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As a late-summer uptick continues, Florida passes 90,000 COVID deaths

World Health Organization

The state reported the most cases of the summer, although numbers remain far lower than in the previous three summers. Also, the state had 90,232 reported resident deaths due to the virus.

As Florida tops 90,000 resident deaths from COVID-19, a late-summer uptick in new cases is continuing, data released Friday documents.

According to the state Department of Health, there were 23,503 reported cases during the week that started Aug. 18 and 23,960 during the week that started Aug. 25.

Those were the highest numbers of the summer.

The state had 18,518 reported new cases during the week that started Aug. 11 and 18,556 new cases during the week that started Aug. 4

To compare, the state had 7,320 reported new cases during the week that started June 23.

Cases have been rising steadily since then, although numbers remain far lower than in the previous three summers.

The federal Centers for Disease and Control said last week that recently up to 10,000 people a week have been hospitalized with COVID across the country but noted that is far fewer than the 40,000 such hospitalizations a week the U.S. had at its highest point in August 2022.

About 70 percent of hospitalizations involved people who are 65 and older.

COVID has moved into an endemic stage, meaning it regularly occurs within an area or community. To reach that phase, the CDC cites stronger immunity, vaccines, at-home tests, effective treatments, and common-sense strategies like washing hands and avoiding others when sick.

However, the agency noted there is still a significant risk for transmission among the unvaccinated, especially among those who are older or have underlying health conditions.

A new vaccine could be available soon. A CDC advisory committee is slated to discuss an updated booster next week.

Public health officials say the omicron variant EG.5 has become dominant in the U.S., while BA.2.86 is starting to spread.

Meantime, Florida fatalities related to the virus passed the 90,000 mark since the pandemic started in 2020 and has seen an increase in cases in recent weeks.

The state had 90,232 reported resident deaths as of Thursday, up from 89,905 deaths two weeks earlier.

Because of lags in reporting, it is unclear when the additional deaths occurred. The Department of Health releases COVID data every two weeks.

Information from News Service of Florida and the Associated Press was used in this report.

Copyright 2023 Health News Florida

I’m the online producer for Health News Florida, a collaboration of public radio stations and NPR that delivers news about health care issues.