Another 7,569 new coronavirus cases were reported in Florida on Tuesday, but more than half were among nearly 75,000 results from April turned in late by Quest Diagnostics, the state Department of Health said.
The state then announced it was severing ties with Quest Diagnostics due to its failure to follow Florida law in reporting results in a timely manner.
In an email, the Health Department said Quest’s failure “means most of the data in (Tuesday's) upload – while it will have historical significance – will have little impact on the status of the pandemic today.”
The new cases reported Tuesday, from the previous 24-hour period, brought the statewide total to 631,040. However, about half of those cases, 3,870, came from Quest. According to the state, those tests were anywhere between two weeks to five months old.
In the Tampa Bay region, there were 825 new positive tests.
Of the 127,993 tests returned to the state Monday, 6.81% of those tested for the first time were positive. However, without the Quest test results, the positivity rate was 5.89%.
Tuesday’s report also recorded the deaths of 190 people due to complications from COVID-19 since the day before.
Statewide, 11,521 people have died due to complications from COVID-19. Thirteen of the deaths occurred in the greater Tampa Bay area.
The deaths were recorded by the state since Monday's report, but they may have occurred days or weeks earlier.
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 Tuesday, September 1:
- Hillsborough: 37,458
- Pinellas: 20,026
- Polk: 17,159
- Manatee: 10,490
- Pasco: 8,135
- Sarasota: 7,239
- Hernando: 2,685
Florida COVID-19 daily total of positive tests/deaths for the last two weeks:
- September 1: 7,569 / 190
- August 31: 1,885 / 68
- August 30: 2,583 / 14
- August 29: 3,197 / 150
- August 28: 3,815 / 88
- August 27: 3,269 / 139
- August 26: 3,220 / 155
- August 25: 2,673 / 183
- August 24: 2,258 / 72
- August 23: 2,974 / 51
- August 22: 4,311 / 107
- August 21: 4,684 / 118
- August 20: 4,555 / 117
- August 19: 4,115 / 174
- August 18: 3,838 / 219