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Florida's Weekly COVID Numbers Reflect That Delta-Fueled Surge Is In Decline

The number of weekly deaths related to COVID-19 was down slightly from the previous week’s pandemic high of 2,468.

All the top indicators of the coronavirus improved over the seven days ending Sept. 23 as weekly state data released Friday showed cases, positivity, rate and deaths on the decline.

This follows a months-long surge driven by the highly contagious delta variant.

The 56,325 new cases of coronavirus in Florida in the week ending Thursday were almost three times less than a month ago. They also marked the lowest weekly number since mid-July, according to data released by the Florida Department of Health.

The surge fueled by the delta variant appears to have reached its peak in Florida on Aug. 20, when weekly cases totaled 151,880.

Statewide, the positivity rate for new cases in the week ending Sept. 23 fell to 8.6%, the first time that number has been in the single digits since the week ending July 8.

This week, the state surpassed 53,000 total deaths from COVID-19 during the pandemic. The death toll of 2,340 was only 138 fewer than last week, but marked the first downturn in weekly deaths since the beginning of July.

The state health department last month switched from tallying deaths by the date they were verified to the date they occurred. As a result, it takes the state a while to process the information, so a single date's totals can grow days or even weeks later.

The majority of new cases were among children under 12 for the fifth week in a row.

There were 8,872 cases in children under 12, about 3,300 fewer than last week. The next highest number was 8,808 cases in the age group of 30-39.

Vaccinations have not yet been approved for children 11 and younger.

As weekly numbers of cases were down across the state, Friday’s single-day count released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Friday also showed a drop off: 7,753 compared to 9,806 last Friday.

Hospitalizations also fell to 7,748, the lowest level since the end of July.

Each week, the Florida Department of Health provides updates on the number of coronavirus cases, changes in positivity rate, vaccinations, and other statewide and county-by-county data.

The following is a summary from Sept. 17-23, 2021.

Cases: 3,539,272 positive cases, an increase of 56,325 from the previous week.

Vaccinations: 13,536,480 Florida residents have been vaccinated, a weekly increase of 89,777. In all, 71% of Florida’s population over the age of 12 has received at least one dose of vaccine.

Positivity Rate: The positivity rate for new cases was 8.6%, down from 11.2% the previous week.

Deaths: A total of 53,580 Florida residents have died from a primary diagnosis of COVID-19, an increase of 2,340 from the previous week.

(NOTE: Cases and deaths in the report may have happened days or weeks earlier, according to state officials. The state is also now only counting deaths involving Florida residents.)

ABOUT THE DATA: As of June 4, 2021, the Florida Department of Health no longer offers daily updates on coronavirus data, and instead issues a county-by-county and statewide weekly breakdown on about COVID-19 cases, deaths, and other information. Cases and deaths in the report may have happened days or weeks earlier, according to state officials. The state is also now only counting deaths involving Florida residents.

Copyright 2021 WUSF Public Media - WUSF 89.7

Kerry Sheridan is a reporter and co-host of All Things Considered at WUSF Public Media.