Florida adds 3,977 coronavirus cases, 66 deaths Saturday

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Florida reported 3,977 coronavirus cases and 66 deaths Saturday, bringing the total number of deaths since the pandemic began to 36,412.

The state has seen 2,266,575 infections since the state reported the first two cases of the coronavirus more than 14 months ago, on March 1, 2020.

On average, the Florida Department of Health has reported about 3,948 infections and 68 deaths per day over the past seven days, as the average daily caseload continues to drop. Florida’s daily average cases added last dipped below 4,000 more than six months ago on Oct. 31.

It can take officials up to two weeks to confirm and report a coronavirus-related death, meaning the number of deaths added does not necessarily reflect the number of people who died the previous day.

The health department processed more than 85,000 tests on Friday, reporting a daily positivity rate of about 4.7 percent.

Vaccinations: Florida has distributed at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine to 9,203,670 people, according to Saturday’s report. There were 12,656 people who received their first shot of a two-dose vaccine on Friday and 41,462 who completed a vaccine series.

Of the roughly 9.2 million people who have received a vaccine in Florida, about 6.9 million have completed a vaccine series.

In Hillsborough County, 568,114 people have been vaccinated; in Pinellas, 438,145; in Pasco, 208,866; in Manatee, 174,013; in Polk, 248,519; in Hernando, 69,600; and in Citrus, 61,411.

Hospitalizations: As of Saturday, Florida hospitals were treating 2,709 patients for COVID-19, including 586 people in the Tampa Bay region.

The health department reported 178 new admissions Saturday, including 52 admissions locally.

About 22 percent of hospital beds and 22 percent of adult intensive care unit beds were available statewide. In Tampa Bay, about 21 percent of hospital beds and 19 percent of adult ICU beds were open.

Positivity: Florida’s positivity rate was about 7.3 percent Saturday, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Before reopening, states should maintain a positivity rate of 5 percent or less for at least two weeks, according to the World Health Organization. A positivity rate of 5 percent or less indicates testing is widespread enough to capture mild, asymptomatic and negative cases.

The District of Columbia and 28 states currently have a positivity rate below 5 percent.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay reported 793 cases and 19 deaths Saturday.

Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties added five deaths each. Hernando County added three deaths and Manatee County reported one death. Polk County removed one death from its count, meaning that fatality was not coronavirus-related, or the person who died wasn’t a resident. There were no new deaths in Citrus County.

Hillsborough, Pasco, Hernando and Citrus counties had weekly average positivity rates of roughly 7 percent. Manatee and Polk counties had positivity rates of about 6 percent. Pinellas County’s positivity rate was about 4 percent.

As of the latest count, Hillsborough has 137,950 cases and 1,764 deaths, Pinellas has 79,767 cases and 1,652 deaths, Polk has 68,925 cases and 1,344 deaths, Manatee has 38,785 cases and 688 deaths, Pasco has 41,555 cases and 773 deaths, Hernando has 14,046 cases and 473 deaths, and Citrus has 11,134 cases and 449 deaths.

Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?

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