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COVID-19 Death Toll For Florida Residents Passes 18,000

More than 80% of the deaths involved people 65 or older, however, that age group made up about 15% of the overall cases.

Florida reached another bleak milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic Monday, when it exceeded 18,000 resident deaths from the disease.

The state reported 96 additional resident deaths Monday, bringing the total to 18,085, according to the Department of Health. It's the most deaths in a single day since Oct. 21. Another 225 non-Florida residents have died from COVID-19 in the state, for a total of 18,310.

Florida, the third most-populous state, has the fourth-highest death toll in the country, trailing New York, Texas and California, according to national statistics compiled by Johns Hopkins University. More than 257,000 people have died in the United States.

The state passed 18,000 deaths as it continues to see thousands of people test positive for COVID-19 each day - and as it nears 1 million cases.

On Monday, the Department of Health reported 6,331 new cases, increasing the total to 944,745. That was the lowest number of new cases since Nov. 17.

Florida has also seen large increases in recent weeks of people hospitalized because of “primary” diagnoses of COVID-19. As of mid-afternoon Monday, 3,758 people were hospitalized with primary diagnoses of the disease, state Agency for Health Care Administration numbers showed. That was an increase of 145 from Sunday and 515 from Nov. 16.

On Oct. 23, the number of people hospitalized with primary diagnoses of COVID-19 totaled 2,116, according to daily totals compiled by The News Service of Florida.

Florida added 1,745 resident deaths during the past month and 526 since Nov. 16.

The disease has posed the greatest danger to seniors, who have died and been hospitalized at far higher rates than younger people.

As of Monday, 14,913 of the resident deaths - or 82.5 percent - involved people 65 or older. People in that age group, however, made up only 14.8 percent of the overall cases.

By comparison, 140 people under age 35 had died, or less than 1 percent of the overall deaths. Meanwhile, people in that age group made up 40.9 percent of the overall cases.

As another illustration of the toll on seniors, the state has reported 7,166 deaths involving residents and staff members of long-term care facilities, with the vast majority of those deaths involving residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities. That makes up almost 40 percent of the total deaths.

Geographically, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties have had the largest numbers of deaths, combining to total 7,070, according to the Department of Health.

Overall, 27 deaths were recorded in the greater Tampa Bay region, including 12 in Hillsborough County. In the Bay area, 1,268 people tested positive. The number of hospitalizations in the region were up 27 to 860.

The deaths were recorded by the state since Sunday’s report, but they may have occurred days or weeks earlier.
The Florida Department of Health reported the state got back the results for 95,791 tests Sunday. Of those tested for the first time, 7.01% were positive.

State Totals (as of Monday, Nov. 23):

  • Positive Tests – 944,745
  • Deaths - 18,310

Daily Changes:

  • State: Positive Tests - 6,331 | Deaths - 96
  • Greater Tampa Bay Region: Positive Tests – 1,268| Deaths - 27

Daily Testing (statewide):

  • Tests Received – 95,791| Positivity Rate – 7.01%

ABOUT THE DATA: The Florida Department of Health produces a daily update around 11 a.m. with information about COVID-19 cases and deaths that were reported over the previous 24 hours. Cases and deaths in the report may have happened days or weeks earlier, according to state officials. The state separately tracks cases and deaths that occurred on specific days on its dashboard and those totals are frequently updated.

Florida COVID-19 daily total of positive tests/deaths for the last two weeks:

  • Nov. 23: 6,331/96
  • Nov. 22: 6,586/62
  • Nov. 21: 8,410/42
  • Nov. 20: 9,085/80
  • Nov. 19: 9,085/81
  • Nov. 18: 7,925/88
  • Nov. 17: 7,459/86
  • Nov. 16: 4,663/41
  • Nov. 15: 10,105/30
  • Nov. 14: 4,544/45
  • Nov. 13: 6,933/74
  • Nov. 12: 5,607/73
  • Nov. 11: 5,838/52
  • Nov. 10: 4,353/69

(Go to the Florida Counties tab below for a breakdown of cases and deaths by county):

Copyright 2020 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Steve Newborn is WUSF's assistant news director as well as a reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.
Jim Saunders is the Executive Editor of The News Service Of Florida.