Florida records 3,197 coronavirus cases, 150 deaths Saturday

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Another 3,197 coronavirus infections were announced by the Florida Department of Health on Saturday, bringing the statewide total to 619,003 cases.

Cases that led to hospitalization increased by 287 admissions.

Florida also added 150 deaths from the virus in a 24-hour period. The overall death toll from COVID-19 has reached 11,249 people over a six month period. One of the deaths added Saturday was an 18-year-old girl in Charlotte County.

The weekly death average was about 120 people announced dead a day, higher than the previous day but still lower than the early August peak of about 185 people.

Hospitalizations: About 4,000 people were in the hospital with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. About 570 of those patients were in the Tampa Bay area.

The number of people hospitalized due to COVID-19 has been declining since mid-July, when at the highest point, more than 9,500 people were undergoing treatment.

About 25 percent of hospital beds and 20 percent of intensive care unit beds were available statewide on Saturday. In Tampa Bay, about 22 percent of hospital beds and 16 percent of ICU beds were open.

Positivity: Florida’s average weekly positivity rate was 12 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University. It has decreased from July, when it held steady at about 18-19 percent.

The Florida Department of Health calculates the positivity rate, or the percentage of positive results among all tests processed, differently by using negative retests but not positive retests. Using this method, the health department says the weekly rate at 6 percent.

The World Health Organization recommends maintaining a positivity rate of 5 percent or lower for two weeks before loosening social distancing restrictions. If the rate is too high, it can indicate there isn’t enough testing being done to capture mild and asymptomatic cases.

Local numbers: Tampa Bay added 544 coronavirus cases and 32 deaths Saturday.

Fourteen of the deaths were in Polk County, five were in Pinellas, three were in Manatee and two were in Citrus. Four deaths were announced each in Hernando and Hillsborough counties.

Hillsborough, Hernando and Polk counties continue to have the highest average weekly positivity in the Tampa Bay area at 6 percent. Pasco and Manatee both maintained a positivity of 4 percent, and Pinellas County has the lowest rate at 3 percent.

As of the latest counts, Hillsborough has 36,784 cases and 550 deaths; Pinellas has 19,813 cases and 652 deaths; Polk has 16,803 cases and 445 deaths; Manatee has 10,391 cases and 260 deaths; Pasco has 7,989 cases and 174 deaths; Hernando has 2,560 cases and 84 deaths; and Citrus has 2,069 cases and 57 deaths.

How fast is the number of Florida COVID-19 cases growing?

Is Florida’s coronavirus outbreak still growing?

Florida coronavirus cases by age group

Doctors say older people are at a greater risk to developing severe symptoms from COVID-19, which makes Florida especially vulnerable.

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