SNS-update011421a.jpg

SEBRING — Highlands County had a much better day in regards to its COVID-19 reports released by the Florida Department of Health on Wednesday. New cases and the daily positivity rate were down dramatically from Tuesday and there were no new deaths.

The county added 36 new cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, which was major difference from the previous day’s 75 cases. This brings the overall cases to 5,668 with 5,610 residents infected and 58 non-residents who tested positive. There have been 407 cases in the past seven days for an average of 58.14 cases per day.

The total county deaths remain at 225 or 4% of all cases. Florida’s deaths are 2% of all the cases.

The positivity rate took a nose dive as well. While still higher than the World Health Organization would want, the 8.33% reported on Wednesday stands in sharp contrast to the 22.25% of Tuesday.

Hospitalizations have reached 463 cases in the county, which is 8% of all cases. Florida’s hospitalization rate is half of the county’s at 4%. According to the Agency for Health Care Administration, there were 56 people hospitalized as of 3:02 p.m. on Wednesday. AHCA showed an ICU bed census of 26 with one bed open, or 3.70% availability. That is one more bed available than the previous day. The regular bed census for the county was 262 with 12 available, or 4.41% available. The FDOH report shows 57 deaths from long-term health care facilities, either residents or staff.

The county’s daily median age was 55 on Wednesday and the overall median age is 51.

Statewide, Florida added 13,990 new cases for a new total of 1,517,472 cases of infections. Of those cases, 1,490,148 come from residents and 27,324 are from non-residents.

Florida’s deaths rose by 174 people to bring the cumulative total to 23,759. Of those whose deaths are attributed to COVID, 23,396 have been residents and 363 have been non-residents.

The state processed 134,777 tests with 121,117 negative results. The positivity rate for Wednesday was 10.17%, slightly better than Tuesday’s rate of 10.62%.

Deaths shot up in the United States, as the country saw more than 4,000 deaths for the second day in a week, while the other metrics weren’t quite so bad.

There were 213,885 new cases, according to the COVID Tracking Project’s Tuesday evening update, while tests were at 1,871,244, which is a little lower than the seven-day average. That yields a positivity rate of 11.4% for the day.

Hospitalizations inched back up over the 130,000 mark, as there were 131,326 hospitalized, which is 1,500 more than the previous day.

The death total was 4,056 and there was a wide range of numbers, with Alaska, Hawaii and Kansas each reporting no deaths and California reporting 548, with Arizona reporting 335 and Alabama, Texas, Missouri and Pennsylvania all above 200.

Early numbers for Wednesday weren’t looking too promising, as California reported 33,751 new cases, which is nearly 7,000 fewer cases than the state’s rolling 14-day average, but also 589 new deaths, which is quite a bit higher than the 14-day average of 439.

According to the Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the U.S. has now seen 22.9 million cases and had 382,120 deaths.

Globally, there have been 91.9 million cases and the death toll hit 1.97 million.