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Florida sees record number of new COVID-19 cases — nearly 9,000 — as testing increases

Record number of cases, but not a record positivity rate

A health care worker administers a coronavirus test to a patient at the Lee Davis Community Resource Center on Thursday in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Octavio Jones/Getty Images)

Florida has seen a record number of new COVID-19 cases in the past few days, and had 8,933 new cases Thursday, although some of that spike can be attributed to an increase in the number of tests administered in the state.

The state released new coronavirus data Friday that charted the number of new cases and people tested each day since June 12. Most days within that period, fewer than 40,000 people were tested. On Thursday, however, 71,433 people were tested, with a positivity rate of 13.05%

To put that positivity rate into some context, the rate in that June 12 through June 25 period has ranged as low as 4.39% on June 14, when 34,317 people were tested, to as high as 15.84% on June 23, when 36,329 people were tested. On June 24, the positivity rate was 8.92% with 57,904 people tested.

Based on available COVID-19 death data in Florida, which can lag some and be subject to retroactive updates, the daily number of COVID-19 deaths has remained flat in June, with the seven-day moving average hovering between 30 and 40. Data over the next couple of weeks will reveal whether this increase in number of cases results in any significant increase in deaths, or whether it will confirm that the virus is less deadly than some believe.

The new data from the state also continues to show how disproportionately vulnerable the elderly are to the virus. Out of the 3,366 recorded COVID-19 deaths, 85% of them have been people 65 years of age and older. People 85 years of age and older account for 36% of the total COVID-19 deaths.

More people over the age of 84 (1,206 people) have died from the coronavirus than those who are under the age of 65 (510 people).

Florida, run by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, has been one of the states with more relaxed coronavirus restrictions while other states were implementing severe lockdowns.

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