The Phoenix Flyer

While the state touts strides, COVID-19 infections and deaths of residents continue to rise in FL

By: - October 2, 2020 1:05 pm

Novel coronavirus SARS CoV2, which causes COVID-19. Meanwhile, new COVID mutations called variants are now spreading across the U.S., including the Delta variant. Microphotography by National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

The state is focusing on lowering the percent of people testing positive for COVID-19, but infections overall continue to rise in Florida.

As of Friday, the Florida Department of Health reported 711,804 infections, up from 709,144 cases the day before. The death toll of Florida residents rose to 14,544 compared to 14,444 the day before.

The newest numbers in Florida come after news that President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump have tested positive for COVID. The Washington Post reported that Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden have both tested negative for COVID-19.

But questions remain in Florida over whether fully opening businesses and brick-and-mortar schools is the best approach, and whether stricter mask requirements should be in place across the state.

Florida ranks 3rd of the 50 states in the number of COVID-19 infections. Only Florida, Texas and California have exceeded 700,000 cases and California has already moved to the 800,000 category, according to a New York Times analysis. As to the rate of infections, meaning per 100,000 people, Florida also ranks 3rd, behind Louisiana and Mississippi.

Florida ranks 5th in the number of COVID deaths, but 11th in the death rate. New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts have the highest death rates.

Miami-Dade County has the highest number of infections, 171,391, followed by Broward, with 77,631, and Palm Beach, 46,833. Those three counties have been at the epicenter of the pandemic.

But Hillsborough and Orange now have more than 40,000 infections, and Duval has about 31,000.

Of the 14,544 deaths of Florida residents, the median age is 79. Most of the deaths are in three main age categories: 85+, 4,658 deaths; ages 75 to 84, with 4,228 deaths and ages 65 to 74, at 3,086 deaths.

President Trump is 74, and at the end of the 65 to 74 span for the number of deaths.

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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.

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