SEBRING — Florida’s numbers of new cases of coronavirus was relatively lower (6,336) on Monday than it had been the previous week. However, as times passes the holiday weekend, reports are once again on the rise. On Tuesday the number of people infected with COVID-19 is 213,794, an increase of 7,347 over Monday’s total, according to the Florida Department of Health dashboard.
Many testing sites were closed in observance of Independence Day.
In Florida, the “positivity” rate is 16.27% for those testing positive for the first time, an all-time high. The state’s positivity has been over 14% for over a week. The World Health Organization recommends a positivity number of less than 5% for two weeks before reopening.
Highlands County’s positive cases have risen by 19 infections since Monday. The county’s number of positive cases stands at 435. The county’s positivity rate is 4.3. The dashboard shows 10,062 people in Highlands have been tested with 9,611 testing negative and six tests still pending.
The death rate remains the same as Monday, with the deaths of 12 people attributed to the virus. There were seven hospitalizations added to the Tuesday report. Health officials confirmed there are 29 current hospitalizations.
According to the American Health Care Association’s Tuesday report shows Highlands County has a hospital bed census at 206 with 66 beds available, or 24.26% availability. The county’s total staffed bed capacity is 272.
County COVID cases range in age from 0-91 with a median age of 47. The state’s median age is 37. Whites make up 56% of the cases, Blacks 19%, other 14% and unknown is listed at 10% of all cases. Non-Hispanics make up 55% of all cases, Hispanics have 33% and unknown make up 12% of coronavirus cases.
Tuesday’s update showed the counties that got a slight reprieve from triple and quadruple case jumps were back to “normal.” As usual, Dade leads in new cases with 2,043. Three digit reports belong to: Brevard — 115, Broward — 753, Duval — 350, Hillsborough — 676, Lake — 113, Lee — 205, Manatee — 110, Orange — 359, Osceola — 127, Palm Beach — 383, Pasco — 150, Pinellas — 288, Polk — 190, and Volusia – 160.
In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Ron DeSantis said the older, higher risk (over 65) folks are doing well social distancing. But the younger people (under 40) are putting their elders at risk by spreading the disease because they are not being careful enough with social distancing. He urged everyone to “exercise caution.”
Nationally, the number of cases hit 2,948,397 with a death toll of 130,430. Globally, the pandemic has created 11,662,574 cases and has claimed 539,058 lives.