A 10th death, as FL hits the 500 mark for coronavirus cases

Image shows SARS-CoV-2 (in yellow), also known as 2019-nCoV, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, an agency of the National Institutes of Health

The Florida Department of Health has reported a 10th COVID-19 death — an individual in his or her 90s from Broward County who had previously been tested positive.

In addition, Florida now has 520 cases of COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the new coronavirus that has expanded across the globe.

In Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis announced March 1 that there were two coronavirus cases in the state. Now’s there’s more than 500, showing the extent to which the virus has expanded across Florida.

By now, 36 counties — more than half of Florida’s 67 counties — have at least one COVID-19 case, according to health department data.

The figure was a 35 counties on Thursday evening, but by Friday morning, Monroe County, home of the Florida Keys and Key West, was added to the list, reporting one case.

The department publishes data on cases twice daily. In terms of death cases, the data reflects Florida resident deaths and does not include a Leon County death labeled as a non-resident, according to a state health department spokesman.

Thursday evening, Miami-Dade had the highest number of cases and had eclipsed Broward County’s cases.

But by Friday morning, Broward had the most cases — 124. Miami-Dade had 113.

Overall, the 520 cases include 474 Florida resident cases and 46 non-resident cases– up from a total of 432 the day before. That means 88 new cases were reported from Thursday evening to Friday morning.

The increases in cases are due in part to private labs, not just public health departments, that are determining results.

In fact, of the 474 Florida resident cases, 256 were confirmed by the public health department while 218 were handled by private labs. That indicates that private labs have nearly caught up to public health departments in the efforts to expand testing of COVID-19.

The counties that added cases Friday morning are: Alachua, Brevard, Broward, Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Indian River, Miami-Dade, Monroe County, Okaloosa, Orange, Palm Beach, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk, Sarasota, St. Johns.

Diane Rado
Diane Rado has covered state and local government and public schools in six states over some 30 years, focusing on policy and investigative stories as well as legislative and political reporting. She spent most of her career at the St. Petersburg (Tampa Bay) Times and the Chicago Tribune. She has a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and did a fellowship in education reform at the University of Michigan in 1999-2000. She is married to a journalist and has three adult children.