As expected, COVID-19 infections and deaths are still rising as FL launches first phase of reopening

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

A day after Gov. Ron DeSantis launched the first phase of boosting Florida’s economy, the Florida Department of Health on Thursday reported 33,690 COVID-19 infections and 1,268 deaths.

The day before, the number of infections was at 33,193, and the number of deaths, 1,218 statewide.

DeSantis had said Wednesday that cases would continue to occur, but other measures signaled that Florida was ready for a first phase to bolster the economy, including partial access to restaurants and retail establishments.

The loosening of restrictions do not apply to Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, the three counties that became the epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic in Florida.

Thursday, Miami-Dade reported 12,063 infections and 352 deaths; Broward,  4,953 infections and 185 deaths, and Palm Beach, 2,963 infections and 186 deaths.

Other counties with more than 1,000 infections were included in the loosening of restrictions because of a variety of measures. Those are: Orange County, 1,385 infections; Hillsborough County, 1,124; Lee, 1,021 and Duval, 1,012.

A dozen counties, often small, rural counties, had 10 or fewer infections, according to the state health department data.

The number of deaths span 48 of Florida’s 67 counties, according to a Phoenix analysis of the state health data on deaths.

In addition to deaths in Miami-Dade, Palm Beach and Broward, 10 other counties had 20 deaths or more. They are:

Manatee, 55 deaths; Lee, 43; Sarasota, 42; Pinellas, 37; Orange, 34; Hillsborough, 23; Polk, 23; St. Lucie, 22; Volusia, 21, and Duval 20.

The average age of death was 76.25, across all of those who died.

Three women who died at age 101 were the oldest in the group of deaths. They were from Collier, Dade and Pinellas. The youngest death was a 26-year-old in Dade County.

 

 

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.