Florida is seeing a slowdown of COVID-19 infections, millions of residents are getting vaccinations and people are shedding masks — but the breadth of the pandemic remains startling.
With the month of May coming to an end, the Florida Department of Health on Friday reported 2,320,818 COVID infections and 36,774 deaths of residents.
The three counties that became the epicenter of the pandemic in Florida — Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach — are now closing in on 900,000 infections.
Miami-Dade has hit the half-million mark, with 500,323 cases. Broward is at 244,552, and Palm Beach, 148,277.
But Hillsborough (142,735 cases) and Orange (142,541) have come close to Palm Beach, the health department data show. And Duval County has hit the 100,000 mark, with 100,502 cases.
No other counties have reached the 100,000 mark, but Pinellas is at 81,289 cases, and Lee and Polk have more than 70,000 infections.
Many counties have much lower numbers.
In fact, 34 counties, many of them rural and in North Florida, have fewer than 10,000 COVID cases — half the counties in the state, according to the health department data.
To put all this in context, Florida ranks 3rd in the 50 states for the number of COVID-19 infections. But it ranks 19th among the states in the infection rate per 100,000 residents, according to a New York Times analysis.