For the first time, FL exceeds 50,000 COVID-19 infections; death toll ranges from age 26 to 103

New color-enhanced image of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (in blue), which causes the dangerous respiratory disease COVID-19. Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases-Rocky Mountain Lab

Saturday marks the first time Florida has reached the 50,000 mark for COVID-19 infections, with precisely 50,127 cases, according to the state Department of Health.

The death toll was reported as 2,233, with 1,072 of the deaths in nursing homes and long-term care facilities.

As infections continue to rise, the state is increasingly “reopening,” with all 67 counties open for business and restaurants and retail shops able to operate at 50 percent capacity, up from 25 percent.

Gov. Ron DeSantis also continues to push measures to boost the economy and get families outdoors again. The governor on Friday gave the green light for kids to participate in summer camps and other activities.

The big southeast Florida counties — Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach — continue to show the largest number of infections, with Miami-Dade at 16,694; Broward, 6,649, and Palm Beach, 5,140.

Big urban counties with at least 1,000 infections are Hillsborough, Orange, Lee, Duval, Collier and Pinellas, according to the health department data.

But 15 counties had 50 or fewer infections, often in rural areas of the state.

The death toll of 2,233 ranges from a Miami-Dade man, age 26, to three woman age 103. Two of the women died in Miami-Dade and the other in Escambia County, in the Panhandle, according to a Florida Phoenix analysis.

The average age of the deaths was about 77. But the 991 women who died averaged age 79.6, while the 1,242 men who died averaged 75.6.

Like the large number of COVID-19 infections, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach also have the largest number of deaths, with Miami-Dade at 629; Palm Beach at 315, and Broward, at 292.

The next group, counties with 50 or more deaths, were in Lee, Manatee, Pinellas, Sarasota, Hillsborough and Charlotte.

Overall, 54 of Florida’s 67 counties had at least one COVID-19 death.

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.