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News about coronavirus in Florida and around the world is constantly emerging. It's hard to stay on top of it all but Health News Florida can help. Our responsibility is to keep you informed, and to help discern what’s important for your family as you make what could be life-saving decisions.

COVID-19 Hospitalizations In Florida Reach Six-Month Low

The positivity rate remained below 5% for a seventh consecutive day, while hospitalizations were at their lowest level since November.

The state reported its lowest number of hospitalizations from a primary diagnosis of COVID-19 in more than six months as the positivity rate for first-time cases was below 5% for the seventh consecutive day.

The Florida Department of Health on Sunday reported 2,410 people were hospitalized with the disease, the lowest figure since 2,334 on Nov. 1.

The positivity rate for first-time cases was 4.36% out of 66,674 tests received since Saturday's report.

Health experts have said that if positivity rates are consistently below 5% that could indicate community transmission is under control.

The state reported 2,482 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 2,292,004.

There were 22 deaths related to COVID-19, fewest since April 11. Of those, 19 were Florida residents.

Overall, 36,798 people in the state have died with COVID, 36,075 of then Florida residents.

There have been 11,414 COVID-related deaths of residents or staff at long-term care facilities.

More than 9.57 million people in Florida have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. With a population of 21 million, that amounts to more than 44%.

State Totals (as of Sunday, May 16)

  • Positive Tests – 2,292,004 | Deaths – 36,798

Daily Changes:

  • State: Positive Tests – 2,482 | Deaths – 22
  • Greater Tampa Bay region: Positive Tests – 529 | Deaths – 8

Daily Testing (statewide):

Tests Received – 66,674 | Positivity Rate – 4.36%

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:

  • May 16: 2,482/22
  • May 15: 3,319/57
  • May 14: 3,590/71
  • May 13: 4,064/50
  • May 12: 3,184/51
  • May 11: 3,263/49
  • May 10: 2,296/53
  • May 9: 3,321/33
  • May 8: 3,977/66
  • May 7: 4,165/89
  • May 6: 4,504/73
  • May 5: 4,394/82
  • May 4: 3,682/93
  • May 3: 3,075/41

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Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.