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Coronavirus in Florida: State adds another 6,563 cases

The state said 46 more people died from COVID-19 in Florida as of Tuesday.

Wednesday's report from the Florida Department of Health showed the state added another 6,563 new cases of COVID-19 for June 30.

Based on Tuesday's data, the state said another 45 Florida residents had died from coronavirus, and one non-Florida resident also died.

Tuesday marked the eighth straight day where the number of newly reported coronavirus cases was more than 5,000.

The health department said 45,366 test results were turned in Tuesday with a percent positive rate of 15.04 percent. That's the second-highest percentage positive the state has reported so far.

Though health experts have repeatedly said that a 5 percent positivity rate or lower is recommended to begin reopening, Florida has seen almost a week of percentages of more than double that.

And, the latest daily report is triple that amount. The state has been in Phase Two of reopening for nearly a month.

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

On Saturday, the state broke its single-day record again with 9,585 new cases reported that day. Sunday marked the first time in three days that the number of new cases reported was less than 8,000.

Here's a breakdown of the new coronavirus cases reported to the state by day:

  • June 21: 2,926 
  • June 22: 3,286
  • June 23: 5,508
  • June 24: 5,004
  • June 25: 8,942
  • June 26: 9,585
  • June 27: 8,530
  • June 28: 5,266
  • June 29: 6,093
  • June 30: 6,563

Hospital Bed Availability

It is difficult to track precisely how many people are hospitalized with COVID-19 at any given point in Florida. Since the pandemic began, the state confirms a total of 14,825 residents have been hospitalized. But, that count includes anyone who was hospitalized at any point during their illness. It does not reflect the number of people currently in the hospital.

Some counties have taken steps to illustrate that information. For example, Pinellas County offers a daily look at coronavirus hospitalizations in the area.

Between adult and pediatric beds, Pinellas County has about 370 ICU beds total. As of late Wednesday morning, 22.7 percent of those were filled with COVID-19 patients. The majority of them, about 61.5 percent, were filled with patients who do not have coronavirus.

Still, the concern with COVID-19 is that having any number of cases puts a strain on the healthcare system. While most counties don't say exactly how many of their full beds are being occupied by coronavirus patients at a given moment, we can use total ICU bed occupancy as an indicator of how full hospitals are right now.

To that end, as of late Wednesday morning in Florida, 17.35 percent of the state's 6,035 adult ICU beds were available compared with 32.71 percent of the state's 590 total pediatric ICU beds. That's according to the state's Agency for Health Care Administration.

We've chosen to focus on adult ICU beds in the list below because not every county offers complete data on pediatric ICU capacity. However, as we've reported, a growing number of children in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties have tested positive for COVID-19.

In total, based on the data below, only 219 of the Tampa Bay area's 1,365 adult ICU beds were open, as of Wednesday morning. That means only about 16 percent are available.

Around the Tampa Bay area, here is the breakdown:

Citrus: 7 of 30 adult ICU beds available

DeSoto: 0 of 8 adult ICU beds available

Hardee: No data

Hernando: 20 of 69 adult ICU beds available

Highlands: 15 of 35 adult ICU beds available

Hillsborough: 39 of 390 adult ICU beds available

Manatee: 36 of 96 adult ICU beds available

Pasco: 5 of 127 adult ICU beds available

Pinellas: 31 of 322 adult ICU beds available

Polk: 16 of 163 adult ICU beds available

Sarasota: 50 of 125 adult ICU beds available

Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

The governor's perspective

Gov. Ron DeSantis has reiterated in recent weeks that he doesn't plan to make any changes to the state's reopening plan or enact a statewide face mask mandate. During a news conference in Juno Beach on Tuesday, DeSantis echoed his previous statements pointing to increased testing and jumps in the number of younger people testing positive for the weeks of spikes in new cases.

"A lot of recent cases are younger people...some with milder symptoms," DeSantis said. "We did what we did (in March and April) to have a flatter curve. What we can do now...is better than what we could do in March."

DeSantis was also asked about his feelings on Texas Gov. Greg Abbott's decision to pause reopening and recommendations for residents to stay home. Florida's governor said his recommendations have been similar when it comes to social distancing.

"If I had one message to give the folk, I would say, protect the vulnerable," DeSantis said. "That's the number one mission we have."

If you're not in those groups considered vulnerable -- people 65 and up and those with health conditions -- DeSantis said to "understand this is an asymptomatic illness for a lot of young people."

DeSantis again said the state is "not going back closing things." 

"I don't think that's really what's driving it," DeSantis said, noting he believes it's younger people's social interactions.

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