The state continues to fail to get a grip on the spread of COVID-19. Deaths are rising and hospital beds are filling up once more.
Another 4,353 COVID-19 cases and 69 coronavirus related deaths were added to Florida’s count Tuesday. This brings the total number of cases in Florida to 852,174.
While the numbers are still higher than in many other states, Florida’s weekly case average did decrease to about 5,068 cases per day.
In Tampa Bay there were 897 COVID-19 cases added on Tuesday and 11 total deaths. Of those, the most deaths were in Polk County, where there were four. Three deaths were in Manatee, two were in Pinellas and Citrus and Pasco counties had one each. Hillsborough and Hernando counties had no deaths reported.
The 69 deaths announced on Tuesday brought the total statewide coronavirus related deaths up to 17,460 since March, according to the Florida Department of Health. Those numbers include 212 non-resident deaths that occurred in the state. While our average weekly total number of cases in the state may be going down, the weekly death average is on the rise. Currently the numbers indicate there is an average of 52 deaths per day.
Other trends lie in the total hospitalizations due to COVID-19. In October there were approximately 2,000 people statewide hospitalized from the virus. Now that number has risen to just under 3,000, according to the Agency for Health Care Administration. That has brought the total number of people hospitalized due to the virus up to 50,872 since the start of the outbreak.
Tampa Bay has a significant number of those hospitalizations as its hospitals are caring for 650 people who have been admitted with a primary diagnosis of coronavirus.
Breaking those numbers down further, the new numbers mean that only approximately 25 percent of the state’s hospital beds and 24 percent of intensive care unit beds are currently available. Tampa is behind that trend as it has approximately 23 percent of hospital beds and 18 percent of ICU beds available.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force related a report that found 70 percent of the counties in Florida are “displaying moderate to high levels of community spread.”
Experts are warning that future reports of COVID-19 numbers could be skewed as many testing locations across the state have been temporarily closed due to Tropical Storm Eta.