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Florida Records Deadliest Week For Coronavirus

Florida Department of Health COVID-19 dashboard
Florida Department of Health
Cases of COVID-19 in Florida passed 39,000 Friday. In Tampa Bay area counties, new cases were in the single digits; the first time that has happened since April 23.

More people died this week in Florida from COVID-19 than any other week since the outbreak began.

State records show that between Saturday and Friday, 401 people in the state died after catching the virus.

The previous 7-day high for Florida was 307 in mid April. 

It was also a deadly week in the greater Tampa Bay region with 68 deaths across seven counties from Sarasota to Hernando. Thirteen of those deaths were reported on Friday.

So far, 1,669 people have died from COVID-19 in Florida.

A total of 39,199 people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Florida, the state reported on Friday. That's 371 more cases than were reported Thursday morning.

New cases in Tampa Bay area counties were all in the single digits. That has not happened since April 23. The region saw an increase of 34 cases Friday. Thursday’s increase was 108.

An increase in deaths as cases decline is to be expected, Dr. Marissa Levine, professor with the University of South Florida  College of Public Health, told WUSF in April.

While there are some cases of people dying within days of learning they have COVID-19, the process can be drawn out for others who develop severe symptoms.

Levine explained a patient could be in a hospital for ten days or so before their symptoms get bad enough for them to move to an intensive care unit. And if they end up needing a ventilator, it could be several more weeks before they are taken off that machine.

“Anywhere along that critical phase, particularly folks who are older or have underlying conditions, could die, and so what we’re seeing in terms of the deaths is really a delay of the picture of what’s going on,” said Levine. “It’s not surprising that if we see new cases going down, we’re still going to deaths and we may see deaths actually increase for a period of time.”

Levine said that the increase shouldn’t discourage people. She said new cases slowing down means the social distancing measures Floridians are taking are working – and it’s critical they stick with them.

On Friday, the Department of Health released more details about 12 Tampa Bay area people after their deaths from COVID-19 were verified:

  • A 78-year-old Hillsborough County woman who had been in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • A 77-year-old man in Manatee County with no recent travel history or contact with another infected person.
  • A 70-year-old Manatee County man with no history of recent travel or contact with anyone known to have COVID-19.
  • A 91-year-old Manatee County man whose travel history or contact with another infected person are not known.
  • An 83-year-old woman in Manatee County whose travel history or contact with someone else with COVID-19 are unknown.
  • A 91-year-old Pinellas County man who had been in contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus.
  • A 99-year-old man in Pinellas County who had been in contact with another person with COVID-19.
  • A 78-year-old Pinellas County woman with no known history of recent travel or contact with another infected person.
  • An 81-year-old woman in Polk County whose contact with someone who tested positive for the coronavirus is not known, and who did not travel recently.
  • A 57-year-old man in Sarasota County with no recent travel history. It’s not known whether he was in contact with another person who’d been infected.
  • An 86-year-old Sarasota County man who had contact with another infected person.
  • A 93-year old woman in Sarasota County who had not traveled recently. It’s not known whether she was in contact with anyone else with the virus.

Tampa Bay area positive tests as of 12 p.m. Friday, May 8:  

  • Hillsborough: 1,371 (1,319 local, 52 non-resident)
  • Pinellas: 828 (785 local, 43 non-resident)
  • Manatee: 742 (738 local, 4 non-resident)
  • Polk: 601 (593 local, 8 non-resident)
  • Sarasota: 416 (400 local, 16 non-Sarasota resident)
  • Pasco: 291 (283 local, 8 non-Pasco resident)
  • Hernando: 98 (92 local, 6 non-Hernando resident)

Florida COVID-19 daily total of positive tests/deaths for the last two weeks:

  • May 8: 371 / 69
  • May 7: 826 / 61
  • May 6: 563 / 68
  • May 5: 542 / 72
  • May 4: 819 / 20
  • May 3: 615 / 15
  • May 2: 735 / 50
  • May 1: 1,038 / 46
  • April 30: 497 / 50
  • April 29: 347 / 47
  • April 28: 708 / 83
  • April 27: 610 / 14
  • April 26: 689 / 19
  • April 25: 306 / 43

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After more than 40 years learning and helping others understand more about so many aspects of our world and living in it, I still love making connections between national news stories and our community. It's exciting when I can find a thread between a national program or greater premise and what is happening at the local or personal level. This has been true whether I’ve spun the novelty tunes of Raymond Scott or Wilmoth Houdini from a tiny outpost in a Vermont field, or shared the voices of incarcerated women about what it’s like to be behind bars on Mother’s Day with the entire state of New Hampshire.
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