FL’s COVID death toll has reached the 50,000 mark; only two other states have higher numbers

By: - September 16, 2021 4:03 pm

This is an image of the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The virus is now creating mutations that are spreading in the United States and elsewhere, including the Delta variant. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Lab

Florida’s COVID-19 death cases rose to the 50,000 threshold in September, illustrating the breadth of residents who died in a pandemic that continues to ravage older and younger people in the state.

Only California and Texas have had higher numbers of deaths, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The three states are the only ones in the country that have exceeded the 50,000 mark for COVID-19 deaths. The counts for death cases span from early March 2020 to mid September 2021, though California had a few cases beginning in late January.

Because the CDC uses more than one analysis in calculating death cases, it wasn’t quickly evident that Florida had reached the 50,000 mark.

For example, one analysis this week still showed Florida deaths below 50,000. But Thursday, two CDC data sheets showed 50,811 COVID deaths in Florida.

Also, one analysis showed that Florida actually had reached the 50,000 mark in early September.

Keep in mind that the number of deaths is not the same as the death rate in the country. The CDC also calculates deaths per 100,000 people.

In that analysis, Florida ranks 12th among all 50 states, plus Washington, D.C., and New York City.

New York City has the worst death rate, followed by New Jersey, Mississippi, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Arizona, Rhode Island, Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, South Dakota.

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Diane Rado
Diane Rado

Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.