Florida reports 10,892 new COVID-19 cases; testing positivity remains low

South Florida Sun Sentinel

Dec 03, 2021 6:42 PM

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As omicron begins to surface throughout the U.S., Florida continues to contend with delta.

For the week ending Dec. 2, Florida reported 10,892 new cases, slightly more than the 10,828 new cases reported two weeks ago, according to a report released Friday by the Florida Department of Health.

Last week with the Thanksgiving holiday, Florida reported 9,663 new cases. The case counts mark a big improvement from August when the count reached as high as 151,675 new cases in a week, but it also indicates Florida no longer is seeing new cases trend downward as it had been in early November.

The state test positivity is 2.5%, exactly what it was two weeks ago.

The COVID death count rose slightly from the previous week. There were 153 additional deaths from 467 additional COVID deaths reported on Nov. 25. That brings the state’s overall death toll to 61,701 people, which includes 462 Floridians under age 30.

The weekly count reported Friday reflects all deaths over the last week or even weeks prior that are newly confirmed with COVID as the cause of death.

As the state recovers from the delta wave, it is no longer considered an area with “high” community transmission, according to national standards. It is now a state with mostly “moderate” transmission.

With the vaccine eligibility lowered, 9% of Florida’s 1.6 million children between 5 and 11 now have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. In addition, 57% of 12-year-olds to 19-year-olds in Florida are vaccinated.

The number of people newly vaccinated, which includes children, was 101,032 compared with 104,042 the week ending Nov. 25. About 69% of people 5 and older in Florida are vaccinated.

Throughout the pandemic, a total of 3,697,523 people in the state have had COVID.

  • Palm Beach County on Friday reported 721 additional cases, from 638 cases a week prior. The total number of confirmed cases in the county stands at 228,360.
  • Broward County on Friday reported 1,072 additional cases, from 887 additional cases a week ago. The total number of confirmed cases in the county stands at 361,553.
  • Miami-Dade County on Friday reported 2,030 additional cases, from 1,801 additional cases a week earlier. The total number of confirmed cases in the county stands at 681,185.

Health officials reported a statewide positivity rate of 2.5% on Friday compared to 2.4% a week ago. At its worst, Florida’s test positivity climbed as high as 20.5% for the week ending Aug. 19.

Public health experts say the virus is considered under control when the COVID-19 test positivity rate is under 5%. Florida had exceeded 5% in its widely publicized calculation for assessing the rate for testing of residents for the last three months but the rate has been below 3% for several weeks.

In South Florida, the new case positivity rate is below 5% in all three counties.

In Broward, it was 2.1%, up from 1.9% a week ago; in Palm Beach County, it was 2.3%, stable from a week ago; and in Miami-Dade, it was 1.8%, up from 1.6% a week ago.

Florida has seen a major improvement in COVID hospitalizations but the COVID patient count has held steady for several weeks. As of Friday, 1,343 COVID patients were admitted only about 40 less than the 1,383 COVID patients admitted prior to Thanksgiving. During the height of the delta wave, more than 17,000 COVID patients were hospitalized.

Health care workers are seeing some relief in their overcrowded COVID wards. On Friday, COVID patients occupied 2.31% of beds, about the same percentage as two weeks ago.

There also is improvement in COVID patients needing intensive care. Of those ICU beds that are full, only 4.34% were occupied by COVID patients.

The number of total COVID doses given out in the last week was 497,854, compared to 423,368 last week when vaccination sites were closed one day for the Thanksgiving holiday. Some of the shots went to children and others are boosters.

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Floridians received another 308,217 booster shots this week. That brings the total number of Floridians boosted to 2.95 million.

More than 11.4 million people in Florida ages 5 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID vaccine. Of those, 9.5 million have completed their two-dose series and 1.89 million people have received one shot.

The most heavily vaccinated age group in Florida is 65 and older, which is 89% vaccinated, followed by the 60-to-64 age group, which is 87% vaccinated. The 20-to-29 age group is 58% vaccinated. Florida’s teens 12 to 19 are 57% vaccinated.

Sun Sentinel health reporter Cindy Goodman can be reached at cgoodman@sunsentinel.com.

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