COVID-19 infections surpass 600,000; death toll at 10,525 resident deaths

Novel coronavirus SARS CoV2, which causes COVID-19. Microphotography by National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Diseases

The Florida Department of Health on Sunday reported 600,571 COVID-19 infections, up from 597,597 the day before.

Florida’s new figure — for the first time reaching the 600,000 mark — has the second-highest infection rate in the United States, according to a New York Times analysis of all 50 states.

The state health department noted that of more than 61,600 people tested for COVID-19, only 5.52 percent posted positive.

In South Florida, the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic, Miami-Dade County has the highest number of infections, 151,986, following by Broward, with 69,136 and Palm Beach, 40,570.

Hillsborough, Orange and Duval counties have at least 25,000 infections, and Pinellas, Lee, Polk, Collier, Escambia, Osceola and Manatee have at least 10,000 COVID-19 infections.

In 16 counties, many in North Florida, still have the fewest infections — lower than 1,000.

The rise in infections continues as school districts open their doors for the new academic year. An ongoing lawsuit by the Florida Education Association and other plaintiffs are fighting against opening brick-and-mortar schools if they’re not considered safe.

The death toll of 10,525 deaths span all 67 counties and include 4,348 residents and staffers of long-term care facilities.

The highest number of deaths from those facilities come from Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Pinellas counties.

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.