For the past six days, Florida has reported fewer than 5,000 new coronavirus cases each day, a trend that health officials hopes continues.
The Florida Department of Health on Friday reported 4,684 new COVID-19 cases. The new cases bring the state’s running total since March to 593,286 cases.
The state also announced 118 new fatalities, bringing Florida’s death toll from the virus up to 10,304. That number includes 10,168 residents and 136 non-residents who died in Florida. New COVID-19 deaths are often delayed in reporting to the state DOH and those new deaths could have occurred within the past few weeks.
The positivity rate, which represents the number of people who tested positive for the first time compared to the overall number of tests reported by the DOH for the day prior was 6.83% on Friday. Health officials agree the rate should be under 10% for two weeks to show infections are on the decline. Friday marked the 9th day the rate was below 10% in Florida.
Many people who test positive for COVID-19 will have mild or no symptoms at all, which is why it is important to monitor hospitalizations and deaths attributed to the virus.
As of Friday morning, there were 4,909 patients currently hospitalized with coronavirus in Florida, according to the state Agency for Healthcare Administration.
The Florida Department of Health reported 347 new hospitalizations on Friday, bringing the overall total to 35,997 since March.
Meanwhile, students in Orange County are returning to classrooms Friday for the first time since March after schools were ordered to shut down to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Orange County continues to have the highest positive COVID-19 case total in Central Florida.
The Orange County Public Schools on Thursday released a list of worksites that tested positive for COVID-19. According to officials, 192 employees tested positive over the summer.
“Of the 4,529 employees working at the time between June 1 through August 19, there were 192 employees who tested positive for COVID-19 at various times during that period. That is a 4.2 percent positivity rate during a two and a half month period,” a district spokeswoman said.
[READ MORE: Orange County Public Schools releases list of worksites that had COVID-19 cases]
Here are three things to know about coronavirus in Central Florida and across the U.S. for Friday:
Students at Lake Brantley quarantined: Students at Lake Brantley High School have been asked to quarantine after someone on campus tested positive for COVID-19, according to Seminole County Public Schools. A district spokesman said Thursday night that in all, 33 individuals have been asked to stay off campus for the time being. It’s unclear how many of those are students. Read more by clicking or tapping here.Orange County COVID-19 testing: With Central Florida’s largest school district welcoming students Friday, local health officials have a plan in place to test any students, teachers or workers exposed to COVID-19. The Florida Department of Health has set aside about 10,000 COVID-19 testing kits specifically for schools in case there is an outbreak, according to Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings. To hear more about Orange County’s plan, click or tap here.How COVID-safe are you? The Florida Department of Elder Affairs released a new survey that asks Floridians to review their decisions with respect to COVID-19 situations, to see how different actions affect their individual health, as well as the health of others. The online tool called the “Florida Safe Survey CV19 CheckUp,” scores the safety of Floridians’ behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic based on how they answer a few questions.
Below is a breakdown of COVID-19 cases across Central Florida as of Aug. 21:
CountyCase TotalNew CasesHospitalizationsNew HospitalizationsDeaths TotalNew DeathsBrevard6,7974458791942Flagler1,21420990150Lake5,947953436910Marion7,807116665101210Orange34,3211861,06014358-1Osceola10,61968514161251Polk16,0151281,75053993Seminole7,6733253331608Sumter1,680521992460Volusia8,7619567561752
Editor’s note: The numbers and data referenced in this story are publicly available on the Florida Department of Health website here and on the AHCA dashboard here.
To keep up with the latest news on the pandemic, subscribe to News 6′s coronavirus newsletter and go to ClickOrlando.com/coronavirus.
Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.