From 2 to more than 2,000, FL COVID-19 cases skyrocket; death toll at 28

Novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19, is shown here in orange and yellow. Microphotography by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced two coronavirus cases on March 1, but in less than a month the infections have grown to 2,355, according to Thursday morning data from the Florida Department of Health.

The Florida death toll is now 28, up from 23 Wednesday evening.

The five new deaths include two more deaths in Clay County, one death in Hillsborough and another two deaths in Orange County, according to state data posted online, showing deaths for each county. Four of the five deaths were male. Their ages ranged from 65 to 90.

The average age of deaths overall is 77 1/2. And three-fourths of all deaths were male.

The data is not always perfect, with the state having to make some corrections.

Miami-Dade now has 616 infections, Broward, 504 and Palm Beach, 169, the epicenter of the coronavirus in Florida.

Other counties with more than a 100 infections are Hillsborough, with 142, and Orange, 110.

Two-thirds of Florida’s 67 counties have at least one infection, but the remaining counties have zero, according to the state’s data.

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.