the United States for deaths, reported 270 deaths to rise to 150,606. Brazil's record is 1,554 on July 29. The nation added 3,139 cases, compared with 34,650 the day before, at 5,094,979 in third place.

India surpassed 7 million cases at 7,053,806, second behind the U.S., with an additional 74,383 compared with a world-record 97,894. Also, India recorded a world-high 918 deaths, behind a national-record 1,299, to rise to 108,334 and in third place.

Mexico announced 139 more deaths late Sunday compared with a high of 1,092 on June 4 for a total of 83,781 in fourth place.

Four European nations are in the top 10 as cases are surging on the continent. The United Kingdom reported 65 additional deaths for 42,8250 in fifth place with the record daily high 1,172, as well as 12,872 cases three days after a record 17,540. No. 6 Italy, which at one time was the world's epicenter and reached 919 in one day, reported 26 deaths and 5,456 cases, one day after 5,724 and the most since 5,973 on March 28. No. 8 Spain last reported 241 deaths and 5,986 cases Friday. No. 9 France is 246 deaths behind Spain, announcing 46, as well as 16,101 cases after back-to-back records of 26,896 cases and 20,339.

No. 7 Peru announced 82 deaths and is 376 ahead of Spain. No. 10 Iran reported a record 251 deaths, four days after the previous mark of 239.

Russia is in fourth place in the world in cases with 1,298,718, including an additional record 13,734 after back-to-back days of 12,846 and 12,126. The nation gained 143 deaths and in 13th.

No. 21 Canada reported 5 deaths for a total of 9,613 and 1,685 cases behind the record of 2,804 six days earlier. 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 5,894. Neighboring Norway has reported no deaths since Oct. 2 to remain at 275, as well as 68 more cases.

No. 32 China, the original epicenter of the world, hasn’t reported a death since April 26, added 21 cases Monday.