TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida broke the 600,000 mark for confirmed coronavirus cases Sunday, but reported one of its lowest daily totals in two months, continuing a downward trend that began five weeks ago.
Florida reported 2,974 new cases on Sunday, only the second time since June 22 that fewer than 3,000 new cases have been tallied in a day. The other time was Monday, when 2,678 cases were reported. Sundays and Mondays often have a low number of reports as not all hospitals report on the weekend.
The daily total peaked July 15 when more than 15,000 cases were reported, but has been declining since.
Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 have also been declining. Late Sunday morning, 4,578 patients were being treated for the disease in Florida hospitals compared to Saturday’s 4,773. It is a drop of almost 800 since Thursday. Hospitalizations peaked at above 9,500 on July 23. The state’s positivity rate on tests over the past week has been just over 10%.
Overall, the state has now reported 600,571 confirmed cases. The state reported 51 deaths Sunday, bringing the total to 10,462. Over the past week, the state has reported an average death rate of 125 per day and an average of 151 deaths per day during August. Only Texas, at 203 deaths, has a higher daily average over the past week. It has about 50% more residents.
Deaths from COVID-19 usually occur two weeks or more after diagnosis, so epidemiologists have said Florida’s fatality rate should shrink in the coming weeks if confirmed infections continue to shrink.