Florida: Lowest number of reported virus cases since June

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida reported its lowest number of new coronavirus cases since mid-June on Monday as the number of people hospitalized continued to fall.

The state reported 2,678 new confirmed cases, a level the state hasn’t seen since June 17 just as Florida began a month-long explosion of new infections that peaked at 15,300 on July 12. The seven-day average for new cases is now about 3,600, down from 11,000 a month ago.

Also, the number of people being treated in Florida hospitals for COVID-19 has been declining since highs above 9,500 on July 23. The number of patients in the late morning Monday stood at 5,657, according to a tally posted online by the state.

The state reported 87 deaths Monday, bringing the total since the outbreak was first reported in Florida on March 1 to at least 9,674. Mondays are typically low numbers for deaths as some hospitals don’t report over the weekend.

Still, since Aug. 1, Florida has been averaging 150 coronavirus deaths per day, which would make the disease the state’s No. 1 killer — cancer and heart disease each kill about 125 people per day on average, according to the state health department. Coronavirus deaths typically occur weeks or more after the disease is contracted and diagnosed.

Gov. Ron DeSantis focused on the declining cases and hospital numbers during brief remarks in Panama City.

“I think that they are durable — they are lasting now for many weeks,” he said.