Florida is expected to reach a rare milestone soon: 700,000 COVID-19 infections

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

While public health officials point to significant declines in the percent of people testing positive for COVID-19, what’s coming over the horizon is a rare milestone: 700,000 COVID-19 infections for Florida.

Given the number of cases reported daily, it could be a matter of days when Florida hits the 700,000 mark for infections. The Florida Department of Health on Thursday reported 693,040 COVID-19 infections statewide.

Only two other states across the nation have reached 700,000 COVID-19 infections: California, at 798,445, and Texas, with 754,027 cases, according to a New York Times analysis.

Florida is ranked 3rd of the 50 states in the number of infections and 2nd in terms of infections rates, meaning cases per 100,000 people, according to the Times’ analysis.

South Florida’s Miami-Dade County continues to have the highest number of infections — 168,272, followed by 76,329 in Broward and 45,866 in Palm Beach, according to the state health data. Those three counties from the onset have been at the epicenter of the pandemic.

Hillsborough, with 41,351, and Orange, at 39,560, have the highest numbers outside of the three-county South Florida group.

Also on Thursday, the Florida Department of Health reported 13,795 deaths of Florida residents.

In the New York Times analysis, Florida ranks 5th of the 50 states in the number of COVID deaths. But it ranks 13th in the death rates.

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.