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Florida continues to add COVID cases in latest health department report

Red and gray 3D model of COVID-19. Looks like a sphere with red trees on it.

The increase is nowhere near the numbers of the past two years as the disease has entered an endemic phase. The state also says nearly 90,000 residents have died with COVID.

A new report from the Florida Department of Health showed an increase in reported COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.

The state had 18,518 reported new cases during the week that started Aug. 11 and 18,556 new cases during the week that started Aug. 4 — the highest totals in at least 10 weeks.

The increase is nowhere near the numbers of the past two years during the pandemic. Scientists say COVID is in an endemic phase, meaning it is always present in a population but remains fairly stable and predictable, with spikes.

The report was released Friday by the agency, which updates COVID-19 data every two weeks.

The update also showed that Florida is nearing 90,000 reported resident deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic started in 2020.

The state had 89,905 deaths related to the virus as of Thursday, up from 89,565 reported as of Aug. 3.

The new data showed that 69,774, or 77.6 percent, of the deaths involved residents 65 or older, and 76,573, or about 85.2 percent, of the deaths involved people 60 or older.

Because of lags in reporting, it is unclear when the additional deaths occurred.

Scientists have said the uptick may be attributed to waning immunity, the increase of social and family gatherings during the summer and the intense heat sending people indoors is also helping to circulate the virus quicker.

The department has said the number of COVID vaccine doses administered has been decreasing.

Information from Health News Florida's Meghan Bowman was used in this report.