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Florida Surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 Deaths; Hospital Relief Continues

Records show the state crossed the threshold on Sept. 5, but the count didn't reflect that until Sept. 16 due to delays in processing information. Meantime, virus-related hospitalizations continue to drop.

More than 50,000 Floridians have died with COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's last report.

The agency added 1,554 deaths to the state's total on Thursday, bringing it up to 50,811.

These deaths could have happened over the course of days or weeks.

The state health department sends the data to the CDC, and last month switched from tallying deaths by the date they were verified to the date they occurred. It takes a while to process the information, so a date's totals can grow days later.

For example, records now show the state actually crossed the 50,000 death threshold on Sept. 5, but the count didn't reflect that until today.

The state has reported nearly 10,000 deaths in the last month.

The CDC also added another 9,760 positive tests to Florida's case count, which now stands at around 3.47 million.

Meanwhile hospitalizations in the state continued to decline. There were 10,247 people hospitalized Thursday with COVID-19 in Florida, with 2,543 of them in intensive care.

One Florida hospital system announced it has returned to normal operations - or green status - after it was forced to defer non-emergency surgeries due to a surge in COVID cases.

AdventHealth Central Florida Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Neil Finkler says hospitalizations from COVID have dropped to about 850 patients.

That’s still high. It’s basically the same number as during the January surge. But he says AdventHealth has learned a lot since then and developed more flexibility.

“We are now business as usual,” Finkler said Thursday. “We understand that COOVID will be with us. And as I said we are going to need to understand how to care for COVID patients while we also care for the other book of business that we need to care for our community.”

AdventHealth Central Florida covers a seven-county area based in the Orlando metro arae.

WMFE's Joe Byrnes contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Stephanie Colombini joined WUSF Public Media in December 2016 as Producer of Florida Matters, WUSF’s public affairs show. She’s also a reporter for WUSF’s Health News Florida project.