It’s been three weeks since Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis lifted most restrictions on bars and other businesses, and state health data released Friday shows the weekly total of new coronavirus cases has climbed for the third straight week.
As of Friday, the weekly total of new coronavirus cases was 19,516, compared to 17,117 last week and 15,917 a week earlier, according to a tally kept by WUSF of daily figures released by the state department of health.
The Department of Health also reported an increase in newly identified cases of coronavirus Friday for the fourth day in a row, with 3,449 more cases and 98 more deaths.
Throughout September, the daily average number of new cases was 2,622. DeSantis moved Florida into Phase 3 of reopening on Sept. 25.
The statewide death toll due to complications from COVID-19 has reached 16,030 since the pandemic began.
Twenty-four more deaths were reported in the greater Tampa Bay region, including nine in Polk County and six in Sarasota County.
The deaths were recorded by the state since Thursday’s report but may have happened days or weeks earlier.
The statewide total of coronavirus infections is now 748,437.
The number of tests being done statewide is also on the rise, with 84,507 tests according to Friday’s report – an increase over the near 70,000 reported Thursday and 57,000 Wednesday -- and 4.4% of them were positive.
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.
Greater Tampa Bay region positive tests as of Friday, October 16:
· Hillsborough: 44,999
· Pinellas: 23,746
· Polk: 21,572
· Manatee: 12,365
· Pasco: 10,089
· Sarasota: 8,908
· Hernando: 3,385
Florida COVID-19 daily total of positive tests/deaths for the last two weeks:
· Oct. 16: 3,449/ 98
· Oct. 15: 3,356/144
· Oct. 14: 2,883/66
· Oct. 13: 2,725/123
· Oct. 12: 1,533/47
· Oct. 11: 5,570/180
· Oct. 10: No report issued from DOH *
· Oct. 9: 2,908/118
· Oct. 8: 3,306/170
· Oct. 7: 2,582/139
· Oct. 6: 2,251/59
· Oct. 5: 1,415/41
· Oct. 4: 1,868/43
· Oct. 3: 2,787/74
* - On Oct. 10, a data dump of previously reported lab results prevented the reporting system from normal processing of lab results.